Spending more time outdoors is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and boost your Vitamin D levels, but many families shun their backyards due to a lack of interest. Making a rectangle of grass into a peaceful and comforting sanctuary encourages everyone to get outside. Water features like decorative outdoor water fountains go a long way in adding beauty and appeal to any outdoor space, and there’s a perfect feature for even the smallest yards.
Are you working with a postage stamp sized side yard in a tightly packed subdivision? Not to worry, you have plenty of space-saving water feature options like
- Rain chains: These metal or bamboo chains hang from your home’s gutters and create beautiful music every time it rains
- Small, freestanding pump fountains: Skip the plumbed water supply and plug a small fountain into an outdoor outlet to enjoy soothing water sounds without so much splashing or space
- Mini-ponds: Turn half a wine barrel or an old wheelbarrow into a cute mini-pond by adding a few square feet of pond liner, an inexpensive circulating pump, and some water plants like lotuses and lilies.
Anchoring the Medium Sized Yard
When you’ve got at least 500 square feet to work with, you can move up to the larger and more dramatic water features. Large fountains can still be self-contained with the right pump. Small solar panels help you run pumps for ponds and fountains without running underground wiring through the yard. You don’t need a huge yard to enjoy a small in-ground pond or water garden either. By digging out a few shallow depressions and lining them with pond liner, concrete, or mortared stones, you can add an oasis that nurtures flowers and greenery regardless of your summer climate. Most medium sized yards are too small to support a pond big enough for a large koi fish population, but even the smallest mini-ponds can host a single fish if you add a filtration unit for keeping the water clean. Locate any ponds or fountains with large basins in areas that get at least 4 hours of sun a day to make sure the water is regularly sanitized and to control algae growth.
Flowing Through the Largest Yards
If your home is surrounded by a quarter acre or more of yard, you can create a chain of different water features that all flow into each other. Start with one or more large and eye-catching decorative outdoor water fountains at the front of the property, then connect the basin of that fountain to a stone-lined creek bed or staircase where the water can flow downward to the backyard. Circulate the water into a pond or water garden that stretches along the edge of the property, then circulate it around again with another chain of pump-powered fountains leading back to the front yard. Add a pool or more manmade creeks into the mix and you can make any property into a cool and calm place.
The tiniest barrel fountains and the largest natural swimming pool ponds all require similar maintenance. Algae can grow in any water whether it’s stagnant or moving, so either use algaecides that are safe for plants and animals or stick with a UV filtration unit to prevent slimy clogs from ruining your water feature pumps. Keep water moving to prevent mosquitoes and other pests from using your water feature. Leave plenty of room around each water feature to account for splashing so there’s no damage to your home’s exterior or a soil erosion problem, even if the water features you use claim to prevent splashes completely.