Seaside Magazine Starfish

Posted On June 29, 2017 By In Home & Garden, Regulars With 580 Views

West Coast Gardener: Moving Water in Your Landscape

by Matt Hall, Wildwood Nursery – 

Most gardeners appreciate what moving water can do in a landscape. It can bring in wildlife, hide traffic noise, and even transform an ordinary yard into a paradise. If you are someone who has limited garden space or is confined to a patio, here are some options that allow you to transform that outdoor area into your very own paradise by the use of a water feature.

Above-Ground Fountains

There are thousands of types of above-ground fountains that can be placed in a garden or patio. They range from tiny tabletop displays to huge courtyard centerpieces. The joy of having an above-ground piece is the variability in styles and the modest requirements of a flat bit of ground and a plug in. There are even wall mounted fountains that look amazing against garden walls.

Below-Ground Fountains

This style of fountain is very popular for homeowners who are looking for a more permanent feature. The underground design involves a below-ground basin with a decorative feature placed at ground level. A pump recirculates the water over the feature into a bed of stones that are placed over the basin so as to blend the feature into the garden. For this style of feature one would need a minimum of one foot of soil depth to successfully bury the water basin.

Bowl Gardens

This is a great selection for people who want to have pond plants without a pond. Traditionally “duck-egg pots” and half wine barrels were the choice of water gardeners, but now there are much better (and lighter) options for a bowl garden. Good ones will have a shelf for marginal plants, like cannas and irises, as well as a pass-through to hide the cord of a pump or light. If weight isn’t an issue, a pot without drain holes that is fully glazed can also do a great job. These days there are some great miniature water lilies, cat-tails and irises that look quite sharp in a small pot.

Tips for Small Space Water Gardening:

• Mosquitos are unlikely to use a water feature to lay eggs as they prefer still water.

• Having a small basin at the top of your water feature, an inch or two deep, will become a favorite spot for bathing hummingbirds.

• There are three broad types of water plants: submerged (sit on the bottom and grow up), marginal (live on the bank or in shallow water), and floaters (live on the surface).

For more information email me at



Your West Coast Culture. A magazine about the people and places that make the Saanich Peninsula the little piece of paradise we call home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *