Water Garden Design

Water Garden Design -Water garden pond design, Home water garden.

Water Garden Design

Water Garden Design - Learn all the design criteria for your very own water garden pond design to enhance your very own home watergarden.

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Water gardens have been gaining in popularity over the past several years and are fast becoming one of the most popular projects for do-it-yourselfers.

The benefits of a water garden to a homeowner are numerous including:

    Increased property values
    Relaxing atmosphere
    Aesthetic value gained for your garden

Before we start talking about the actual water garden design, let's go over the supplies that you are going to need once you start to implement your water garden.

Most of these items will cost money, so you want to consider what you'll have to purchase as you consider the size and intricacy of your future water feature.

Water garden supplies

Water Garden Design - Supplies

Water Garden Design - Supplies:
    Pond Liner or preformed pool
    Necessary excavation tools.
    Shovels and picks for smaller ponds and a backhoe for larger projects.
    Garden Hose for layout purposes
    Straightedges such a straight form boards or aluminum floats
    Pump and filtration systems
    Edging materials or Border or Coping such as bricks, stone etc.
    Builders Sand or Commercial Liner Underlayment
    Aquatic plants Fish Water feature such as a waterfall (optional)
    Lighting system for underwater lighting

You don't need to go out and buy anything yet, just keep it in mind as you continue down the path of planning. Let's move on to the water garden design phase.

Water Garden Design - Analyze Your Location

The next step in Water Garden Design is to analyze Your Location You will want to carefully consider the following factors when deciding where to place your home water feature or pond.

Exposure To Sunlight: If you wish to have abundant water plants and a large assortment of border plants, consider giving adequate sunlight for these plants. Many water lilies require from 5 to 8 hours of full sun per day to survive.

Views from the Home: Another important Water Garden Design consideration is, be sure that you have great views from inside your house and from deck areas or patios.

Do not locate it so far away that you can't enjoy it. Consider your neighbors in the location of your pond: Even though you may find it calming and restful, not all people enjoy the sound of a waterfall or running water.

Start thinking about where you will place a pump and water filter and the noise that they may cause. You don't want to get your water feature in place only to have the neighbors start complaining about it.

Consider site drainage

Consider Soil Drainage For Your Pond

Soil Drainage

Make sure you are in a sandy, well drained location. If the soil is boggy or soggy, the weight of a filled pond will distort the soil and give you big maintenance problems.

Do not place the pond in a low area of your garden, where surface runoff will continuously contaminate the pond, putting your fish's health at risk. In short, place your pond at a slightly higher elevation than the surrounding landscape.

Tree Proximity

If deciduous trees are nearby, this will cause a big maintenance headache for you. Ponds tend to be leaf "magnets" in the fall and the leaves have to be continuously collected off the surface of the water or they sink to the bottom of the pond and decay - harming your fish population.

Utility Access

Be sure you have access to proper water, electricity, and drainage facilities for your water garden. If you install a filtration system, you will need buried conduit back to a breaker box. Also proper installation of low voltage lighting will require separate electrical circuits to the pond location.

Check With Local Authorities

In many instances locating a pond in your yard requires a permitting process to ensure things are installed properly per the local regulations and codes. Depth of a pond is of special concern in many locals and that should be thoroughly investigated. The use of electricity around the pond may also require permitting. Don't start until you've checked with your local building department.

What size pond is right for you?

Water Garden Design - Pond Size?

Decide On Your Pond Size

The larger the pond, the higher the cost to install and maintain. It's also important to note that a large pond will require more work on your part.

If you are in doubt or have no experience with water garden design, start small. You can always graduate to a larger home water garden later as you become more comfortable with the process.

Pond Capacity Calculation:

If you design an irregular shaped pond on your computer, you can come up with a surface area very simply. If not, you will have to estimate the surface area, or sketch it out on graph paper with one square representing one square foot and just count the squares for your square footage.

Next you need to get an average depth for your pond. Multiply the surface area x the average depth to obtain cubic footage of your water. Example: Surface Area of Pond = 138 square feet Average Depth = 2'-6".

Multiply 138 x 2.5 = 345 Cubic Feet Next, we need to calculate the amount of gallons of water required to fill the pond. The formula is simple, multiply the number of cubic feet x 7.5. The pond mentioned above would hold 2,587.5 gallons of water.

Why is this important?

You will need the total size in gallons of the pond in order to purchase the correct size pump and filtration system. This number will also serve as a guide as to the amount of fish your pond will support.

Typically, if you plan on supporting a fish population in your water garden design, you should have a circulation pump/filtrations system that can circulate at least all the water in your pond each hour. In our example, that would be a pump that could pump about 2,500 gph (gallons per hour).

If you intend on planting Japanese Koi fish in your pond, plan on installing a filtration system as well. This can be a small swimming pool type system with a sand filter and uv filter as well. You should plan on introducing water supply nozzles at several locations around the pond to keep the water circulating properly.

Also skimmers should be installed around the perimeter of the pond. The exact number depends on the size and shape of your water garden. Just remember to keep the water moving through the filtration/pump system and this often means that the outlets and inlets need to be somewhat remote from each other.

Decide on pond depth

Decide On Pond Depth

Consider Pond Depth

If you live in a cold weather area, and your pond will freeze over, make your pond at least 30" in depth. If you have Japanese Koi and you live in a warm weather area and the pond will not freeze over, 18 to 24" will suffice and you will be able to view the fish better.

If you intend on planting bog plants around the edges of your water garden, plan on adding an additional step in your pond or a ledge for these plants to rest. This ledge can be as little as 12" wide and vary in location around the perimeter of your pond.

A good water garden design tip is to place the ledge on the opposite side of the pond that you walk or view to pond so you look over the water into the bog plants. Water depth of the ledge should be 6 to 8".

Lay Out Your Water Garden Design:

Now that you've taken the time to think about some important considerations such as size, location, cost, and building requirements, it's time to think about the actual design of your pond.

Hiring a professional specializing in water garden design is one option, but really isn't necessary. You can get great ideas by looking at photos of other peoples water gardens online. If you are planning to use a preformed pool to create your pond, you should head out to Home Depot or another home improvement store to see what shapes and sizes are available.

A liner will give you a lot more flexibility in water garden design, but they also require a bit more work to install. If you do decide to use a liner, you can go with any shape that you want.

Head out to the area of your yard where you'd like to place the pond with a garden hose or some thick rope and play around with different layouts to see what appeals to you.

Once you've decided on your water garden design, you'll want to use a straight edged shovel to set your design. With the hose or rope laid out, use the shovel to dig around the edge of your pond so the borders are set. It's time to move on to Water Garden Construction.

-OR- you can select from numerous additional watergarden articles in the drop-down list at the bottom of this page.

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Here's Some Additional Water Gardening Articles Here's Some Additional Water Gardening Articles

Water Gardens Home Page
Water Garden Design
Water Garden Construction
Water Garden Features
Water Garden Fish
Water Garden Maintenance
Water Garden Plants