Water: The Harmonious Element
Water is such an integral part of our everyday life. Not only is it a physical part of who we are, it is naturally sought after by people young and old alike.
Water naturally draws us in and makes us feel connected to nature. A prime example of this is how people naturally congregate and settle along major waterways and coastlines throughout Australia. Our love for water and nature is an important reason to consider bringing water into your private landscape as a feature in your outdoor area.
Water features have many benefits and connect homeowners to their surrounding landscape, helping it to blend seamlessly into nature; creating sound, movement and texture to the area. They are incredibly eye-pleasing and functional consisting of various elements all working as a part of a harmonious unit.
Water used in landscape provides beauty and tranquillity that is unmatched to any other medium and can be applied in a multitude of ways, from active play, such as inground pools and spas, to being used to create feelings of peace and tranquillity in small courtyard spaces. The use of ponds, fountains and waterfalls will enhance any area whether large or small.
The aesthetic qualities of having water in your landscape have many benefits and executing a proper, well-planned-out design is important to ensure that you will get the most livable value out of your feature.
Choosing the way you’d like to use water in your landscape
As with any facet of design, it is important to identify the size & scale of the space you have to work with and the intended use of the space. Additional considerations when it comes to using water as a feature in your landscape are:
– What sort of impact do you want to create with the feature?
– Do you want this to be a statement piece or blend subtly into nature?
– How do you want to use the water?
– Do you want to actively use and interact with the water or would you prefer the relaxing and aesthetic value that water brings to a landscape?
A passive water feature refers to the interaction that people have with the water and the emotional connection it inspires. Tranquillity, relaxation, ‘the sound of nature” are all expressions that come to mind when thinking of Passive water features. Interactions with these water features involve viewing or hearing the water rather than moving in or around water. Bubbling urns, water walls, still water bowls are all examples of passive water features.
If it’s an atmosphere of tranquillity you are wanting to create, gentle water movement is the perfect option. A peaceful atmosphere is easily created with the movement of water and the gentle sounds of slow trickling or bubbling. Tranquil water features are used to create white noise in crowded cities and urban environments. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, from gentle cascading waterfalls to water spilling over small urns or shallow water bowls.
Active – For Living
Active bodies of water are those that are able to be physically used in life and include in-ground pools, plunge pools and spas. These allow for leisure and an active lifestyle and provide quality outdoor living wherever possible.
With a wide range of prefabricated or custom-built pools available, spaces can be transformed and shaped to create the perfect setting for your family and friends to enjoy. Whether large or small having the water in your landscape through the use of a swimming pool or can still provide an immense sense of relaxation and a connection to water that we are naturally drawn to.
For those who want to emulate the natural landscape and encourage wildlife into their garden, creating a water area such as a billabong that incorporates large natural rocks, pockets of water-loving vegetation and flowing water is the way to go. Birdlife and insects are drawn to these water features which can also promote an active ecosystem that can evolve over time. This can provide endless entertainment and education for you and your family – regardless of age – whilst providing a stronger connection to nature in your landscape.
There are water features that are designed to create a ‘wow-factor’ in your landscape or become a showpiece in your garden. These can be custom designed in a multitude of ways to create a unique statement. These features can be accentuated by various lighting or textural elements such as polished concrete, mirrors and crafted stonework and of course plants.
The options and possibilities to use water in your landscape are wide and varied and is limited only by your imagination. The key to successfully executing a passive or active water feature in your landscape and one that suits your lifestyle will depend greatly on your landscape designer.