How to build a serene garden water feature
Building a water feature doesn't have to cost a fortune, and, from waterfalls to streams, you can do it all yourself - here's our handy guide
We spoke to award-winning garden designer Kate Gould for some more expert tips…
Kate Gould is an award-winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes and a regular exhibitor at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where she has been awarded three Gold medals.
Water and plants are a magical combination but not all plants like damp feet, so when planning a natural water feature take your time and research what will work best in your particular situation.
Plants for damp shade: think leafy types here. Ferns, Hosta and the wonderfully named Farfugium all provide a foil in terms of leaves for more showy plants. Hosta and ferns in particular when planted in bold swathes are impressive in their own right but could be partnered with shrubs such as Cornus and Salix which, although bare in the winter, will add colour in the form of bright stems.
Plants for waterside edges in sun: here you will find the palette of plants is more colourful. Astilbe in shades of red and pink, Iris in blues and yellows, Primula in all manner of hues, white Aruncus and Zantedeschia. Hemerocallis also work well as do Lobelia cardinals varieties and, somehow, clashy colours that wouldn’t work elsewhere seemingly do around water.
The big and the bold: some plants grow to monsters and Gunnera, Rheum, Ligularia and Persicaria varieties can easily reach eight feet tall. In the case of a Gunnera, planted in the right place with the right degree of shelter, each leaf could reach eight feet across so unless you have plenty of space it is one to avoid!
Water in the garden is a joy and will encourage wildlife, therefore no matter what you plant it should be grown organically to allow wildlife to live in harmony with your scheme and help provide natural pest control.
For more information visit www.kategouldgardens.com.
Step-by-step images are taken from the Haynes Garden Landscaping Manual by Paul Wagland. It’s full of practical ideas and information for garden landscaping projects, from laying paving and building walls to choosing plants and adding lighting.