Role of water in landscape design

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Role of water in landscape design and landscaping

The relationship between the designer of a landscape and the water features in that landscape is an important one. Water, when used well, can be a real asset to the landscape. But, if poorly designed, water can be a disaster. The wrong design can ruin an otherwise beautiful landscape. So, what design elements should be in play? The answer is dependent upon several variables: The location, the season and the maintenance issues involved.

Seasons and Maintenance

These are critical considerations. The design of a landscape may dictate certain requirements or drawbacks during specific seasons or conditions of the year. There are also maintenance issues which should be taken into consideration. Below, I will discuss each of these issues and then cover what to consider when designing a landscape to utilize water successfully.


A lot of the issue revolves around the location of the landscape. This can have great impact on the designer’s decisions in terms of the specific water features he or she needs to incorporate. Design decisions such as the number of streams, ponds, waterfalls or other features need to be planned with the location in mind. For example, many of the commonly used home improvement stores offer a supply of stream kits for the yard. The issues of supply and installation are easier to control if the water feature is only going in one spot. When it is a small, unobtrusive water feature in many places, a stock solution may not be needed.If the water feature needs to be placed in a small yard that can have severe issues with supply and installation, then a larger pond may be needed and the added height may make it difficult to use for all but a small amount of time throughout the year.

Maintenance Issues

In some locations, there may be water issues that have to be taken into consideration. For example, some homeowners end up with pond scum or algae that


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