When creating new landscape designs for our clients, we love to provide options that include water features. Sometimes folks might balk at the idea — perhaps they’re picturing massive, ostentatious presentations of water features that just wouldn’t fit in a standard size yard — but once they’ve had the opportunity to see our design recommendations, more often than not our clients end up embracing these ideas.
You see, water features have this rare power of being not only a beautiful design element, and possess practical functionality that might surprise you.
The rejuvenating effect of water
Waterfalls, for instance, produce what is known as “The Waterfall Effect” (or sometimes referred to as the Lenard effect or spray electrification). Studies show that when water splashes and collides with itself — think of waves breaking on the shore or the spray that is created by waterfalls — that negative ions are released into the air. These negative ions not only contribute to improved air quality, but they also can produce a feeling of refreshment when we breathe them.
Not only do they provide this sense of refreshment, they also can combat feelings of stress and depressions, help improve sleep, boost our immune system, increase feelings of alertness, and positively affect our overall mood. Not bad, huh? And this says nothing of the relaxing, meditative qualities that the sounds of water features can produce.
Research on the subject is still ongoing, but it is increasingly pointing in the direction that living near water — areas called “blue spaces” — has a positive effect on the body and the mind. This isn’t simply limited to the ocean, lakes, or rivers. Even water features like fountains have a positive effect.
So, if given the opportunity, why wouldn’t you want to bring more of the natural world into your patio or backyard environment? You get wonderful aesthetic benefits, a place for conversation and reflection, and the relaxing, rejuvenating effects of water!
Small water feature ideas to enhance the mood of your home
Small, lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and designed in a vast array of styles, the tabletop fountain is a great solution for households that are looking for a water feature for their patios or yards, but feel they might not have the space for a more “traditional” fountain.
Just perusing the options online, you’ll see a striking variety of tabletop fountains, from statue-style sculptures, single or tiered bowl fountains, organic wood and stone styles, wall and column configurations, and so much more.
Not only do these tabletop fountains produce the rich, relaxing bubbling sound of a fountain, but many of them also come with lighting kits, which add an increased visual ambience to the aural atmosphere fountains can provide. This gives your space a focal point that can be enjoyed by one and all.
Here’s a great way to add some visual interest to your patio and outdoor space that is two-fold — you get a beautiful piece of art with the birdbath itself, and you also get the joy of bathing birds visiting your yard, singing their songs and displaying their colorful plumage.
Much like the tabletop fountains, birdbaths come in a shocking array of colors, heights, styles, and materials. If you’re visualizing a birdbath, you’re probably picturing a concrete or glazed terra cotta style, as they are the most common examples of the form, but today’s birdbaths can be made from glass, plastic, metal, stone, marble, and just about every material that can maintain its integrity throughout the season and hold enough water for its visitors.
Birds, especially smaller species, are at risk of drowning, so it’s recommended that you keep your birdbath filled with about two to three inches of water at most. Additionally, an important feature of any birdbath is a perch. For those birdbaths with deep bowls, stones or other materials can be used to line the basin, so long as the birds are able to safely walk on them or grab them with their talons.
Birdbaths can also now be heated, making them useful for those birds looking for a quick (bur warm) dip all-year round.
Birdbaths must be kept clean, but chemicals should never be used, as they can harm the birds.
Yes, even small spaces can accommodate waterfalls! They don’t have to be huge, imposing pieces in your yard. They come in many, many sizes and arrangements, so if you think you don’t have room in your space, take a second look. You might be surprised!
If you’re also thinking, “Well, do I need to have a pond for my waterfall?” the answer is no. There are many pondless waterfall kits available, that, much like the fountains and birdbaths we described earlier, come in so many styles that you can be sure that you’ll find an option that aligns with your budget and home aesthetic.
If you’re wondering how the pondless systems work, they’re actually pretty simple. The part of the waterfall kit that you can see will often sit in a basin — one that is typically filled with gravel or some type of ornamental rock — where water is captured, and then sent through a pump system to be recirculated. It’s a relatively inexpensive, convenient, but no less beautiful or calming water feature that works in just about any space.
Your backyard oasis awaits!
The outdoors is a powerful elixir, one that can truly make us feel calm and at peace. At Greenhaven Landscapes, we love working with our clients to create spaces that become extensions of their homes and lives, places that they don’t feel like they have to use, but ones that they really want to use. Bringing these dreams to life — something that we’re proud to have done for over two decades now — is a rewarding experience for us, and for the homeowners we work with.
Are you looking for new and unique ways to turn your landscape into a dreamscape? Then look no further than Greenhaven! We’re here to help to have your very own landscape paradise.