The long days of summer are now upon us and warmer nights are enticing us to stay outdoors. With this tempting offer to dine outside and enjoy the colorful sierra sunset on your patio why not enhance your outdoor experience with the dazzling effects of water.

A water feature can enhance a landscape’s environment by creating a mood, improving the surrounding aesthetics, or just liven up a garden space. These features can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. There are a variety of options that can be explored for every size and shape yard. Like most projects, it’s best to spend some time planning the area your new feature will be placed. From there you can use your imagination to construct the shape and size feature you would like to enjoy. To get started here are some ideas to spark your thoughts.

Living in the high desert many people enjoy the look of a natural looking water feature that mimics the sight and sounds of a meandering mountain stream. The use of Native boulders can be used and placed around your mounded feature creating a stream like waterfall that will flow gently down tumbling into a pond (or pondless) basin below. These types of water features can then be accented nicely by surrounding them with scattered aspens, flowing grasses, or brightly colored flowers creating a wonderful stream environment.

For a simpler and perhaps more artistic feature many homeowners have started accenting their landscape with bubbling rocks. From towering spires to rounded boulders this type of water feature makes a statement in the garden and can create a welcoming display at any homes entrance. The soft flow of water bubbling out of each rock spills down to the ground creating a soft sound and soothing environment. This type of water feature can be very compact and easily placed around the smallest of landscapes.

To add the soft sounds of flowing water to your landscape a nicely placed pot in your yard can be easily converted to a fabulous water feature. This is a great opportunity to pick a brightly colored or patterned pot to brighten up an area in your yard and still provide the calming effects of water. This type of water display will fill the pot with water and allow it to slowly flow over the edge of the pot splashing onto decorative rock placed around the base. It can be just enough to change the atmosphere of a small space or garden.

For those wishing to create a water feature with a theme in mind, there are many prefabricated designs available in the nursery. With designs from the exotic to simplistic there is a variety of options for all landscape types. Many features are

also designed so they can simply hang on an outside wall providing a decorative feature as well as providing the sounds of delicately flowing water. Keep in mind that all of these types of water features will involve some installation and need access to both electricity and a water source. This may be important when placing your new water feature around your yard.

Once you have chosen the type of feature to create in your landscape the fun of choosing finish rock can begin. This is an important part of the water feature process. Most features will use a combination of Functional Rock, which may fill the hole of a pondless feature or provide the tiers of a waterfall and the Finish Rock that will be placed throughout the feature as a highlight. Finish rock comes in a variety of sizes, types, and colors. You’ll want to explore the options and choose something that highlights your feature type and surrounding landscape. This will be the final touch on your new feature and help bring the final product to life.

Once you’ve chosen the type of water feature that will work in your yard it will be necessary to do some planning to make the installation process a simple task. When choosing the placement of your feature you will want to keep in mind the source of power and water that will be used for your new water display. The basics of creating a water feature will also involve choosing rock material, finding a pump that will provide the right amount of flow for your feature, purchasing liners, and some flexible PVC pipe. As simple as this may sound the building process can become complex when moving boulders or large quantities of rock material. Keep this in mind when choosing your water feature as you might want to consider using a licensed professional contractor for your installation. There are many in our area including Moana Nursery’s Water Works that can assist you with your design. Be sure to view your contractor’s work and speak with their previous customers to see the type of features each can provide. Now that you have chosen a contractor, or made the decision to create your own feature, you can begin the process of creating, designing, and building your water vision.