Cool your garden down with water features

Summer and water just go together. The ocean, a lake, or a creek — something about being near the water is peaceful.

You may be lucky enough to have a swimming pool or fishing pond on your property, but that is not an option for most of us. Still, there are ways to bring water to your garden setting.

A pedestal birth bath is always a good choice. They are simple, easy, almost maintenance-free and a traditional way to add water to the garden. Plus, they provide hours of entertainment watching creatures enjoy a splish-splash in the water.

Get tired of using it as a water bath? They make a fun planter for sedums and moss.

Another easy option is the glazed pot fountains. Not all are really glazed pots. The fountains come in several different materials and sizes, such as sleek concrete sculptural shapes and more colorful resin designs.
I’m partial to the concrete, they seem to blend into the landscape and provide a surprise when discovered. I am sure you can find one to match your style and garden design.

These container fountains have a pump and recycle the water once filled, making them a good choice for a patio or porch. Often they have a small LED light feature. Set up is quick, but you do need a power source. The foundations are fun, and you could have lights and the babbling sounds of water ready to go in an afternoon.

You could install this type of fountain in a garden bed. Take your time to make sure the ground is level and firm; this will help the pump work correctly. Look for a pump with a solar power option; it makes a good substitute for running electricity to the foundation.

Over the years, I have toyed with the idea of a small sunken pond in my lower backyard. It would be tiny, maybe the size of a washtub.

Several of my neighbors have medium-size ponds with fish in their gardens. They are pretty, and many different animals stop by for a drink. Amazingly, the fish are of little interest to the other wildlife and stay alive through the seasons.

To install a small sunken pond, first, you need to dig a hole. Add a layer of sand, then the pond liner.
Next, you cover the liner with stones. This may sound cosmetic, but the rocks also hold the liner in place. Finally, it is time to add the pump and water.

Adding the pump is an opportunity to be creative. Maybe your water spouts through a fish, a lion’s head, or falls from a pitcher. If a decorative spout is not your thing, you may want to add a few water plants to naturalize the pond. These ponds are beautiful, and if you are willing to dig, there is no limit on size or shape.

While touring a friend’s garden for the first time, I commented on the lovely pond and footbridge that was the centerpiece of her garden. It was definitely bigger than your average backyard fishpond; I mean, after all, it had a bridge. The surrounding gardens were beautiful and reflected the hours of labor and love invested, so it came as no surprise that she and her husband had dug the pond and built the bridge. What a project! What an unexpected feature for her landscape!

For now, the water feature at the little house on a big hill will be me with the hose, letting the pup have a drink and the neighbor’s cat play in the spray (that silly cat loves it when I water the garden). I’ll leave the dreamy fountains and ponds to others and hope they continue to let me visit when I need to be near the water.