Landscape Water Features for The Garden

Water Feature for Your Garden

Water features can be a great addition for any garden style and size. It creates a relaxing, natural and serene environment. It also brings many health benefits. The soothing sounds of flowing water is well known to be a good stress reliever and mood elevator. It helps take you away from your troubles to a different relaxed place. Water features also drowns out traffic noise which is beneficial to residents living in Vancouver, BC. It also purifies the air and adds humidity. Outdoor water features also attract small wildlife such as birds and frogs creating a natural environment. From a financial point of view, water features can increase the value of your property. If you are considering adding a water feature to your landscape, it is recommended to benefit from the following tips and guidelines.

Water Feature Sizes

Water features can add a lot of style and natural beauty to your environment when sized to fit your garden or space. If you are unsure whether or not to add one we recommend starting with something smaller such as a tabletop fountain with plants or a medium sized pond. Opting to construct a larger and bolder water feature might require too much maintenance. However, keep in mind that a larger pond can actually have less maintenance requirements than a smaller one. This is due to the forming of a natural ecosystem around the pond. You can always start small and then expand from there for a more natural and gradual transformation from year to year. Of course if you’ve done something like this before it is easiest to start with the largest size. Smaller  water features such as floor standing waterfalls can be perfect for a balcony, small decks and confined sitting areas.

Design A One-of-A Kind Water Feature: landscape water features waterfalls

Unusually and uniquely designed water feature can be integrated effortlessly into a landscape, as long as it complements the texture, design and style of the garden. You can combine elements – basin, pedestal, spout, etc. – to create your own style. Focus on creating something you won’t find in your neighbors’ or friends’ backyard. You can explore materials and combine design ideas to create a purely unique water feature.

Using Water Features As A Focal Point

Landscape water features, especially ones with moving water, should be placed so as to serve as the focal point of your garden or any space. However, stationary water features such as pools can serve as focal point as well in any style of garden, structure formal garden, deck space, cottage garden, and all sorts of garden incarnations and plants. When you use a water feature as a focal point, the eye is drawn to it and the surrounding is relative to the water feature.

Natural Looking Water Features and water fountains

When you are deciding on a water feature, keep it simple yet natural and consider its appeal in all seasons. The material, placement and size of a water feature should be able to withstand the elements of weather, and appear natural, as if it belongs. Natural water features can help add beauty and structure to an outdoor space. Even if the water is drained in the winter, it can serve as a sculptural element.

There are many kinds of water features. ponds, fountains, and waterfalls, that you can choose for your landscape. You can construct it yourself or get professional help. These are just some of the points to consider.

5 Reasons To Add A Water Feature To Your Landscape

Reasons to Add a Water Feature to Your Landscape

The landscape is usually one of the most important aspects of a home renovation project. This is because it is usually one of the first things that people will notice. In landscape architecture and garden design, a water feature may include one or multiple items ranging from ponds, to pools, fountains, waterfalls and streams. Water features have been around for many centuries. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (1 of the 7 wonders of the world located in Mahaweel, Iraq) is an example of one of the most famous landscapes of all times – not that you need to start building one in your house!

Water features are more than just aesthetics; the sounds of running water soothes your mind and soul. Studies have shown that the sound of running water subconsciously slows down your breathing, which in turn lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, water reduces your stress levels. When you come home from a hectic and stressful day, having a glass of wine while sitting near a water feature can help you to unwind. Five minutes of time spent by the sounds of flowing water can help reduce stress hormones. Who knows, this could end up saving your life down the road.

In addition to relieving of stress, there are other benefits to installing a water feature within your landscape design. Here are five reasons to add a water feature to your garden.

Natural Ecosystem

Anyone that has owned a water feature in the past knows that they attract wildlife – but not the dangerous type. Flowing water attracts birds, rabbits, squirrels and other adorable animals. There is nothing like waking up to the sounds of singing birds. Crows on the other hand don’t sound as good but you take the good with the bad sometimes. Anyways, if you are a nature lover, your water feature will become the most important aspect of your garden and where you will find yourself spending most of your time. You can enjoy nature without having to leave the comfort of your own backyard. Of course if you live in Vancouver you only need to take a stroll down to Stanley Park to visit one of the most beautiful wilderness parks in the world.

