The tinkling sound of running water, the soothing sound of water rushing across pebbles, whatever you are drawn to – the ambient acoustic nature of a water feature can be a wonderful addition when creating a relaxing, calming outside space.


There are many reasons why installing a water feature can be beneficial. They can be used to create a focal point in the garden or to add a the sensory experience of sound – whether loud, crashing, dramatic noise or comforting, melodic rhythm. Ponds are often used to reflect light, movement and patterns or enhance the natural beauty of the garden as well as introducing a different type of natural environment. Wildlife, birds and insects can be encouraged/introduced into your space by installing wildlife friendly water features. The supporting planting can further add atmosphere and wildlife value to the water feature.


Choosing the most suitable spot to install your water feature will be affected by several factors. You need to consider the size and scale of your intended feature – a pond will have different considerations than a small stand-alone fountain. You should consider sunlight, sunrise, and sunset. Where is the best spot in the garden to catch the morning sun? or do you intend to enjoy your water feature with a glass of wine enjoying the last few hours of late summer evening rays? Wildlife ponds should be sited out of direct sunlight to reduce the thermal affect. If the water feature is for sound then a wall or fence can help deflect the sound to the intended target area.

Where will the pumps and services run?

If you are thinking of planning a larger structure then you should also consider how it integrates with the existing garden space – avoid positioning it under large trees where overhanging branches will increase maintenance requirements.


Now the why and where have been considered – the ‘What’ is next.

Most water features are self-contained so do not need access to a water source. Topped up occasionally from a hose is fine. If there is moving water or a pump – then how the electrics will get to the pond need to be addressed.

Ponds are considered permitted development, so you do not need generally need permission to build one, but in order to be classed as permitted development there are certain size restrictions that may be introduced. There is a guideline maximum depth of 1.2 metres and a maximum area of 2 square metres – anything outside of this may require planning but if in doubt it may be worth checking with your local authority.

We think water adds a wonderful element to any garden when sited and designed correctly and built in a way that considered the ongoing maintenance requirements.

If you are considering a water feature in your garden design, Emotive Landscapes can ensure that your garden becomes a place of quiet reflection and an outdoor space that you want to spend time in – whatever the time of day or year. Please make contact and ask how we can help.

Do you have a similar project you’d like us to work on? Please contact us.

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