Do you suffer from the worries of 21st century living? Mental or physical health problems; emotional stress; anxiety; high blood pressure or insomnia? Or perhaps you feel your life simply needs to tune into the calmness of nature? There are many reasons why water in the garden is a positive addition on many different levels, and not just in a 'cascade' sense!
You only need introduce a simple container and pop in a few rocks or pebbles to attract various life within just a few hours. It's amazing how quickly water features are colonised, particularly when you fill your vessel with rainwater rather than tap water. Biodiversity in a garden is crucial to the health of the planet and it adds a richness to the lives of the garden owner and nurturer too.
Water is restful, calming, and interesting. It is good for the soul and introduces another dimension into the garden.
A carefully-placed pond or fountain can provide a focal feature or perhaps a surprise for which an exploration is truly worthwhile. A garden that reveals everything at a single glance is rather a dull place in which to reside.
In the fourth place, a fountain provides the huge benefit of reducing noise pollution from the surroundings. Flowing water produces its own sound which can be helpful in distracting and absorbing impacts of other noises. If you live by a busy road or you have loud neighbours or even barking dogs, a trickling, bubbling water feature focuses your ears on something far more pleasing. You're not blocking out the external hubbub, merely giving your ears something more pleasurable on which to focus.
The atmosphere and the air that you breathe can be improved by flowing water. It attracts dust particles and pollen and helps to purify the air. The evaporation process forms vapour and this also has a filtering effect on the air around a pond. On a hot day the presence of water can actually reduce ambient temperature around it.
Lastly, a tasteful water feature can help to increase the value of your property. This, coupled with a well-designed and maintained garden, is a great draw to prospective buyers. It provides an image (possibly an illusion!) of relaxation, calm, happiness and wellbeing which can potentially improve the lifestyle of the occupants.
Adding a pond to a garden is relatively simple. Making it look natural is the more difficult part of the process. If you garden on dense clay, you're halfway there already. It means that you might be able to utilise the soil as your waterproof lining, which will save you having to purchase a pond liner or pre-formed pond.
You can decide on the size of pond that you require. Remember that water will always find a level, therefore if the ground is on a slope you will need one side to be dug down lower than the other. Position your hole away from trees and away from danger of intruding roots. The falling leaves will cause of lot of silting up and they are likely to add too much nitrogen to the water which will turn the water green.
Puddle the surface if you have clay soil, to compact it as much as possible. It means squashing the soil in order to squeeze out the air. Some people use a wacker plate to help them. Others walk all over their hole in their bare feet. Don't forget the sides! You might need to add clay to the surface in order to smear over any weak spots or cracks. In the old days you might have run a herd of sheep all over your pond so that they could do the hard work on your behalf!
You will need to hide the top surface, and this can sometimes prove a little tricky. Running it under the soil is the best method, then stabilising the soil using stones or turf.
A water feature generally means some sort of cascade or fountain, which will need a pump. There are submersible pumps and external pumps, each with their own advantages. Do take advice from a pond expert if you're not sure. Then it's just a question of connecting inlet and outlet hoses, filling your pond with water, priming the pump, connecting to the electricity supply and switching on.