You can never convince me that fire or water features are not a good idea. For that matter, I am not sure you would be able to convince me that there can ever be too much water or fire in a project. For this blog I will focus on water features.
My first thought when designing water features is what style will it be. Are you looking for a contemporary, natural, Mediterranean, Spanish or a whimsical water feature look? Maybe you are thinking of a combination of one or two styles. Some styles seem to be almost made up. I am taking about names such as French country or Mexican Contemporary. But using these terms sort of sets you thinking in a certain direction when designing water features.
For contemporary water features my initial thoughts I tend to be that of straight lines and spheres. I usually start with water features made of pots. The pots can be a single jug pot, three wok pots spilling in one another. A cross between contemporary and natural can be cylindrical drilled rock column with water coming out the top as either a bubbler or a frothier.
Another contemporary water feature is wok pots spilling into each other. I usually like an odd number of three, five or six pots or wok pots for water features. Yes, I know six is an even number, but it can also be viewed as two sets of three. Someone once called me on that.
Another contemporary water feature would involve a spear or a cube. The water would come out of the spear or cube of the water feature. Cube scan be pretty cool. They are under used and be set on a flat side, point and then maybe on an angle.
Iron can also be easily be viewed as a contemporary look for water features. The iron work curves and geometric lines can be the “art work” of the water feature. I would say you could also combine the iron and concrete in contemporary water features. The iron would both rust and possibly have a patina.
When designing a Spanish looking water features I seem to gravitate toward using natural stones such as Cantera, Travertine, Slate, Limestone and Marbella. Some engineered products work very well also with water features. The patterns for tile and pavers can be a herringbone, hop scotch, Versailles, random or maybe even a custom pattern. The masonry portion usually consists of soft curves, both tumbled and chiseled stone or pavers and tile for water features.
Mediterranean looking water features can be very similar to Spanish themes. When I think of Mediterranean water features I envision old world decor. This can most defiantly mean tumbled or chiseled stone with both broken and interrupted patterns surrounding the water feature.
Although the look is extremely important in water features, but so is the function of a water feature. When I say function I am referring to the reason for building a water feature in the first place and that is the sound. It seems odd to build water features where you will not hear them. There are times when the water feature is not close to the house and the water feature is in a separate location. The thing is that you should be able to be close to the water feature in able to enjoy the sounds.
Speaking of sounds, not all water features sound the same. Water features should be designed with the notion of how its surroundings will affect the water features sound. A very creative way to deal with the sound of water features is having the water trickle down a chain. The thought is very similar to using a rain chain. You can use standard chain links or become more ambitious and search out other mediums for your water features.
My koi pond’s water feature is situated in a court yard with the shortest wall being six feet tall and others as high as twenty feet tall. This means that tricking water gets amplified. I have a water spot that pours the water into as cantera pot and then empties into the pond. Even the rate the water is pumped can make a difference in the water features sound. You need to be aware of how the area that the water feature is located will affect the sound of that particular water feature. This is why it is important that you hear the water feature before you purchase it.
This type of thinking is what separates hiring a landscape designer for your project and purchasing one that is not running at a nursery or stone yard. A landscape designer is aware of what is important and is always in search of the wow factor.