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Water Features Can Bring You Harmony

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Excerpted from SECRETS OF THE LAND
Whenever I suggest that a client add a water feature, the reaction is always one of delight. Few people are not fascinated and delighted by the presence of water. I am always left to wonder why everyone doesn’t already have a water feature in his or her life!
1. Determine the purpose for water.
a. Used to create harmony for a particular area such as the entry.
b. For auditory pleasure. When placing for the sound find the place that it will add the widest range of use. Maybe it is placed between the center of the garden and the house so that it may be enjoyed inside as well as outside.
c. As a home for plants and animals.
d. As a still, absorbing element. This may be used for contemplation or as a feng shui adjustment for an overactive area or person.
e. All of the above.
2. The type of water feature you choose will depend on other factors. Most water features can be arranged to accommodate the above needs. Factors to consider are:
a. Money you have to invest in this feature.
b. Space to build the feature.
c. Time and energy to maintain the feature.
3. Various types of water features.
a. Ready-made fountain bought from a store. This could be a tabletop size that you place at the front door. Be sure that you have an electrical hook up available.
b. Small barrel or bowl fountain either ready-made or one that you build from a “how to” book.
c. Pond and/or waterfall feature. You or a contractor can construct this. If you want to incorporate fish and plants, it will need to be 18 inches deep, minimum, and have some type of filtration system.
If your choice of water feature is a fishpond, it needs to be carefully located. Any water feature will require information and dedication on your part. There are many good books about building and maintaining ponds. Here are a few tips:
If plants are going to be used, a place that has six to eight hours of sun per day is desirable. Four hours of light is minimal.
As with plants in the garden, there are many beautiful, flowering and fragrant plants that can be used in a pond. The composition of the plants in a pond can be interesting and varied.
To receive fish, a pond should be at least 18 inches deep and koi should have at least 24 inches. Some municipalities will require security fencing around the area if the pond is 24 inches or deeper.
There are many “ready-made” pond liners that are less costly than a concrete pool.
If you want a waterfall or fountain you will need a pump and electricity.
Locate the pond where you can watch the activity in it. Birds, dragonflies, and other creatures will be drawn to the pond.
Be prepared to spend time maintaining the pond. Leaf drop from trees and shrubs will need to be cleaned, algae removed, and it will require attention to maintain the balance of the various elements.

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