Just Add Water by Nicki Jackson
A recipe for success in any garden, a water feature can bring many benefits. Here are our top 5 reasons (in no particular order) to ‘just add water’ to your garden….
- Water is a magnet for wildlife. Regardless of whether it’s still or moving, large or small, water will attract critters to your garden. Birds, frogs, newts, dragonflies, damselflies, insects, mammals, you name it; a water feature will likely become a watering hole and/or habitat for it, especially if the water in question is rainwater, not from the tap. In terms of increasing biodiversity in your garden – water is a crucial ingredient.
- Being near water is good for humans. More and more studies are quantifying the positive cognitive and physical effects of being near water on humans, even man-made water such as fountains and water features. Our brains respond positively to being near water; the sight and sound of which can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and spark feelings of relaxation. Linked to the already proven benefits of nature on human’s wellbeing just adding water to a garden can really help to offset the stresses of living and working in today’s world.
- The sound of water is a welcome and effective distraction. Whether it’s the sound of neighbours, traffic, dogs barking, children or radios playing, noise pollution can be difficult to cope with. The sound of water on the other hand, generally isn’t. Linked to the positive effects of water on us as alluded to above, the splish-splash of trickling water gives us an opportunity to focus our attention on a more pleasing sound and whilst a water feature will rarely fully block out external noise pollution, having a more pleasurable sound source closer to us works extremely well as a distraction from more negative sounds emanating from beyond the garden boundary.
- Water adds light, dimension and depth. Add extra spice to your garden by harnessing the reflective qualities of water. Water reflecting sky and sunshine can bounce extra light around, perfect for a shady spot; whilst reflected plants on a water surface add seemingly endless depth and dimensions. Falling and splashing water catches and dances with light too and rippling water creates reflections that add otherworldly dimensions to your garden.
- Water looks good and works hard (to support a garden design). There are other things we could put in this list – how flowing water can help improve air quality for instance, or how a well-tended water feature can help boost the selling price of your property – but when all’s said and done, probably the main reasons to just add water is because it looks fantastic but can achieve things for you too. Water features can work hard in terms of design where they can add drama and impact when used as a focal point – think fountains and cascades, for instance; they can lead the eye through a garden landscape when moving – think rills and naturalistic streams; they can add ambience and distraction through the sounds of running water; they can add surprise and delight when used as the subject of a reveal; this mini-list can go on and on. Suffice to say that water features can be used in a myriad of ways and with the enormous diversity of styles and sizes available, there is a water feature out there to suit everyone who wants one.
With all the benefits it brings, when you gather all of the ingredients for your garden together, just add water, it will make all the difference.
© Nicki Jackson, Blue Daisy Gardens 2020