Curb Appeal

A well designed water feature adds a lot of curb appeal to your home. If you want the most beautiful landscape and be the envy of the neighborhood, plan on adding a water feature to your garden. There are different types of water features for different homes. Contemporary home designs will look better with clean water walls, waterfall spillways, laminar water jets, flat concrete walls, and sleek looking statue fountains. Luxury homes looking to design a resort-like setting in their backyard almost always have a pool with an artificial rock waterfall, cave, grotto, bbq pit, and outdoor kitchen. Having a staycation can be just as fun as going on a vacation without the hassle of airports and jet lag.

Water Features Increase A Homes Value

Homes featuring water features have been known to have higher property values than those with little or no landscape design. This is important in the event you ever want to sell your home. When you add a well designed and aesthetically appealing water feature to your property, the value increases instantly and your home becomes more attractive to potential buyers, giving your property a competitive property market. Well designed water features will operate in most seasons without ongoing maintenance costs. Like pools, a poorly designed water feature that requires constant maintenance may actually deter some people from investing in the home. One important factor to consider is whether or not the materials used to make the water feature will withstand cracking from freeze-thaw action. This is especially important in Vancouver which gets much rain, rust, and freezing temperatures in the winters.

Drown Out Noise Pollution

A fountain or a waterfall diminishes the noise pollution in your surroundings. Noise machines commonly use ocean waves, the sounds of falling water, and river noises, and there is a reason for that. Sounds of water are soothing and block out annoying noises like traffic or construction. Does your neighbor talk too loud? Are you are tired of hearing them talk about how bad their day was. Is your house is situated next to a busy street or the passing by cars have high music on? You can suppress those undesirable noises by adding a water feature with enough white noise to solve the problem. In addition, you have unlimited access to a peaceful area to enjoy the outdoors.

Air Quality

Flowing water releases negative ions. These negative ions are tasteless, odorless and invisible molecules that we inhale. Water features such as water walls, waterfall spillways, and cascading waterfalls help toimprove air quality, which is obviously better for your health. Negative ions have mood bosting and stress relieving effects on humans. Maybe even on your pets as well. Falling water also acts as a filter for dust, pollen, and even collects animal hairs floating in the air. This is a beneficial feature to those suffering from asthma or allergies. Just make sure to clean out the water once in a while.

Think back to the feeling of peace and tranquility when going to beaches, lakes or rivers. You can add a little of that to your life by adding a water feature in your garden. A garden water feature can be heard from inside your home through your bedroom window or beside your office desk if you have an indoor waterfall.

It is recommended to opt for a professional landscape designer to install the water feature, so that it is done right the first time. A landscape designer can install your water feature at the most suitable location so that it feels like a natural extension of your landscape. Depending on your needs, your landscaper can also recommend the best low maintenance system to install or custom design a unique water feature that has never been done before. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be the creative type, working directly with the artist him/herself means that you helped design and build the water feature.

Need a luxury resort-style water feature in Vancouver or surrounding areas? Contact Us

Outdoor Waterfall Features

Custom waterfalls made with lightweight fiberglass provides infinite possibilities to get a completely custom-crafted waterfall for the home and garden.

Outdoor Water Features

The versatility of artificial rocks (also referred to as faux, fake, or imitation rocks) allows landscape contractors to create beautiful waterfalls for their clients. Typically these contractors serve a very niche market comprised of wealthy home owners.

There is very little that compares to having a miniature resort in your own backyard. People have a tendency to be drawn to waterfalls. Rock waterfall contractors simply recreate that effect for you from the comfort of your home.

waterfall

Faux rocks can come in virtually any colour by using different natural rock powders. Their colour can even be changed using paint year after year. Change from one color to another with ease. Paint spray guns work well for this and the mixture of several different colors is recommended.

