Ask The Gardener

As humans we have an inbuilt affinity with water.

Aside from the physiological connections, it can be used in multiple ways within the landscape.

Audible benefits

Think of the soothing aural effects water can have on body and mind. The sound of running or falling water is in itself is pleasant, but it can also be very useful for distracting from other ambient noise such as local traffic or perhaps even that neighbour’s irritable dog.

Visual benefits — movement and flow

Water as a medium is visually very attractive. Consider its properties and how it responds to its surroundings. It ripples and moves in the wind, looks fascinating when falling, splashing or just still and reflecting. A sense of calm can be achieved by water displays, while dramatic effects can be created with faster flowing water.

Reflection and light

A carefully located water body will reflect the light and sky, introducing a mirror-like effect in your open space. A water feature can also be turned into a dramatic element at night if subtly lit. Get an electrician’s advice on waterproof submersible lights, not something for the DIY enthusiast.

Healing and meditation benefits

Water has a long association with healing and meditation. Water and planting are two items actively incorporated into the design of the therapeutic garden. In the Buddhist tradition, water is a symbol for serenity, purity, and clarity of thought.

Safety considerations

Safety is paramount, particularly where children are concerned. Water depth and barriers to the water should be well thought-out and implemented appropriately.

Maintenance considerations

A water purification or a filtration system is well worth fitting and the location of the feature will determine the amount of maintenance it needs. Leaves and moss will need looking after, so be warned this is not an entirely labour-less installation.

Ecological benefits

A water feature can harbour an entire ecosystem of fish, frogs, insects and small birds. It can also double as a water attenuation system, which should be designed with an engineer and landscape architect.

For further information on garden concepts and ideas you can contact The Pavilion Garden Centre by visiting www.thepavilion.ie, Facebook.com/thepavilioncork or via twitter @the_pavilion


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