Why is it that so many people want to travel to the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or other tropical destinations? How come oceanfront properties are so expensive? What is it about camping near a pond, waterfall, or river?
Humans seem to thrive on proximity to water. It can make us calmer, more creative, less stressed, and healthier all-around. Despite a fair amount of time and effort spent trying to figure out our connection to the beautiful blue sea and other forms of water, scientists don’t yet understand what’s behind that bond.
Of course, not everyone can afford a waterfront home or jet-setting getaways to sandy beaches lapped by azure waves. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the mood-boosting benefits of H20 right in your backyard! We’ve rounded up eight ways to incorporate a water feature into your next landscaping project.
1. Perks to Personalize Your Pool
When you think of a backyard swimming pool, what comes to mind? Is it a rickety, round, above-ground monstrosity filled with shouting children (who may or may not be peeing in it)? Or a rectangular in-ground pool made for swimming laps? There’s nothing wrong with either of those options, but these days there are tons of ways to perk up a backyard pool.
Consider a stonework fountain wall bordering one side of the pool, with spillways placed every few feet for both visual and audio appeal. A glass-tiled water wall lends instant glamour, and a spa-like ambiance, to even the smallest pool or jacuzzi.
2. From Here to Infinity
If you’ve got some extra Benjamins burning a hole in your bank account, an infinity pool makes a dramatic statement. Also known as zero edge pools and disappearing edge pools, these marvels of trompe-l’oeil are sure to impress your guests. They will also make your family feel as though they’re living in a five-star resort.
3. Freestanding Fountain Wall
A fountain or water wall doesn’t have to be tacked onto a pool or pond like an afterthought. Choose one that’s freestanding for a truly attention-grabbing landscape element.
A large, vertical water structure can also help to subtly divide the purpose-driven space of your backyard. Place one at the edge of your outdoor living room or kitchen to draw a demarcation between that area built for socializing, and the remainder of the lawn.
5. Fabulous Fountains for All
A landscaping water feature that is a bit more accessible to the hoi polloi is a fountain. Fountains are a fantastic way to introduce water elements into your outdoor living space. They are at once a focal point and a relaxing ambient sound source.
Another reason fountains are so popular with homeowners? They come in a staggering variety of sizes, shapes, styles, and materials. Whether you choose a rustic, earthy, stone fountain, a sleek architectural piece, a whimsical cherub or animal sculpture, or the classic tiered fountain, it’s a cinch to find something that complements your outdoor aesthetic.
6. A Captivating Koi Pond
If there’s anything more relaxing than simply sitting and gazing out over the water — be it a stream, river, pond, lake, or the infinite horizon of the sea — it’s watching fish swim lazily to and fro in that water. A peaceful koi pond provides both!
It’s important to do your research before adopting koi; like any other pet, they require a certain living environment and an initial investment of money, time, and labor. Once you build the pond and stock it with these beautiful fish, however, its upkeep isn’t any more challenging than that of an indoor aquarium.
In fact, koi are hardier than goldfish or tropical fish. Despite what you may have heard, they’re not necessarily expensive fish to buy, either — you can pick some up for under $10, and they are great breeders.
And did you know that there are even koi shows, much like dog, cat, or livestock shows, in which the very finest of these fish compete for titles like Best in Size, Best in Variety, and Grand Champion?
7. Warn Away Unwelcome Wildlife
Maybe, instead of introducing animals into your yard, you want to scare away unwanted visitors. Have you ever heard of a bamboo rocking fountain? It’s a fairly common water feature in Japanese gardens, where it’s used to frighten off deer and other animals who could pose a danger to gardens.
The principle is simple: water drips from one bamboo pipe into another one, with the second resting on a pivot. When that pipe fills, it tips on its pivot and impacts a stone to make a sudden clacking noise. Both that noise and the unexpected movement will send shy critters like deer dashing for safety — but they are delightfully mesmerizing, even meditative, for humans.
8. Babbling, Burbling Brooks
Maybe you searched high and low for a property that featured a stream or brook, but were unable to find out in your desired location — or your price range. Not to worry. You don’t need Mother Nature to enjoy the soothing sounds of a stream in your very own backyard.
Using a variety of natural elements such as boulders, smaller rocks and pebbles, and of course plant life, gives this water element a more organic feel than a pool or fountain. That’s ideal for anyone whose aesthetic is more laid-back and down-to-earth — no pun intended!
Final Thoughts on Fountains and Other Water Features
Adding a water feature to your property also tips the balance in favor of your home’s value when it comes time to sell. There are plenty of buyers out there who’d love to acquire a koi pond, waterfall, or manmade stream without having to put in the work themselves.
However, choose a water element that elevates your family’s enjoyment of the landscaping, right here and right now. In addition to boosting your backyard’s appeal, it might also benefit your health!
If you are thinking of selling soon, bookmark our blog for more informative, entertaining posts on staging a home, home improvement ROI, realtor tips and tricks, and more!