Normally the biggest barrier that we find our customers face is that they don’t have the budget for something spectacular. The industry average cost for custom crafted work all things considered can be $400+ per square foot. We often have deals going on where we do it for less than half of that. The competition is essentially those miniature fountain statues that you buy off Ebay. However, some people want something much larger that fits well in their yard.

Rock Waterfall Ideas For Backyard Renovation Projects

Lately I’ve been fascinated with the website Houzz.com. If you aren’t familiar with this website, it is one of the most popular sites along with Pinterest where homeowners, and contractors go to gather ideas, connect with others in the industry, and share their work.

Here are several rock solid ideas that may help you decide on what type of waterfall water feature you personally prefer.

This is a popular photo that many people have expressed interest in. It has been built to compliment and blend the surrounding landscape to create a natural effect. I really admire projects where the landscaper took the effort to make things as natural as possible.
While some people prefer the insane overhangs that can be achieved using faux or fake rocks, this method is very cool and I think it would look even nicer with the addition of custom lighting colors. Overall an impressive job with great attention paid to detail and no stone out of place.
Rustic Landscape by Portland Landscape Contractors Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
This is a great shot with a beautiful natural stone waterfall. The two larger boulders alongside the spillway combined with a well designed lip makes for an impressive sight. I can only imagine how nice this particular waterfall sounds. This double tiered feature would definitely create a very relaxing sound. I would highly recommend this design to someone looking to add a waterfall to their koi pond or for a new pond construction.
The oxygenation and circulation that these kinds of water features adds to the pond also helps to slow the growth of algae which many pond owners can tell you has saved them many dollars in maintenance.
Contemporary Landscape by Woodinville Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Classic Nursery & Landscape Co. / Alan Burke, asla
There are many people (myself included) that are blown away by larger man-made waterfalls. However, smaller water features that were created by landscapers with extra attention to detail can be just as stunning. The addition of this small waterfall feature changes up what would have been just an ordinary space into something special. Imagine sitting out on your patio just enjoying the sounds of a soothing fountain in your garden…
Pondless waterfalls are picking up in popularity and for good reason. Many homeowners are embracing the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement, perhaps inspired by their favourite gardening shows on TV, and tackling some of their own projects. I’m sure you that are reading this hate the idea of having to pull rocks out of the pond, cleaning the pond out, then putting the rocks back in and so forth. If you are a landscaper being paid to maintain it I feel your pain.
As an aside, should you decide to create your first waterfall using natural stone I highly recommend studying The Pond Digger on YouTube. He has shared many tutorials online to help home owners and contractors alike what to expect and some tips to get the most of a pond project.
Tropical Pool by Florence Pools & Spas Shehan Pools
The guys over at Shehan are amazing and have taught us a lot about what it takes to make clients dreams become a reality. From using shotcrete to other faux rock materials, they are masters at creating custom waterfalls which also compliment their specialization in pools. Check out their website to view some of their award winning projects and brainstorm more ideas.
Have a great weekend and happy landscaping

Hiring Water Features Contractors For Your Garden Renovation

Water features for the garden are a staple for outdoor living.

As the weather grows warmer more people begin to shift their attention towards how they will redesign their yards. Considering the average person will spend a significant portion of their time it just makes sense to spruce things up.

There is a large variety of choices to be made when considering the type of garden renovation ideas one has in mind. Having many decades of landscaping experience under our belts we’ve heard the common issues most people had with their own yards. Most people want their yards to look nice but many don’t even know where to begin. Some believe they want a large amount of flowers only to find that they don’t have the time to maintain it themselves.

When most people look to add a water feature to their yard it is usually because they saw something online or they were in their friends yard and their neighbour had one. So what most people end up doing is going with the first company that they can find. I recommend getting a minimum of 3 estimates from different companies or contractors to get a better understanding of what the project will look like.

When choosing a contractor pick one that has a portfolio of past projects that you like. It is not enough to take one’s word for it and assume that they will create exactly what you had in mind. When in doubt ask for references.

