Visit gardens of any size or shape and you'll likely discover a common element. Along with flowers and foliage, a water feature is high on every gardener's priority list.
Functional or decorative, water features provide a calming and cooling - some would add healing - presence to any garden. Ranging from sophisticated ponds to simple birdbaths, water features are as diverse as each individual garden.
Elaborate in-ground pond systems are designed for those who don't mind the expense and upkeep. These fancy features might include lavishly linked water channels; overflowing rills; gushing fountains; and splashing waterfalls over stacked, moss-covered boulders. The potential is endless.
I've seen many of these designs on trips to various botanical gardens, each sparking my imagination as I create my own dream water feature in my mind. Gleaning ideas from these elaborate gardens, I envision a scaled-down version that incorporates the most fantastic parts of all the fabulous water features I've seen. A soothing water feature tops my list of hopeful garden additions.
In my current garden I'm working my way toward my dream water feature by starting with some strategically placed birdbaths. While I must diligently refresh the water in a birdbath frequently, this low maintenance pales compared with the upkeep intricate water features require.
For gardeners who desire a more basic approach, a birdbath is a practical way to include water. Clean, sparkling water in a shallow dish coaxes birds down from their perches to eye level. Flitting birds drink and bathe here, entertaining delighted gardeners who watch them preen.
Someday my vision of a burbling water feature will become a reality, fitting perfectly into the ambience of my subtropical Gulf Coast garden. But I will keep the birdbaths, too.
So whick kind of feature strikes your fancy?
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