Water garden ideas – 9 ways to introduce soothing water to your outdoor space

1. Surround A Water Garden With Boardwalk And Decking

If you have the space in your backyard, incorporate a stunning water garden that features many elements, including surrounding decking and a walkway, so you can fully immerse yourself in the space. This stunning expanse of water, complete with glacial boulders and a wooden walkway snaking through it, was designed by award-winning garden designer Jo Alderson and built by The Garden Design Company.

2. Create A Water-Loving Rain Garden

With the change in climate resulting in more regular and heavy downpours, get creative with ways to manage the rainwater and use it to your advantage. A sustainable garden idea is to connect downpipes with chains or channels to shallow dips that are planted with plants that can withstand getting waterlogged.

3. Build A Natural Swimming Pool

Designed to blend in harmoniously with the landscape, a natural swimming pool resembles a pond but is carefully designed to be both a delight to swim in while also offering the opportunity to enjoy watching the likes of damselflies skimming the surface.

4. Include A Wildlife Pond

The aim of a wildlife pond is to emulate natural water pools with an organic, informal shape, where there will be both areas of shade and sun. Almost as soon as you have constructed one you’ll see dragonflies appearing from nowhere to skim across the surface, beginning the parade of creature as they discover this new habitat among your wildlife garden. To help attract a wide range of wildlife, plant at the water’s edge and sparingly in the water, and create contoured accessible banks and sloping ‘beaches,’ with areas for cover as well as open spots.

5. Connect Different Zones With A Shallow Rill

Often running between fountains and ponds, rills are shallow channels along which water flows gently from one area to another, and work in gardens of all sizes. They can create a strong sense of perspective, dividing the outdoor space as part of your garden zoning and leading the eye to a focal point.

6. Go For A More Formal Pond Design

Ponds of still water have wonderful reflective qualities, to mirror trees, the sky, or buildings, depending on where you position them. The slightest breeze will also add sparkle and movement to the surface. Formal ponds are designed as crisp geometric shapes – whether circles, ovals, squares or rectangles – and look appropriate set in lawns or in paving as a patio idea. They can be at ground level or built up above with capped edges, which could double as seating. The scale of a formal garden pond is important to keep all areas in the garden in proportion.

7. Create A Focal Point With A Fountain

Water features have graced gardens for centuries, with garden fountain ideas being among the earliest. Early wall fountains were driven by gravity, but by the 18th century, pumps were used to feed the water through.

8. Keep It Simple With A Repurposed Water Container

Finding interesting containers to use as a water garden idea – from half barrels to animal drinking troughs – is a fabulous way to introduce the soothing sound of water to your plot.

9. Attract Feathered Friends With A Bird Bath

Even introducing a simple bird bath idea will encourage wildlife into your garden, providing a reliable, clean source of water for birds to drink from and also to bathe in to clean and preen their feathers. Bird baths can be especially important when natural sources are either frozen in winter or dried up in summer.

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