How much does it cost? That will depend on the company you hire to do the work. Generally they will ask for a smaller deposit to begin the work. If a contractor asks for 50% of the total cost up front it should raise some alarms. Most companies work out smaller payments as the work progresses. There are times, especially with smaller companies just starting out, where the contractors ask for 50% upfront to fund an existing project that isn’t yet completed due to lack of funds.

It is safest for you as the customer to deal with contractors that only require small payments as the work progresses. Doing business simply because you like someone even if you know they might not do a good job or are inexperienced always comes with a risk. Things don’t always go as planned as is apparent in the world of contract work but there are precautionary steps you can take to avoid these setbacks. Such costs may entail having to re-hire someone else to fix the ‘fix.’

On the other hand, if you are a contractor reading this you must develop the ability to say ‘no’ to clients who will only cause more problems. It is not worth the headache and heart ache to deal with bad clients.

In summary:

1. Check the contractors portfolio. Ideally you want photos of projects they’ve done themselves. If they are in the custom crafting arena then bring your imagination to the table and plan things out beforehand.

2. Get multiple estimates before picking the water features contractor you plan to work with. Don’t overpay for something that anyone can do (eg. installing a DIY water feature from natural stones). The costs for things that cost less upfront often cost more in the long-run. Have in mind the type of water feature you want with the right budget in mind. Avoid attempts to haggle with something that is clearly out of your budget range in hopes of getting a deal. It’s not worth it.

3. Ask lots of questions. One of the ‘catches’ with most water features is that they lose their appeal after 1-2 years. The high maintenance costs of hiring someone to restore the pond and rocks from looking like green pea soup can be costly and time consuming over a long period of time. If you are a fan of maintenance free (hands off, minds off) and just want to relax then seek out low-maintenance options. Ideally you want something that suffers no cracking from ice (freeze-thaw), has no permit requirements, no excessive weight that may cause sinking and cracking, nothing that takes up too much of your yards real estate, nothing potentially dangerous for children, and something that lasts a lifetime.

4. While I recommend negotiating to get the best price try to avoid excessive haggling (see point 2) with contractors because it is a waste of your time and a waste of theirs. You will not get the best quality from asking for too much and giving too little. Often times trying to get things for cheap results in poor quality and a lower level of service. Water features, fountains, and waterfalls don’t come cheap but that is the point. The cheap variety can be found from Home Depot or Rona in a do-it-yourself kit. Doing it yourself is something that I recommend everyone try at least once. Why? Because it will yield a greater appreciation for the many years of experience that landscapers put in to the point where they make it ‘look easy.’

The bottom line for anyone seeking to renovate their yard is to pick something that gets a ‘wow’ out of themselves, their guests, and makes them feel good. WaterfallNow’s waterfalls are custom designed with you in mind so that you know you have a one of a kind custom hand-made piece of art. Go ahead, show off your yard.

Garden Water Features: Can They Save Your Life?

Can a water feature save your life? Well… Maybe not, but they may help.

Imagine coming home from a hard working day and relaxing by the patio next to a soothing garden water fountain waterfall.

The soothing sounds of running water helps to relax the mind, providing a sense of calm.

Have you ever experienced the joy of having a water feature in your yard? Having a beautiful water feature will not only increase the property value (if properly maintained) but will also create a harmonious environment.

There are health benefits of having water features as well.

Stress is the number one killer of human beings in the world. The compounded effect of stress from our everyday lives causes major health issues which can unnecessarily shorten ones lifespan.

So what can we do? Having a water feature can be part of the solution to reducing stress levels. There are many other things you can do to further reduce your stress levels.

1. One effective method that has worked for thousands of years is meditation. It is never too late to learn how to do this or take a local class.

2. Breathe deeply. Did you know that most people either take shallow breaths or breathe incorrectly through their mouth? Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing is a simple way to ensure that you are getting the correct flow of oxygen through your body.

3. Being more present. Slowing down for at a few intervals can actually help you be more productive throughout the day. Being more conscientious about where you are in the world, relaxing tense muscles can all help to improve your health.

