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Pond Plants & Fountain

Adding a pond is a great way to set a relaxing mood and add a little bit of sound

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

On this particular water feature, we incorporated a runnel, or a channel of stainless steel. We want it to be not really naturalistic, but sometimes you'd see something like this if there's a natural spring occurring in a hillside. In an agrarian context, a farmer or rancher might put in a pipe into the hill to tap into that spring, and this is sort of following along that effect just with the runnel, where you can see the water sparkle if it comes down the runnel. As the plants grow up, the source will be a little more hidden, and then this water will kind of come out and flow into this. Again, you could almost say that this rectangular water feature could have sort of utilitarian roots in the design aesthetic.

Taking a natural approachWhen people do a water feature, they have two options they can do. They can either chlorinate it and have it be a sterile feature, or they can create a water garden, which is the approach we prefer. I think of water as a life element and if you treat it with chlorine, it's no longer able to sustain life, so we like to have it naturalistic. Even though the water feature might be architectural and rigid, we like to have an ecosystem approach, with water plants, small fish, mosquito fish to keep the mosquitos out. You'll have dragonflys coming in.

When you do the planting, it's nice to soften the feature, especially if it has a wall. Use a vertical planting element. Here's an Egyptian papyrus. This will actually grow up to be probably about 6 or 7 feet tall, quite dramatic. You have striped rush, you have water irises, you have horsetails, and these vertical plants are a nice, little dramatic touch which softens the feature. And they actually provide great habitat for dragonflys to come in and lay their eggs.

In addition to that, water lilies can be very important for shading the water and they help to cool the water and keep the algae growth down, as well provide the visual interest with the blooms. All these plants can help balance the water quality by pulling nutrients out of the water and they also compete with the algae.

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