Whether it’s a simple birdbath, a trickling fountain, or a lush pond with water lilies and lotus—water features can bring charm and a sense of serenity to any backyard. They soothe us with peaceful trickling and attract birds, frogs, and pollinators into our landscape. Here are some design features to let your thoughts begin to flow!
Bringing a fountain into the garden is like moving a houseplant into your room. It breathes life into the space, along with a sense of freshness and serenity—and fountains come in so many shapes and styles!
Tiered water fountains bring a graceful presence to your yard. Think of fountains you’d find in Mediterranean courtyards, plazas, and formal gardens. Alternatively, you might desire a zen element. Imagine water trickling into a series of bowls, lending constant soothing music to your outdoor oasis. Or, you can recreate a natural waterfall look, like a gentle stream that drops into successive steps of pools. Each style has its own special beauty and magic.
Wall fountains are a great way to leverage your vertical dimension if you don’t have a lot of horizontal space. Some come with individual spouts, like an old-fashioned drinking fountain in a European village. Others flow in a sheet of water, like a gentle waterfall over a rock face in the mountains. They may be small or large, depending on your available space, and they make a great addition to a living green wall.
Water-loving plants are one of the great perks of creating a pond. You can grow gorgeous floating lotus, water lily, and water hyacinth. They shade the pond to decrease algae growth and absorb nutrients to help keep the water clean. The margins of ponds also provide ideal places for horsetail, rushes, marsh marigolds, and many more wetland species!
Adding Fish to your pond will excite the kids, fertilize your aquatic plants, and help keep the mosquitoes down. They may consume algae and even promote habitat for frogs! Consider adding a small species—like Red Shiners, Mosquito Fish, or Fathead Minnows—so they have enough room to thrive in a backyard pond. With such a vibrant landscape, you’re sure to impress your patio guests and even garner some admiration from the wildlife that you’ll attract!
Water features don’t have to be big and elaborate. Even a simple birdbath brings a sense of peace, attracts many feathered friends, and helps pollinators that are so important to our gardens. The classic basin on top of a stone pedestal is a perennial favorite, but birdbaths come in a variety of shapes. You can set them on top of old stumps, rocks, or even a secluded nook in the garden. A water agitator can help keep the mosquitoes away, and a de-icer in the winter will give the birds a warm oasis during the cold months. Remember to change the water at least once per week to keep it fresh.
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier local garden center and nursery near you. We are here to answer all your plant questions and make gardening easy.