4. Fad diets are just that ‘fads’. Take a long-term approach to your health by making healthy eating a habit. Things such as eating more omega 3 fatty oils than omega 6 or trans fats, eating less processed foods, more vegetables, getting enough vitamins and minerals through natural food sources, drinking lots of water, and doing a detox every now and then are all going to help you feel better.

By being more self aware about your health you can extend your life by 10-20 years. Good health doesn’t start at the mouth, rather it starts in the mind. A healthy mind is far more likely to take measures to care for the body and avoid self-destructive behaviour.

Enough stress can cause heart attacks. The relaxation benefits offered by garden water features can in a way help to reduce the stresses that surrounds everyday life.

Garden Water Feature Fountain Waterfall

You don’t need to call WaterfallNow to get a big luxury custom waterfall fountain but we still recommend getting something that you can enjoy everyday – even if it is just a small tabletop fountain made in China.

Water Features For The Garden

Do you feel the need to spend more time outdoors? In just a month or two from now, the weather should be hitting high 30’s. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a water feature in your backyard that you can enjoy in the early mornings or evenings when you are back from work? After scouring the web in search of the perfect water features for the garden, our customers came across WaterfallNow. They now love to invite friends over for barbeques, drinks, and sitting out in the evenings by their beautiful water features.

Many people are starting to look for the best ways to decorate their gardens for the summer of 2014, which is ‘likely’ to be the hottest on record – at least in the UK. But let’s just pretend it will also be the same case in BC, Canada just so that I don’t have to figure out the El Nino patterns and other weather related information. If you feel the need to educate me please do.

Here are some ideas of water features for the garden ideas that you can implement this summer. 

1. Drop by the nearest pond and water garden nursery in your area. Once at the store you can browse determine the types of flowers, plants, and designs that you like best. If you are unsure of what plants to buy, ask the staff if they can assist you. Certain plants thrive better in the shade or in damp areas. These are the types of plants that you would want to incorporate into your water garden. Man-made water features look great when combined with the right plants. The plants add greenery and help to provide a more realistic looking water feature as you would find in nature.

2. Do you want a pond? Ponds are undoubtedly beautiful but only if maintained. They can require a lot of manual labour from taking the rocks out, cleaning the basin, putting the rocks back in, so on so forth. Without this maintenance the pond will eventually turn into green pea soup which I’ve seen a lot of. How deep do you want the pond to go? Before you dig, call http://www.bconecall.bc.ca/. It is free to call. Don’t do any digging without calling to avoid causing damage to any pipelines, telecommunication cables, sewage lines, and electrical wires.

Back in our landscaping days we used to get calls to do maintenance on ponds – something that we often didn’t look forward to. You may be familiar with a TV show called dirty jobs. That’s what cleaning these ponds resembled. It was a dirty, disease ridden mess. Eventually some of them called us in after they’d had enough maintaining the ponds and asked us to fill the pond with dirt and lay fresh turf over top. Problem solved. The racoons on the other hand weren’t as happy because there was no longer any fish to eat.

Some people don’t realize that having a pond requires continual maintenance. (Slap my head). It DOES. But, some people actually enjoy working on their ponds on a daily basis. If not, then a pond might not be your best choice.

All ponds require some level of maintenance. When you are looking to care for koi fish you must keep the water clean otherwise the fish will develop diseases and die. Using a variety of water plants such as water lilies or water cress can help to naturally clean the water. There are different schools of thought on whether or not you should have a gravel or dirt bed. I prefer to go without the gravel basin. If you are going to make a pond, don’t make a small pond because the fish will grow. It is also an addicting hobby and you may wish you had a bigger pond.

If you already have a pond then you probably have a grasp by now of how they need constant cleaning. We prefer the pondless or invisible waterfall water feature designs to minimize maintenance and maximize the time spent enjoying the project. Ponds are undoubtedly an excellent addition but unkempt ponds harbour diseases, mosquitoes, and are unattractive. Make sure you know what you are getting into.

