Ponds & Water Features

Ponds and water features can be loosely divided into two main categories, formal and informal. Formal ponds are usually made with clean, sharp lines keeping things in proportion and symmetry. Informal ponds are ones which are generally more natural looking with irregular edges and planting to provide habitats for wildlife.

A natural-looking pond would usually have a still sheet of reflective water, with maybe the only movement being a gentle rippling as fish rise or the wind ruffles the surface.

A large garden could accommodate both styles, a formal pond with perhaps a classical wall fountain or a pool near the house and an informal, irregular pool set in a quite corner, but in smaller gardens you would normally have to settle for one or the other.

Informal Wildlife Pond

Informal ponds and water features, although apparently artless, require a degree of care when designing and placing. The pond should be as large as possible as the more generous its proportions, the more convincing it will look, and any curves must look natural and not contrived.

Getting the shape right

Most ponds in the wild, are roughly circular or elliptical, with a few indentations here and there so when designing an informal pool for the garden careful consideration should be given to placement in the garden, so it looks as natural as possible. Usually this means situating such a pond some way from the house and in area a natural feature might occur.

To help a stream look more natural, it is a good idea to make it seem to run out from under a bridge, or maybe rise as a spring bubbling up among stones and plants.

On fairly flat ground, the flow of a stream can be altered by placing rocks on the stream bed, while on a sloping site, effective, natural looking water falls and pools can be employed for an informal look.

Natural setting for this pool

Contemporary Water Feature

Formal Pond