Designing Water Features for Small Gardens

Small Garden Water Features

Water features in large gardens and stately homes have always been designed to impress but small garden water features are definitely worth their place.  And although most suburban gardens can’t hope to emulate the scope and scale of these show-stopping installations, it’s eminently possible to recreate the same sense of serene, flowing wonder on a smaller scale.

ornament water feature

Why introduce a water feature to your garden?

Water and gardens have always gone hand-in-hand. That’s partly because gardens are a place to indulge your senses, boasting gorgeous and alluring sights, sounds and scents.

Water has a particular sensory value with its ability to soothe and calm, but fountains and other water features have their roots in their practical application, too. All plants need water, and some of the lushest, most attractive greenery, grows best in close proximity to a bountiful water source. Ponds and pools will also attract wildlife to create a rich landscape.

Types of water features

There is a dazzling array of different water features available, suitable for every size and type of garden space. Water features for small gardens need to provide a focal point without overshadowing the rest of the garden.

    • Ponds. A simple but effective choice for any garden, a pond isn’t fancy or flash, but offers a sense of tranquility that speaks for itself.
    • Ornamental pools. Shaped to emphasise the features of your landscape, ornamental pools can transform your space into something special.
    • Fountains and jets. There’s nothing like the sight and sound of gushing water to soothe the senses. Water fountains can be a compact way to create a focal point in your garden.
    • Waterfalls and water walls. A little less ostentatious than fountains and jets, waterfall features provide that constantly-moving, constantly-changing feeling that could bring your garden to life.small garden water feature lit up


Things to consider

Planning is everything! The main issues to consider when designing your water feature concern its site and situation, but there are other things to think about, too.

  • Practicality: Is the proposed position for your water feature within reach of power and water supplies?
  • Exposure: Hot sun and billowing winds can reduce water levels dramatically, meaning you’ll need to top up your water far more frequently. Try to avoid areas exposed to extreme heat or draughts if possible.
  • Maintenance: How much work will you need to do over the years to maintain your water feature in good working condition? Think about how often you will need to top up the water, especially in the summer months and in the event of a hosepipe ban.
  • Safety: Will your water feature need to be child-proof?
  • Material: What will your water feature be made of? Options include stone, metal and slate and your choice will depend on how it blends with the rest of the garden.

Custom designs tailored to your small garden

It’s very easy to purchase a water feature online and install it, ready-built, into your garden. This is a quick and simple way to introduce the wonder of water to your outdoor space. But if you are looking for something unique, that’s designed to complement and highlight the particular features of your garden, you could commission a bespoke piece. I designed and installed this beautifully relaxing custom water feature for a client who wanted to transform and revitalise a disused swimming pool in their Hindhead garden.

pond-garden-water-feature

If you’d like to discuss how a water feature could enhance your small garden, contact me for a consultation on +44 (0)1923 839 733 or email enquiries@kategouldgardens.com.

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