Landscape water features are a great way of incorporating art into an outdoor living space. Water features, whether complementary pieces or a focal point in the landscape, are important for more than aesthetics; the sound of trickling water is good for helping your feel calm and relaxed.
Portland residents have it lucky with regards to water features since the Pacific Northwest has mild temperatures that allow them to install just about any design that they desire. If you wish to install a water feature but you are not sure about which type to choose, consider the benefits that each offers and compare them to your landscaping needs.
Below you will find the pros and cons of various common water features:
Natural pools are one of the most basic and popular landscape water features that homeowners love. A natural pool is usually built by lining a hole in the ground using a rigid or flexible liner. Submersible filtration systems and pumps are critical to ensuring that the water stays clean and you can add an artificial waterfall or fountain to help drown out the pump’s noise. Such water features are the easiest to install and look the most natural.
- Look natural
- Easy to install
- Pond can be as large or small as you prefer
- Require a lot of digging
- It can be challenging to keep the water clean and algae free
- Flexible liners are susceptible to leaks and punctures
A wall fountain, such as these from Luxe Water Walls, can be a great option for residents if space is an issue when it comes to water features. Wall fountains come in several vertical water feature designs that work great for compact spaces. This water feature has a basin that catches water and circulates using a pump and a set of pipes or tubes that are out of sight behind the fountain.
- Available as kits that are easy to assemble or as ready-to-plug-in units
- Great for compact spaces
- Depending on the design, there might not be a considerable price difference between buying a wall fountain kit and actually making your own.
- Wall fountains that don’t have an adjustable valve don’t allow you to regulate the amount of water flowing down the fountain.
Container ponds are yet another excellent landscape water feature for small spaces. A container pond can be made out of a wine barrel cut in half or a glazed pot. However, the water features still come in kits. In a space with a diameter as little as 3 feet, it is possible to include both fish and aquatic plants such as water lilies or even grasses.
- A great way to test having a landscape feature in your yard.
- Ideal for compact spaces.
- Installation doesn’t require digging
- Sealing the feature to avoid leaking.
- If you have children, deep containers might pose a drowning risk.
- Cleaning a deep container might be difficult
Man-made streams are ideal for large yards that can be used by homeowners in Portland in conjunction with natural pools. One popular strategy is installing a stream whose course ends at a waterfall that pours into another landscape water feature.
- It is possible to create a natural scene in the landscaping by adding river rocks and planting decorative grasses.
- Great way to expand upon an already existing landscaping water feature.
- Ideal for informal landscapes
- Can be expensive to build and maintain.
- Streams that look best are not less than 15 feet in length, which may require much digging.
- A pump and plumbing system should be installed to route the water from the pond to the start of the stream.
It is important to always use a pump for circulating the water irrespective of your preferred landscape water feature. Circulating the water helps in detracting wasps, mosquitoes, and other insects that prefer still water Ensure that the cleaners, filters, and pumps you use are appropriate if you would like to add plats or fish to any water feature designs. It is also important to be aware that water features that are installed by Portland residents are capable of attracting wildlife such as herons, racoons, and frogs.