Pond landscape design can function as an element in its own right or work as part of a more complex landscaping form such as a Japanese garden or tropical garden. In either scenario, pond landscape design should occupy a central position to all or part of the yard. This helps contribute to the feeling that one is looking at a natural scene rather than something deliberately manmade. Ponds in the tend to be found in the center of clearings or valleys. Centrally locating a pond in the middle of the yard or a rear quadrant thereof creates this same sense of convergence and isolation.
Ledges and greenery should surround the water in order to draw attention to the location. This is perhaps the one thing most commonly overlooked by amateur companies who attempt pond landscape design without the proper tools or sense of scale necessary to complete such an undertaking. A body of water that is merely a depression in the ground not only looks unnatural compared to its equivalent in the wild, but it also appears somewhat depressing in its own right. Adding a vertical element with lush, vibrant vegetation transforms it into a major point of interest.
This transformation can be even more powerful with the addition of a waterfall or natural swimming pool area. Running water conveys with it a powerful attraction factor that also has a very calming effect on the human mind. Waterfalls are built using special silent pumps and all natural materials (such as small boulders or limestone) to make them appear identical to rolling streams and rivers in the mountains.
A pond can either have an earth bottom or a gunite bottom covered in a layer of earth or stone that makes it look natural. Since most residential pond landscape design deals with a limited amount of space, the earth bottom ponds we normally find in municipal parks and large corporate campuses are impractical for a back yard element. They tend to silt up too quickly and present serious flood threats when heavy rains suddenly strike.
A disguised concrete bottom that contains hidden, silent pumps works much better for residential landscaping. It has just enough earth to look natural, but underneath the layer of mud are concealed mechanisms that maintain water flow and emergency drainage should the pond flood during heavy, unexpected rains. If fish are stocked, concealed aerator can be even be installed in the structure’s bottom.
Landscape lighting is absolutely essential to pond landscape design. At nighttime, few people will be able to see the surrounding ledge and foliage without garden lights to signify their presence. The water itself must be illuminated as well because we cannot always count on the moon to shine on nights when guests come over.
Special down lights can be positioned all around the bank to ensure that the surface of the water is clearly visible from all vantage points. If a waterfall is present, we typically install underwater lights behind the falls to illuminate the flowing water from within and create a prism of colors as the light refracts outward in all directions.
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