Brown frog head peeking up from a pond which is covered in pondweed.

Working with Water – How to incorporate water in your garden design.

There are few sounds more peaceful than the sound of water, and when planning your garden, it is likely that you’ll want to consider ways of including water in your design. There are various benefits to adding water to your garden; some of which I’ll cover here.

1: The sensory appeal
Water, whether running or still, draws the eye and creates a peaceful area. Whether it be a fountain, a wildlife pond, or even a mere birdbath – adding water will provide beauty and unique planting opportunities. Yellow flag irises and water lilies look stunning on ponds as does Sedge, overhanging the water, supplying dappled shade and food for visiting birds. The delightful sound of a frog plopping into the water on a hot day; a glimpse of a damselfly – water in your garden brings with it a wealth of sensory delights.

2: The visiting wildlife
Even a pond made from a washing up bowl sunk into the ground will attract wildlife – however, I am aiming for something rather grander when I include ponds in my garden designs! There are several benefits to having a pond in your garden, and the visiting wildlife is a big one. Frogs, toads, and newts will demolish slugs and mosquito larvae; birds will be attracted by the water to drink and bathe, and with them comes natural pest control as they pick off greenfly – and they help to pollinate your trees and flowers, as well as just being lovely to watch. If you have children or grandchildren, a pond-dipping session is always a winner – jars of tadpoles will excite and enthral just as much as they did when you were a child. You could easily transform a disused area of your garden by adding a pond and perhaps an insect hotel – a haven for wildlife and point of interest for your family. Wildlife ponds can be built safely by incorporating a gradual slope with a beach area, so that any wildlife falling in can easily climb out again.

3: The wow factor
Having water in your garden gives it a little bit of extra magic. A wildlife pond can look stunning with suitably chosen water-loving plants in full bloom, bursting with amphibians and insects. A water feature with running water; a fountain, or a birdbath offer a variety of remarkable benefits. It has been demonstrated in scientific studies that listening to running water actively calms the mind, as one’s brain is proven to relax when immersed in nature – by a babbling brook, in a forest full of trees swaying and rustling in the wind, and yes, in one’s own garden when the right elements are replicated. An arbour overlooking a pond, or a water feature will become a much-loved spot in which to sit and read or simply relax and meditate while gazing at the water.

4: The environmental impact
During the last century, 70% of natural ponds have been lost in the UK, therefore providing ponds within our own gardens has a wider impact than you might realise. If you build one, wildlife will be attracted to it and begin to thrive again, creating a tiny ecosystem in your own garden whilst creating a ripple effect of successful pollination, reproduction, feeding and hydrating many different species of wildlife. If you’d like to talk more about how to incorporate a pond into your garden, please do get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to help you.