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Pond Perspective

How to add pizzazz to your landscape with a fish pond—or a pondless waterfall.

When homeowners think about improving their landscape, they often focus on how to make their lawn look better, or perhaps how to make their home look more appealing with new foundation plantings. We all know how a thick stand of new turf or a well-thought-out perennial garden can really improve the curb appeal of your property.

Pond Perspective

Adding a new bluestone patio or reclaimed granite walkway are additional ways to develop your landscape while providing both function and form. All of these landscape ideas can add a lot to a property’s aesthetic appeal as well as it is overall value.

However, adding a well-designed and properly constructed water feature can have an even greater impact on your landscape. A fish pond or a pondless waterfall can add an unmatched “wow” factor that provides enjoyment for friends and family for years to come while serving as a signature piece of your landscape.

A water feature such as a fish pond or pondless waterfall can be fantastic additions to your landscape. Of course, as is the case with any project that is undertaken around the house, a little planning goes a long way and can make the difference between being the talk of the neighborhood, or perhaps a time when you wish you had never heard the term “water feature.” Overall, a few considerations will ensure that your new water feature installation is a success.

Pond Perspective

First, the location of your water feature in your landscape is perhaps the most important step as you are planning your project. This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t matter how wonderful your fish pond looks if it unexpectedly interrupts the flow of water across your property, because suddenly not only do you have a pond in your back yard, you also have one in your basement. So siting your water feature relative to your home or any other structures—and the overall existing landscape conditions on your property—is imperative when determining the location of your feature.

Next up: determining exactly what kind of water feature you would like to incorporate into your landscape. Would you like to have a pond, and if so, do you want to have fish? Another consideration involves determining the layout of the water feature. Will the feature have a waterfall and stream that leads into a pond? Will it simply be a reflection pool with an aerating pump? Or perhaps there could be a waterfall that sends water cascading down a stream into a bed of gravel or stones? These are all important questions when choosing exactly what kind of water feature you would like to have in your landscape.

Your budget and whether or not you would like to have fish will ultimately effect the form and function that your water feature ends up taking. For example, say that more than anything, you have always wanted to open up your bedroom window on a warm summer’s eve to the sound of water gently falling downstream, playfully dancing its way between worn river rocks. Additionally, you have noticed a number of handsome Cooper Hawks that live in the woods behind your house and keep your family cat on his paws at all times. Of course, when your cat is not keeping an eye to the sky, he’s got his nose to the ground and claws at anything that moves—including the fish in your pond. Fish also make a tasty meal for hawks, herons, raccoons, and other predators. On Nantucket, for instance, blue herons have so decimated most fish ponds that homeowners have to cover the ponds at dusk with netting.

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