A water feature is an important part of an English garden. Whether it’s a formal fountain, a wildlife pond, or a pot filled with water and two plants, English gardeners always find a way to add water to their gardens.
Ortho’s All About Garden Pools and Fountains is a great book to get you started. It has lots of color photos for inspiration and detailed instructions to follow if you’re doing it yourself. I’ve installed two good-sized water gardens myself, and I wish I’d had this book before I started either of them!
The book presents lots of design ideas and questions for you to consider. First and foremost – what style of water feature do you want? This will depend on your own taste, but also depends on the style of the rest of the garden and of your home. One thing I really like about the book is that it gives lots of pictures of different possibilities so you can really see the options: you might try a small raised pond next to your deck, a bubbling container garden, or a bubbling millstone. It also includes instructions for installing a wall fountain or a freestanding fountain.
The book has charts that itemize the materials you’ll need and the costs of each, plus how to figure the total costs of the project. They review the different types of liners you might consider (pre-formed or flexible), and show you how to install them.
You’ll see step-by-step drawings on how to install a large water garden with liner, including lots of hints on what mistakes to avoid.
Large water gardens need some type of filter to keep the water clean, and the book reviews the various options. The book also shows you how to create a bog garden. Bog gardens are great for a larger water garden because they can naturally filter the water flowing into your pond.
The book lists the various types of water garden plants that you might consider for both inside your water garden, and surrounding it. It also gives calculations on how to figure out how many fish you’ll need based on the size of your pond.
Finally, it covers how to maintain your water garden. Large ones might need cleaned out every couple of years, and it gives you instructions on how to do this.
The style of the book is informal and very easy to understand.
Before you start any water feature project, I recommend that you read this book.
NOTE: I received a free review copy of Ortho’s All About Garden Pools and Fountains.
You can buy it on Amazon: