Water gardens have been cultivated for thousands of years. The image of a well-stocked and man-made pond was even discovered painted on the wall of King Tut's tomb. Whether you are an urban apartment dweller or have acres of sprawling ranch, there are many types of water features that you can incorporate into your living space.
One of the easiest water features for the beginner to enjoy is a water fountain. These come in all shapes and sizes, from simple pots to elegant multi-tiered pedestals. The water in fountains is self-contained and no external plumbing is needed. You can also purchase fountains that incorporate chimes or other musical devices that produce soothing sounds. The only requirement for this type of water feature is a nearby outlet to provide electricity for the pump. Make sure that the plug is GFCI grounded, as are most outdoor plugs. These type of circuits provide an extra measure of safety when working around water.
A container garden is the ideal compromise between a fountain and a more elaborate project such as a ground pond. In addition to the calming sounds of the fountain, a container garden will allow you to exercise your green thumb. These can be purchased pre-made or you can create your own with just about any large container, such as an oversize flower pot or a barrel sawed in half. Whichever container you choose, the construction steps are the same. First, waterproof the container by covering the inside with plastic pond liner, securing it in place with heavy duty glue, fill with water and add plants. You'll also want to add a pump to help circulate the water and prevent it from stagnating.
This is perhaps the most challenging water feature for the do-it-yourselfer to construct, but at the same time also offers the most flexibility in planning your water feature. The first choice that you need to make is whether you want to use a pre-formed pond or a flexible liner. The pre-formed shells are the easiest for the first-time pond maker. Now comes the hard part: Digging. With both types of ponds, be sure to put a layer of sand down at the bottom of your hole before installing the feature. This will help smooth out any bumps at the bottom and provides a base for pond. Once the pond is installed, the next step is to rig up the plumbing and any features such as waterfalls and or fountains that you want to have. An important piece of equipment for larger ponds is a filter. This helps circulate the water and keep it crystal clear.
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