There is something about the gentle flow of water that is soothing to the soul. If you’ve been thinking about adding a water garden to your yard this summer, you can’t go wrong with a small pond and even a waterfall.
Photo by Pawel Bukowski
However, if you’re trying to create an eco-friendly environment, which most gardeners are, then you’ll want to follow these tips to conserve water and energy — as well as to make sure your plants are fed naturally, and algae and weeds are kept out without harsh chemicals or poisons.
One easy way to create a more eco-friendly water garden is to use solar power for things like landscaping lights, pumps and other equipment. Although you might pay a little more for the solar equipment up front, over time it will pay for itself in energy savings.
You’ll also know you’re doing something positive to reduce your carbon footprint. While you will have to replace batteries occasionally, overall, you’ll see a significant savings in energy costs required to run water garden equipment — and you’ll be doing the environment a favor by using a clean energy source.
An eco-friendly water garden also pays attention to the plants and animals in the area. Everything in nature works together to create a thriving place for plants and animals to live.
However, if you throw something out of balance, then your ecosystem becomes unbalanced and will require a lot more care than you probably want to give it. One of the most important parts of this equation is a circulation system that is efficient. This will keep oxygen levels at the proper level for both plants and animals. The last thing you want to do is add a water feature that only works to attract mosquitoes or harms plants you would like to see do well.
Unless you just finished building a new house and have a blank canvas of a yard, you’re going to have to consider the current landscaping design of your home. Think about how you can integrate water into your garden in a smart way.
For example, if there is a dry area in your garden, adding a small waterfall can create an oasis for thirsty plants and butterflies. If you’d like to add fish to your water feature, you’ll want to plan ahead for placement of pumps and aerators as well. Well-aerated ponds are healthier for fish, but the aesthetic of your garden is also important. You want to be sure you can tuck things away behind plants and in a dark corner of a water pond so equipment isn’t obvious.
It is tempting when your water needs freshened or you suddenly have a pond full of dead fish to start adding chemicals and additives in an effort to “fix” things. However, this may only create a bigger problem down the line as it impacts other animals and plants, and even the environment of the pond itself.
Instead, look to natural solutions, such as adding a fish that eats algae or specific aquatic plants. Your local garden center should have an aquatic expert who can help with these types of issues.
Once you have the water garden in place and everything is working together, make any changes very slowly. For example, if you wish to add goldfish and a few water plants, do your research, and then add just a few fish and a plant or two at first. You can always add more to your water garden later. It’s always best to proceed slowly if you want to keep things as eco-friendly as possible.
Creating a water garden gives you the ability to create an oasis in your yard that is truly unique. Not only will you enjoy sitting by your own bubbling brook, but you’ll know you’ve added something to your garden that helps plants and animals as well as adds beauty.
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