Create a water garden
Water is an important element, essential to all living things. It is also a versatile element – sometimes tranquil and placid, sometimes roaring and powerful. For many, water is a soothing element, promoting feelings of peacefulness and calm, and for some, it is even a healing element, providing relief from pain. Is it any wonder, then, that more and more people are adding backyard water gardens to their landscape design?
A water garden is a pool or pond – usually man-made, but sometimes natural – that contains aquatic plants. Many also contain fish (usually ornamental) and rocks, and some contain more elaborate ornamental features such as waterfalls, fountains or statues. Popular in ancient Asia and revitalized in Europe after the Renaissance, water gardens are now becoming a common sight in backyards across North America.
Water Garden Designs
Just as with regular gardens, there are many, many options for water garden design. Traditional Chinese water gardens follow the principles of Feng Shui. They should blend in with their surroundings and use natural materials as much as possible. Watch out for sharp angles pointing toward the house (these are considered "poison arrows"), and pay attention to the direction in which the water is flowing. If the garden is being built around a natural water source, respect its original direction as much as possible so as not to interrupt its chi.
Like Chinese water gardens, Japanese water gardens focus on nature, striving to evoke natural patterns and distill the beauty of the natural world into a compact space. Rocks are essential to Japanese water gardens and are used in very specific ways – as edging for the pond or as stepping stones over the water. In both cases, the rocks are chosen and set according to specific Japanese techniques (gogan-ishigumi and sawa-tari, respectively). Shaping and landscaping must also follow special pruning methods. And, of course, Japanese koi ponds require even...