Whats your dream? Water is so much more than just an off the shelf fountain… although there are some gorgeous examples of these. When you think about water in the garden, do you think about a sculpture, a soundscape, a destination? All of these are possible, and the constant change that water brings is a delight.
From a huge formal statement such as we designed for this North London sloping garden..
To a contemporary piece of sculpture…
In both these cases the garden (on somewhat different scales) was designed around the feature – the sight lines and focal points were all arranged to allow the water to be viewed from different places and to give different aspects, but in both the feature is key to the geometry of the overall landscape.
In this example in Henley, we created a feature that used the driveway space and made a huge statement in front of a riverside house – the main fountain works all the time and the additional jets are flush with the drive and certainly add a splash of decadence.
Sometimes a water feature is intended to be a surprise or a smaller detail – just enhancing an area or providing a little oasis of calm for example. In this example we created restful rills deeply planted and dropping into a sunken garden…originally created for a show garden this was relocated into a private garden where it creates a wonderful changing soundscape as you move around the garden (as well as a bath for the thrushes!).
Lakes, bog gardens, and streams can be made to look completely natural (even if they are not) or natural ones can be enhanced to add more colour and shape. The huge advantage of larger water features is that you can plant species for different depths of water including marginal plants and just damp lovers as well as full on pond planting.
Ponds and streams can be created in relatively small gardens too, allowing the addition of bridges, boardwalks and little waterfalls as well as the delight of the water itself.
Expanding the scale to more formal larger landscapes, lakes with fountains have long been a staple of the English country garden and with good reason!
There is also plenty of opportunity to create serious wow factors and striking statements using water…the example below was created by Architects RO&AD in the Netherlands, and while this is on a somewhat industrial scale it is certainly thought provoking.
The example below is also a departure from the norm, showing a more domestic scale to a stunning feature wrapping around a house and providing a bridge to the naturalistic planting beyond.
There are so many more things you can do with water than the basic recycling features, although these can be delightful if placed well. A water table is a wonderful way to give a safe and modern twist to water in the garden for example, and can be created in a range of sizes and finishes.
Water features come in all shapes and sizes, fulfil different functions and budgets so feel free to talk to us about how to create something unique for you.
If you need tips on more practical aspects of managing water, and issues with drainage do have a look at water water everywhere . Designing with water does of course need to include a great deal of practical consideration, whether an entirely man made water feature, a sculpture, or a larger landscape feature or one using natural water courses, water is challenging and chaotic, but the results can be awesome.
CGLA are an award winning team of Garden Designers, Landscape Architects, Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here