Landscaping for Water Features

landscaping a water feature

Garden water features are awesome. But without careful landscaping they can look out of place. Here are our tips on landscaping for water features.

No question about it, any garden, no matter how large or how small, can be enhanced by adding a water feature. But how do you make a water feature sit comfortably in its surroundings?Landscaping for water features is all about having an eye for garden design and knowing which plants and materials will enhance its function. Here’s how the AB Aquatics team approach landscaping for water features.

  • Decide what style your garden should be
  • What role will your water feature play? Focal point? Wildlife pond? Swimming pond? Fish nursery?
  • Position your water feature carefully
  • Plan the journey to your water feature – make it a destination
  • Use landscaping materials, plants and lighting to create ambience

small raised water feature with landscaping plants

What is your landscaping style?

Congratulations on deciding to install a water feature into your garden. By doing so you are adding character, ambience and originality to your outdoor space. 

What sort of water feature have you chosen? Will it be a naturalised wildlife pond? A fountain? A tranquil pool or a home for your fish collection? Does it need to be child-friendly? Safe for you to swim in? Able to drown out the sound of passing traffic?

There are so many different styles and functions of water feature that it’s almost impossible to detail each one in a single blogpost. However, the one thing they all have in common, is that they are all improved by landscaping the area around them.

Perhaps you are planning a formal pool close to your outdoor dining area, or maybe a bubbling brook running through a wooded area. However you imagine your water feature, its crucial to design and landscape the area around it. 

AB Aquatics have been designing and creating water gardens for over 20 years and we can advise you on the best landscaping features to show your water feature off to its best advantage.

landscaping around a lake

Make your water feature into a destination

One of the principals of landscaping and garden design is to create destinations within a garden. That could be somewhere to sit quietly or a place to party – its up to you how you use your outdoor space.

Landscaping for water features often includes installing a path to lead you to the water and then a resting place so that you can enjoy it.  Where will you place your pool? Should it be visible from the house or will you use the elements of hide and reveal to make your garden more interesting. Perhaps you want to hear the water but not immediately see it?

Once you are beside the water, how will you interact with it? Are you visualising stepping stones? A bridge? A lovely deck where you can sit to dip your toes? All of these landscaping features need to be planned in advance so that the water feature can be built to accommodate them.

Lighting and plants

Garden lighting and water make the perfect combination…providing they are both properly installed! A professional landscaper will plan your lighting very carefully indeed. Knowing where to lay the cables and which light fittings to use is an art in itself! Installing the lighting, is of course, a job for a suitably qualified electrician. NEVER try to wire your own pond lights. The same thing applies to fountains. For the best, and safest, results, you should always leave it to the experts.

Planting in and around a pond or lake will not only improve its looks, it will help to keep the water clear and healthy too.

landscaping with water feature

Landscaping a water feature involves creating “shelves” and slopes beneath the water level so that different species of plant can thrive. In the world of pond planting, biodiversity matters! Having said that, it’s important to avoid plant species that might prove troublesome in the future. Invasive roots, leaves that fall into the water or thuggish plants that will quickly outgrow their space are something to think about. How much time and energy do you want to expend on pond maintenance every year? Discuss this with your landscaper before your project begins.

Water feature design, installation and landscaping

AB Aquatics from Dorset are highly skilled in designing, installing and landscaping water features. We have worked in all manner of gardens, from small urban back gardens needing a wildlife pond to vast estates creating large lakes.

Take a look at our portfolio of work and see if we can inspire your own landscaping project.  

Need help? Here’s how to contact us.

Read more articles about landscaping

Building a pond on a budget.

How to build a natural swimming pond.

How to choose a landscape gardener.