Water is the life force that soothes and rejuvenates us all. The sound of a babbling brook, the rush of a waterfall, the gentle lapping at a lake’s edge, the rolling thunder of ocean waves, these draw us in and allow our busy brains to relax and meditate. We can’t all live by the sea or beside a river or lake, but we can recreate a little of the beauty and calming sounds by adding a water feature to our homes. Here are some ideas for your outdoor living space that you can build yourself or have professionally installed.
A water curtain or rain curtain stands on its own. It can be placed anywhere in the garden or built in along one wall of a gazebo or covered porch. Place a water curtain to frame a feature flower garden. Set up by a sitting area where you entertain. Make it a central part of a small, private oasis for you to escape and be only you. The rainfall sounds of the water can be designed to your liking depending on how many holes there are and what is spread underneath. On hot sunny days, the water curtain will cool the air.
A water wall describes a setup where the water actually trickles or runs down the wall of your house. Alter the sound via small shelves or other textures on the wall’s surface. A filter keeps the water clean, but watch for any negative effects that the flowing water has on the wall’s surface such as wearing away the mortar between bricks and repair immediately.
Waterfalls and fountains are adaptable to any space as they can be built large or small, located almost anywhere and made from a variety of materials. An internet search will show you how to build your own (homebnc.com). Be as imaginative as you like. All that is required is a small pond or receptacle such as a large bucket or barrel to hold the water, a circulating pump, some pipes to direct the flow and assorted stones or other garden accents to add to the motif.
Small water features are perfect for placement on a tabletop close to your favourite sitting space. Bamboo is an essential material found in many Japanese gardens. Its hollow stems make it an adaptable conduit for water and can be fashioned easily into a minimalistic arrangement. A selection of colourful stones shine under the gentle flow of water.
Perhaps the most common water feature is the familiar birdbath. Designs abound and they are an obvious draw for birds as any source of water is. Be mindful of the attraction water has for animals and don’t be surprised if you discover a few furry friends enjoying a romp. Also remember that children will naturally want to splash and play in any source of water and they must always be supervised.