As I was waiting for my pet to be groomed a local pet store, I took the opportunity to walk around to see what merchandise was available. I stumbled on a display for water gardens and the plants that the store offered. My husband and I were contemplating installing a water garden at our new home. We began to research this interest and here is what we found.
What are the benefits of a water garden?
- Provide a relaxing atmosphere
- Add negative ions to the environment
- Promote backyard ecosystem
- Help improve the environment
- Provide great opportunities to teach the wonders of nature
- Promote social well being.
The bond between humans and nature is unquestioned. The need for a balance between the relentless marches of humanity while drawing upon life-giving nature is vital. It is an established fact that even in the cloistered spaces of steel and glass offices, a dedicated green corner can provide relief to frayed nerves. Add to that the falling sound of water in the form of a fountain or bubble jet, and a lot of stressors get automatically taken care of.
Benefits of a water garden according to the website Gardenerdy are as follows:
- Water is life
- Reduces Noise Pollution
- Installing a birdbath
- Flowing water soothes the mind
- Conserves the environment
- Raise the value of real estate
There is proven research shows that just by looking at a water source for an extended period of time can help blood pressure and a person’s heart rate.
The gentle trickle of a water fountain or even the faster flow of a waterfall can help drown out the noises, even in noisy populated areas. The foliage in and around the water garden has several benefits. Not only do they help with the ecosystem, but they also act as a sound buffer.
What are the different kinds of outdoor water features?
Studies have reinforced the close association of humans with nature. It has been found that there is a dramatic response caused by ‘happy hormones’ when in contact with nature. This is the prime idea behind creating an outdoor water feature. It is our own little piece of nature, to dwell and thrive in, away from the hectic pace of life.
There are various different features you may consider for a water garden.
- Bubble jets.
- Reflective pools.
- Fish ponds.
What benefits accrue from a water garden?
There are different aspects to a water garden that add to its value. Read on to know more about different benefits of a water garden.
- Aesthetics. The most defining benefit of a water garden is the immense beauty it adds to outdoors. Homes get re-defined by the addition of a water garden. And it is not only the flowing water that is pleasing to the eye. The inclusion of a water garden to your outdoors brings with it flora and fauna that add to the beauty of your outdoors. Different kinds of flowers and trees that thrive around a water body will find a place in your garden. Various species of colorful birds and butterflies also make their home around a water garden, helping to create a beautiful ambience. There are multiple lighting solutions available to highlight special features in your water garden and make it more attractive in the dark.
- Rejuvenation. Your nearness to nature, your own piece of paradise, which is what a water garden can bring to you. All you need to do is to step out of your front door and it is all waiting for you to enjoy and relax. There is nothing more pleasing to human nature than to see plants of one’s choice blossom and grow under loving care and nurture. It is the joy of beholding one’s creation. It is the ecstasy of seeing one’s toil and labor bear fruit, literally. This is supremely rejuvenating for the human mind.
- Socialize.I got inspired to build my own water garden after attending a party in similar circumstances. There is no better place to get together with friends than around a water feature. There is something for everyone.
- Health. You may use this space for whatever purpose in pursuance of health, both physical as well as mental. An open space in proximity to water is ideal to work out or meditate, as it suits you. The tranquility of such serene surroundings induces better concentration and focus. This will help attain higher level of fitness on both counts.
- Creativity. As stated already, your water garden is your very own expression of creativity and desires. All that you had in mind’s picture as to how a water garden ought to look ideally can be given shape. There is a lot of thought that goes into this. It is your personal utopia and you have the freedom to unleash your creativity within constraints of budget and practicality. There are unlimited permutations and combinations possible. This exercise boosts mental activity and creates unlimited hours of pleasure.
- Positivity. With good health and natural surroundings, it is the ideal way to let go of negativity. We all know how negativity impacts our mental and physical well-being. In an increasingly challenging world, we can all do with healthy doses of positivity. A water garden helps in this regard by creating an environment of positive vibes. Seeing nature flourish is the biggest positive one can think of.
- Environment. One of the biggest benefits of creating a water garden is the way you can contribute to preserving our fragile environment. There are multiple flowers and trees, as well as fishes, birds, and butterflies that do better in controlled environments. Not for them the hustle and humdrum of daily lives. They demand more nurture and care that only personal effort can provide. By creating a water garden, you will be doing your bit to help promote some of the more delicate flora and fauna while providing yourselves a source of joy and relaxation.
- Outdoor activity. Having a water garden means more reason to spend time in your garden in the outdoors. A lot of discussion these days centers on the ill effects of being cooped up indoors all the time. Parents and children alike are experiencing prolonged exposure to harmful radiation from different gadgets. Combined with lack of fresh air, this can be detrimental to physical and mental well being. Having a beautiful water garden will entice everyone to spend spare time outdoors, reaping benefits of nature. Some activities that you do indoors, on laptops and other devices, can very well be continued in the lap of nature that you have right outside.
- Family time. A water garden is the ideal setting to gather around after a long day’s work with family. The purpose is to relax and let go of stress and built-up negativity. A garden with water features provides space for different kinds of activities with the family. This is of utmost importance to create bonhomie and sharing amongst family members, something that is getting increasingly device-driven. Everything is going remote and priceless human contact is getting relegated to the sidelines.
