Create a Water Feature
Water features are an ideal focal point in the rock garden. They enhance the naturalistic feel and add an element of interest. Rock garden plants can be tucked along water's edge as well as along the slopes and niches created in the construction of the water feature.
Our water feature has a header pool, curved running stream and small still pool. This is a level site, so we mounded soil to create a large berm. We dug the waterway and lined the entire area with pond liner which extends well beyond the water line. Rocks were placed both above and below the water level to conceal the liner and naturalize the appearance of the water feature. The liner was cut back to allow plantings after the water was flowing.
The pond depth is 24" which is the recommended depth in our climate to keep the pond from freezing solid in winter. Check an authority in your region to determine the best depth for your pond . We created a shallow bog area and shelf where we can place water plants. The pond includes a small bog garden (a pocket filled with sand and covered with river rocks) where we grow water loving plants such as Carex, Juncus and the taller red Cardinal Flower at center.
The black hose wll be attached to a pump located at the bottom of the pond and will carry water back to the top waterfall. A recirculating pump located at the deepest part of the pond directs water through a flexible hose back to the header pool. Note the shallow beach area which allows animals that fall (or jump) in the water an easy way out.
We created a header pool to simulate a spring then flows over a flat rock to create a small water fall. We allowed water to flow as we placed the rocks to make sure we achieved the flow and effect we were after. We planted creeping thyme and other creeping and mat forming plants that trail over and soften the rocks but do not conceal the water while taller, upright plants at the back add interest and frame the space.
Even this short waterfall creates the sound of flowing water while our collection of brightly colored agates were scattered in the stream to catch the eye. We included rounded river rocks of varying sizes beneath the water to create a natural waterworn appearance.
The pond attracts beneficial wildlife such as this Red Dragonfly that lingered on the Cardinal Flower one warm summer afternoon.
What is more restful than a still pond with a water lily?