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Water Features

Posted on 15 January 2011




April 19, 2007
by Monte Kearns for the Landscape Network

The main thing about water features is the excitement that they bring to a landscape. Water Features can take a somewhat simple landscape, and turn it into something that can really make it feel alive. Our first water feature was in a home that we purchased in Austin, TX back in 2001. I remember it being a big selling point with the house and our family was really impressed by the back yard in general. The house was o.k., pretty standard suburban living, but it was the landscaping that made the house feel special. The house was built in the 1970s, so the landscape was mature with big trees and shrubs. The couple that we purchased the house from almost seemed somewhat sad to see it go, as it was their hobby for years to tend to their yard and make it beautiful. The main thing that we loved about the water feature was the sound that it produced in the yard. It could be heard from inside the house, which was very relaxing and enjoyable. The water feature came with 3 japanese koi that I had to assure the sellers would be taken care of. I had a little experience with fish and felt pretty confident that I could maintain their health. The children loved to feed the koi and we always made a family ritual of going out to feed the fish with our coffee. To this day, we spend most of our time outdoors when the weather allows it and our pond is the main attraction in the back yard. We added water plants the second year and they really made the water feature come to life. We didn’t know who had constructed it, but it seemed to be very solid. I have heard of water feature nightmares, where leaks can’t be found and they end up getting filled in with dirt because they weren’t built right. I guess we were lucky as we never had any problems with ours.

We were able to enjoy our first water feature for 3 years before I was transferred to Denver, CO in 2004. We looked at probably 2 dozen homes before finding a great bungalow home in the Highlands Neighborhood just west of downtown Denver. The yard at this house was much smaller, but we knew it had potential. It wasn’t anything as nice as the yard we had in Austin, but the deal on the house was right, and we purchased it with the intentions of having the landscaping redone. The first summer, we pretty much left the yard alone as it was much effort just to relocate and get settled in. In the Spring of 2005, I started looking into having a landscaping company re-design my yard. This was a fun process and the company that we hired seemed to have a lot of experience with water features. The design process was enjoyable, and the whole family was really excited to see what it would turn into. The design that they came up with included a water feature that was much larger than the one we had in Austin. It’s hard to picture exactly what a water feature is going to look like on a top view landscape design, so we had to trust our landscaping company that they had something really good in store. The end result was amazing, and we love the new water feature. It always takes a few years for the plantings to fill in near a water feature, so it looked a little barren, but as the plants filled in, it turned into something even better than what I had envisioned. Just as we did in Austin, we still spend our summer times outdoors here in Denver. We love our water feature and look forward to enjoying it for years to come! We would recommend to anyone that wants some more interest in their landscaping to consider installing a water feature – they are an instant hit!

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