Water features: an oasis of calm in your garden
Pools, streams and waterfalls, we look at how to bring the tranquil influence of water features to your own back garden
There is something calming about the presence of water in the garden and it can work wonders to transform your outdoor space into a natural haven, not to mention bring ample environmental benefits to local wildlife while improving your own mental wellbeing. This year the trend is all about the natural look, with subtle waterfalls, natural ponds and wild swimming pools. We look at how you can introduce the look in your outdoor space.
There are noted health benefits to having a water feature or pond in your garden. With the chaos of our everyday lives, it’s easy to feel removed from nature, but the sound of running water and exposure to water can reduce stress and increase overall well-being. The presence of flowing water in your garden helps to produce negative ions which are known to increase the production of serotonin – the chemical that lifts our mood – in the body, calming our minds and helping us relax.
Nature in abundance
Encouraging wildlife to your garden is all the easier when you have a natural source of water. Ponds and water features will inevitably attract a wide range of creatures from dragonflies to birds who come to bathe. Creating a beached area of a pond will help animals like frogs, who can shelter, breed and stay out of sight of potential predators. Hedgehogs are another creature that enjoy a gentle sloped pond, so they can make the most of the water without falling in. The presence of algae on the pond will encourage water invertebrates including snails, pond skaters and water boatmen. Come autumn, keep your pond clean and free from decaying plant material and fallen leaves to give local wildlife the optimum chance.
Introducing a pond can transform your garden into a family orientated space and kids will love spotting wildlife and learning about the natural habitat beyond their back doors. Obviously, safety is crucial so be sure to position the pond where it can be easily seen from the house, design your pond with gently sloping edges and think about safety fencing around the pond like trellising or mesh wire. For a natural border to the pond, grow plants like fern which will prevent easy access to the water and look good too.
Natural swimming pools
As the trend for wild swimming gains momentum and with the natural garden look on the rise, there has been a steady increase in chemical-free swimming pools. Natural swimming pools typically comprise of the swimming area and the regeneration area, with plants and the likes of shingle filtering the water. They can blend seamlessly in with the garden or make a statement, and offer a healthy dip in clean clear water. They can also be heated if needed to 30 degrees.