Backyard Water Features: How to Build and Ideas

Article by 1 on February 6, 2013 under House Design category

A water feature can transform a boring backyard into a showcase. Water features are not just limited to fountains and ponds, though you have plenty of leeway when it comes to building those. When you are choosing a location, consider whether you wish to be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of your water feature from inside the house. Learn how to build backyard water features that add interest to your home appearance.

Backyard Water Feature in River Style

Backyard Water Feature in River Style

Steps of Building Backyard Water Features

First of all, you should prepare a shovel and some followings materials: landscaping fabric, rubber pond liner, water feature, rocks, gravel and water plants. After all the materials are ready, you can start your project.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before you dig, locate any utility lines by calling your local utility company. Do this several days in advance of your project. Lay out the location and size of your water feature and mark it with spray paint or flags. Dig out ponds and build up waterfalls.

Backyard Water Feature in Waterfall Style

Backyard Water Feature in Waterfall Style

Step 2: Install the Lining

Install landscaping fabric as a protective underlayment. Install a rubber pond liner over the entire water feature with no gaps for water leakage.

Step 3: Add the Mechanisms

Place in the pump housing and hose. Secure them in place and conceal them using large boulders. Attach the bubbler to the pump.

Step 4: Finish the Water Feature

Fill in the water feature with rock and gravel, making sure not to rip the rubber liner. Fill up the pond. Add life to your pond with plants, fish, and turtles. Make sure your pond is deep enough and your pump functions to maintain the system.

Ideas for Backyard Water Features

Classical Fountains – Decorate a fountain with reproductions of classical Greek or Roman statues, or statuary in that style. Buy a fountain decorated with classical statues or be creative and integrate a statue or two into an inexpensive, bare-bones fountain. Add statues of different sizes around a square, round or oval-shaped fountain to create different views from every angle. Use broken statues for a classical “Greek ruins” look and transform your backyard space to another place and time. Buy stone statues and pedestals with an aged, worn-down look; alternatively, you can chip, sand and break new statues to evoke a classical “museum” aesthetic.

Backyard Water Feature with Fountain

Backyard Water Feature with Fountain

Waterfalls – Add a waterfall to your backyard, but model it after the real thing. You can buy a kit with a pump and other materials for making a small waterfall or assemble the materials yourself. Look through some travel books for ideas for your model. Your choice of rock type and plant life will help make your waterfall look more authentic. For example, to create a Polynesian lagoon-style waterfall, choose black lava rocks and hibiscus flowers. For a Japanese garden style, use a small cascade of light gray stones as a base and plant a cherry or plum tree near the waterfall.

Dramatic Backyard Pool and Water Feature

Dramatic Backyard Pool and Water Feature

Ponds – If you don’t want the sound of moving water in your back yard, add a pond for a quiet, tranquil water feature. Keep the pond small and simple to evoke the idea of a “meditative garden.” Surround your pond with rocks and add a small Japanese-style wooden footbridge for a touch of east Asia. A small pond can complement the clean, simple look of a Zen garden-style landscape. Complete the meditative pond area with sand or gravel instead of grass, large odd-shaped rocks and manicured shrubs. The bonus to this design is its low maintenance.

Garden Water Feature in Pond Style

Garden Water Feature in Pond Style

The use of water in a backyard landscaping scheme can add beauty and grace, regardless of the style. Take inspiration from other locations around the world, such as North Africa, Japan or Hawaii and integrate the beautiful elements of their backyard water features into your design. Any size of yard can benefit from a water feature, whether you choose a large, intricately tiled fountain as a decorative focal point, or a small pond for sitting and meditating.

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