Outdoor Focal Point

Water is an integral part of our lives. It covers about two thirds of the earth’s surface and it makes up more than half of our bodies’ composition. It is a primary driver of the weather, thus impacting our daily decisions. We need water to live and we crave the sight and sound of it in our lives. The serene simplicity of moving water inspires and calms us.

If you are enjoying your outdoor property this summer, but feel that there is something missing, consider adding a water feature to your landscape. Great design, indoor or outdoor, depends on a focal point. A water feature can provide this. It also has the ability to attract a variety of wildlife, especially birds and butterflies. Plus, the sound of flowing water helps block background noise such as street traffic.

Landscapers who specialize in water features know how to use the unique liquid properties of flowing water to enhance your property with a pool, pond, fountain, waterfall or a combination of these. Well-engineered components that are available for use in water features today make maintenance easier than it was in years past. Water fountains and water gardens that contain aquatic plants are easy to maintain since the plants do double duty as fairly effective backup filters. Clearing debris from the mechanical filter periodically is about the only maintenance required for these features.

The serene simplicity of moving water inspires and calms us.

Those committed to a green lifestyle can choose ecosystem ponds, suggests Douglas Connell, President of Island Associates. “Ecosystem ponds include all of the components needed to keep a pond naturally balanced—aeration, filtration, plants, fish, boulder and gravel in addition to water. Naturally balanced ponds require minimal maintenance.”

Pet owners should give special consideration to their choice and placement of water features, since dogs in particular tend to assume that your fountain is their water dish or bathtub. Dog-lovers can eliminate this potential by choosing a disappearing water feature (a waterfall or fountain pushed up through a feature to run down and disappear into gravel, passing through a filter/pump system to recycle). Thus, no standing body of water exists to collect debris, or tempt dogs or children.

Tom Mirabella is President of LIHome411.com, a directory of prescreened home improvement contractors on Long Island that specializes in helping homeowners find the right contractors for any job.