- Responsibility sharing. Having a water garden designed and built to one’s liking is one thing. Maintaining it in top order is a different ballgame altogether. It is not an easy task to maintain water gardens. One needs to invest time, effort and money into this regularly. You can of course hand over maintenance to contract but there are certain things that need attention on a daily basis. And even this list is long enough to seem challenging for a single person. This is where rest of the family can pitch in with ideas and efforts. Children and adults can share in and make a success of this.
- Planning. As stated already, having a water garden needs every plausible detail to be attended to. A lot of planning goes into this. Financial planning is a big part of this. Not only for setting up a water garden but also its maintenance and replacement over the years are to be borne in mind when planning. This is an exercise that will help channel all your planning capacity. You may end up surprising yourself on foresight and forbearance that you did not think you possessed.
- Biodiversity learning. Water gardens are miniature ecosystems on their own. Very complicated and delicate life forms are sustained and nurtured here. Various species live in harmony in this ecosystem. Combating the vagaries of nature and succumbing or flourishing is part of the endless cycle of life here. Having a water garden will give you a ringside view of how species coexist and what can be done best to maintain a balance. This hands-on learning is more real and more precious than anything one can get from a book or online.
- Sustainability plan. Balance of nature and sustainability is another important thing that water gardens teach us. What you had in mind initially and how your garden and water feature ultimately turned out to be will be a lesson in balance and sustainability for you. Not everything will work to a plan. This is a life lesson that having a garden ends up teaching us. It is a very important life lesson too.
- Replenishment. Conventional gardens usually involve huge swathes of green lawns that while looking resplendent, consume immense amounts of water to maintain. A lot of this water goes waste into the soil causing depletion of water table. This is not a sustainable model in the long run. Water gardens do their bit in keeping the ground water level maintained and well hydrated. Good underground drainage and rainwater harvesting techniques incorporated into a water garden can help to raise and preserve water levels and benefit the earth.
- Physical activity. While water gardens provide open space and proximity to your own slice of nature where you may indulge in workouts and meditation, the very upkeep of a water garden is physical activity in itself. There is a lot of work required in water gardens. Regular cleaning, surveillance and maintenance will require the owner to put in necessary effort. This will help you become more physically active in the process. Caring for plants and spending time in the lap of nature provides lot of mental peace and rejuvenation for the soul too.
- Property value.Water gardens come with an unexpected benefit that not many realize. It adds value to the property it adorns, provided it has been built carefully and maintained well. People looking for increased re-sale value might consider this feature. A property that already has a water garden will appeal to someone who has this latent wish in the back of his mind but balk at the thought of putting in all of the effort.
- Stress release. Modern lifestyle creates lot of stress that builds up continuously within the body. This manifests not only in the form of irritability, insecurity and mood swings but also takes a toll on the body. Many lifestyle diseases that afflict people, like hypertension and blood sugar, can be traced back to stressors. Nearness to water bodies has been known to take care of stress with negative ions. There is definite scientific backing to this end. We will look into this in greater detail in the following segment.
Water features and negative ions
Water features that are commonly found in water gardens involve moving water. This is because moving water is pleasing to the eye and the sound of moving water is extremely relaxing to the human mind. This is also because moving water helps avoid stagnation and provides fresh oxygenated water for aquatic life forms.
Moving water in the form of a fountain or waterfall or stream is believed to continuously release negatively charged ions into the surroundings. The most important benefit of negative ions is that they clear the air of airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, bacteria and viruses. According to WebMd.com, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
Many of us have experienced a rush of positivity and energy in the proximity of water bodies. This is attributed to these negative ions and the way they impact our physical and mental wellness. Not only do you stand to gain from water gardens but also the environment and ecosystem around freshly moving water bodies is rejuvenated and purer.
It does not need an expert to opine that positive mind means stress free mind and thus healthier body. If it comes with the creation of a moving body of water in your garden, there could be nothing more to ask for. You get the aesthetics, you get health, you get cleaner environment. What more would one need?
Water has so many benefits to the human body, not only to sustain life, but to sooth our minds. As quoted by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Water, the Hub of Life. Water is its mater and matrix, mother and medium. Water is the most extraordinary substance! Practically all its properties are anomalous, which enabled life to use it as building material for its machinery. Life is water dancing to the tune of solids.
What are reflecting pools?
A common water feature, reflecting pools add manifold to the beauty of water gardens. True to its name, it is generally designed as a shallow basin of clear water to act as a reflective surface. Structures, monuments, trees and sky reflect in the pool, lending a mirror image and enhancing beauty.
How to manage ponds in winter?
In cold climates, freezing of the water surface is a big issue. Especially if there are fishes in your water garden, you will need to install de-icer devices. These cut a hole on the frozen surface, allowing fish to come up for breathing. Normally growing plants in ponds suffer during winter too.
How to tackle pests in water gardens?
Different kinds of pests may infest water gardens. Caterpillars are the commonest daytime pests. Mosquitoes can be a big bother in the dark. Having plants detrimental to mosquitoes helps. Biological means to destroy larvae and eggs also checks pest growth. Overuse of chemicals must be avoided.