There’s something about flowing water that strikes a chord in all of us. It’s the sound of nature, of peace. A piece of quiet poetry that resonates with something primal. We love living near it or within sight of it, be it the ocean, a river, or a little creek.
Naturally, custom home owners lacking a natural body of water often add water features themselves. You can too! But of course, there are a few things to know before you jump in.
Pros and Cons
Water features have some obvious advantages:
- Water features can be both the focal point of landscape design or a more subtle part. The flowing water adds life to an otherwise still landscape.
- Highly customizable. Water features can be built to suit almost any vision.
- Attracts wildlife. Even if you don’t go the koi pond route, animals such as birds are drawn to water.
But there are also some aspects of them that may not be to your taste.
- Attracts the wrong kind of wildlife. Mosquitoes and other insects love water, and no one likes mosquitoes!
- Like a pool or hot tub, any water feature is a closed system and therefore requires regular cleaning.
- Water features aren’t always cheap, especially if you’re going custom.
Something that could be a pro or a con is the white noise added by water features. While it can be attractive for a garden setting, the sound may disturb some people at night, and you don’t want it to be so loud you can’t hear each other speak.
Freestanding vs. Landscape
Though considerations and maintenance requirements are similar for both, there are important differences in the two primary kinds of water features: freestanding and landscape.
Freestanding water features exist on their own, typically as a fountain. They’re a great centerpiece for a finely manicured garden or as a striking feature at the front of your home. They’re also easier to clean, needing only white vinegar and a stiff brush.
Landscape water features follow the curve of your terrain, lending a natural look that is very unique. However, they are much more challenging to clean, especially in shady areas where leaves pile up in autumn.