20 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Build a Koi Pond – Watch this very informative video

3. Decide on how much space you have to allocate to a water feature for your garden. For smaller gardens, focus on height to maximize horizontal space. WaterfallNow is fairly good at doing this as our lightweight artificial rock panels can be stacked to any height. Natural rocks typically require more horizontal space to achieve the desired cascading effects of mini waterfalls.

4. Pondless features are gaining in popularity. WaterfallNow’s pondless water feature system means that you can run these rock fountains in all 4 seasons with no maintenance. Just add water and let it run. To clean our rocks simply spray them with a pressure washer. You can even change the colour of the rocks from one year to the next using a special paint. They can be set to run on a timer or set up to a remote control switch. This would allows you to switch on the rock waterfall sitting in your backyard at night from inside your home.

These look spectacular at night when the floodlights are shining on them. The occasional sweeping of leaves and other debris that might otherwise clog the water pump and ensuring that the water level does not get too low is the majority of the maintenance requirements. Should you decide to not run the waterfall in the winter we advise to drain the water basin, disconnect the water pump, give it a rinse, and store it indoors to prevent cracking or damage to the internal parts from freeze-thaw. They can be set up again simply by connecting the water pump back to the hose, adding water to the mini pond and turning the water feature back on.

The majority of WaterfallNow’s rock fountains are pondless meaning the size of the pond is built to hold just enough water for the water feature to operate.

Add a faux rock water feature to your backyard for stunning results

Water Features For The Garden

5. Determine the type of sound that you want to achieve. Taller water features often produce more of the crashing sounds of water. The amount of water pressure or the size of the pump used plays a significant role in the sounds. There are low-sound water pumps that can reduce sound coming directly from the pumps motor. If you prefer a smaller trickling sound consider a cascading waterfall feature. The horizontal movement of water followed by small overhangs produces very relaxing sounds. WaterfallNow can adjust all of these sounds by adjusting the angle and speed of water flow.

6. Do you want something permanent or moveable? This is one of the decisions that one must make when working with concrete which is permanent. WaterfallNow used to use concrete until we realized how little our customers could use their water features. The damage from weathering over the years meant multiple leaks and cracks which can cost a lot of money to constantly repair. But that was back in the day. GFRC concrete employed today is much more durable. WaterfallNow no longer employs concrete but uses fibreglass instead. It can be as strong as steel while remaining flexible enough to avoid cracking. Should something crack we can easily repair it. Sometimes our customers will call us a year later to come and add another section to their rock waterfall. Other times our customers will sell their home and call us to help them move the rock fountain to their new home. It is all about your personal preference. WaterfallNow caters to a wide-variety of requests.

7. What kind of lighting do you want to use? Many of our customers enjoy the backyard paradises that we’ve created for them. Some of the pool waterfalls which we don’t have any pictures of look amazing at night. The white floodlights shine on the waterfall spillway while purple, blue, and green lights all create a unique ambiance. We are very proud of some of the projects that we’ve created because of how happy our customers are. It is only a matter of time until more people can experience the joy of enjoying their own backyard paradise with a water feature built the way they had in mind.

Rock waterfalls not your thing? Then check out articles from popular sites for other ideas:

Visit Houzz to brainstorm some visual ideas of water features for the garden. It won’t be long until you find yourself sitting outside in the summer with a cold drink glad about the choices that you made.

HGTV – 15 unique garden water features: outdoors home & garden television

Pinterest – This is currently the most popular and fastest growing social media website to view photos and get ideas for  garden water features.

For updates and free stuff head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you like best about garden water features.

Water Features For The Garden – Just Add Water

WaterfallNow: Stumbling Blocks & Growing Pains

waterfallnow stumbling blocks

The crew at WaterfallNow simply loves doing what they do and are thankful for the opportunities to work on a number of different projects. WaterfallNow has been able to help many clients in the Lower Mainland relax with a staycation at their own home while listening to the soothing sounds of cascading water.

Starting something new is always daunting. Stepping into a small niche industry already dominated by larger companies was even more daunting. But in the end, persistency always seems to have a way of paying off. Perhaps the only reason we decided that this would be a good idea was because of the support of our customers. We would be nowhere had we not received that support.

 

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