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All about Water Garden

What is it?

Water gardening is a very beautiful form of gardening that has been present and followed for ages. The Mughal gardens, in particular, have water features in their garden. Water adds life to all the gardens irrespective of its size. The simulation of a natural landscape with a water body by proper planning with the use of the different plants and other features is called water gardening. It helps in breaking the monotony of a large scape of land. These forms of gardens have become popular in the contemporary style of gardening. The water gardens have an endless variety, designs and planting options that make them unique and personalized in their style. Apart from the Mughal style of gardens, the Japanese style of the garden also uses the water component as a very essential part of their gardens along with the koi fishes in it.

 

Where can we design?

The water garden can be designed in either a naturally available water body or in an artificially created body of water. The water garden created becomes complete when it is visible even from our living space and provides pleasure to us. The site should have bright sunlight for at least six hours. It will help in the growth of the plants that have been planted in it. A shady place or a place under a tree should be avoided as it will be a hindrance to the growth of the plants and there are also chances of getting dirty very often. Also, a very high sunny location will  lead to the growth of algae. So, the location is very critical for a water garden to enjoy and maintain it. Access for electricity is also important for providing lights and other features to the water garden.

How to add plants in there?

The plants in a water garden are easy to plant. The plants in a water garden are either completely rooted in the ground or they float in the surface of the water or can even be submerged. The rooted plants can be planted directly in the soil or it can be planted in small pots and kept on the ground surface. The creation of shelf like structures during the construction of a water garden is essential for those plants that are to be placed in the pots. The floating plants have no issues and can be made to float in the surface of the water. The deeper the water garden, the greater are the options for plants and the various features being incorporated in the water garden.

Before planting the rooted plants, soil to a height of about 1 feet is added and manures like compost or cow dung is added for the good growth of the plants. The plants that are rooted are planted and water is being filled till the crown region. Once as the plant starts to grow, the water level can be increased.

  • Rooted plants – Lotus, Water Lily
  • Floating plants – Eichhornia species
  • Submerged plants – Valesneria, Hydrilla

 

  • Water Lily

What are the components of it? 

  1. Pond liners – These help in the construction of an artificial water garden. The liners are available in various materials like rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and concrete. The fixing if the liners will create the basic structure for the water garden. It is available in different sizes and shapes.
  2. Pumps – It helps in the movement of water from one place to another in a water garden or to a fountain or waterfalls in the garden. It also helps in maintaining the water quality by filtering.
  3. Filters – Used for the sole purpose of cleaning water in the water garden. The filters can be either mechanical or biological. The water basically flows through the filter in the water garden and gets filtered in this process. It makes the water safe for fishes and plants. Skimmers are a sort of mechanical filter that cleans the bigger sized debris in the water.
  4. Fountains – They make a very beautiful component in the water garden. They break the monotony of the water garden. The different forms of the fountain and the various lighting adds beauty to the entire garden
  5. Waterfall – The waterfalls create a calm and serene atmosphere to the water garden and it is also pleasing to the eye. The mild sound of the waterfall gives a relaxing effect to the people there.
  6. Lightings – It is used to enhance the beauty of the various features added to the water garden.

      7. Fishes – Fishes create a mobility to the garden. They bring more life to the overall garden and also help in cleaning the algae in the water surface.

Steps to construct the pond

  • Select a suitable site.
  • Dig out the land for the water body.
  • Plan for the electrical and plumbing lines and for the various fixtures to be installed.
  • Place the liner and fasten it strongly.
  • Add the soil and plants.
  • Add the rocks or gravels for beautification.
  • Fill in with the water and fishes.
  • Plan the surrounding landscape to compliment the water garden.

Water garden is one of the most rewarding features you can add to your garden. Whether you choose a small or a full-scale pond, soothing sights and sounds of running water, the colorful and often fragrant water plants, beautiful koi fish and the wild creatures they attract, will bring peace and serenity to your landscape.

 

Happy gardening

 

Chinese Garden

‘HUA YUAN’ style of ‘ZHONG GUO’ – Well…I simply mean Garden style of China! (;0)

We all know more about the Japanese garden than the Chinese perhaps because the former opened up to the world in around 1868 while the latter came in as late as the 1979 but it is a known fact that the Japanese garden style gets its roots from China.

The Chinese believed that all things are related to each other and co exist in balance and harmony (which is seen in Yin and Yang, the five elements and Tai Chi). There gardens are a microcosm of Nature. Mountains, Oceans and Forest can be replicated as Rocks, Water and Plants.

Chinese Garden

Chinese Garden

Incorporate these typical features of the Chinese garden to have one of your own

  • The Chinese garden style is naturalistic. Most of them occupied large space. See if you can make your gardens a replica of the site closest to your regions landscape. This could be the best way to imitate nature.
  • Movement was emphasized by having views at necessary nodes. The pathways were designed as tight and curving bearing a belief that any malicious spirits following would loose its trail! With every dynasty, the garden design evolved and covered walkways became a common feature.
  • Your footprint should be designed in a meandering fashion. To build curiosity, lead the pathway into a beautiful created view.
  • Weathered rocks were used specifically to remind Taoist teachings “soft things came over hard things.”They also represent YANG-the masculine.
  • Add Rocks and place them randomly on site.
  • Built elements like Pavilions, kiosks became well integrated with the outdoors. There were built for the purpose to read or do calligraphy. Functional aspects like having a children’s play area in the design were thought of.
  • A Pavilion in your garden is an interesting Chinese element that you can add.
  • Water was an important element. Ponds would not only have fishes but also other amphibians. You would also find flowering plants in the water body. A built structure was strategically placed, partially on water and partially on ground. Water represents YING-the female.
    Chinese Garden

    Chinese Garden

  • Make a realistic curvilinear pond. It can be the central feature of your garden. You could have small bridges over the water body.
  • Shrubs and Trees which are flowering are seen. Less plants were used. Get plants which depict something. For example Bamboo is used quite commonly in Chinese gardens. It blends with the wind and does not break. Use peopnies, they represent wealth and elegance.
  • The garden walls were short and mostly painted white to give a backdrop when the plants casted shadows. They had moon shaped entrance/exits for the garden.
  • Have windows which open into the garden from your home. Add moon gates to your garden entrance.

 An elegant mix of these features will give you a Chinese garden.

Happy thematic gardening!

The English Garden

There is a whole lot of history associated with English Gardens. We will start with introducing you to the few pioneers of the English garden style and give you a gist of key features of their flair. We will also add, a short note on what you can take from these designers for your home.

Garden at ROUSHAM

Image of the garden at ROUSHAM

The natural style of these gardens was started by WILLIAN KENT who was  an Architect, a painter, a Landscape Architect and also a Furniture designer. Hard to believe, but very true! Kent introduced ‘naturalstic style’ for garden designing. It simply means that Kent kept the garden design, in its look as close to nature as possible. He added winding pathways leading to the temple, had cascades, he enjoyed giving water bodies in his design a natural shape and in short his work had a very informal garden appearance.

Another great pioneer of the English garden was William Kent’s pupil and son in law – Lancelot “Capabilty” Brown. I must say, the entire garden designing talent came from this family! Lancelot did away from the all the geometric designs and brought freshness by having lawns to maximum lengths, introduced artificial water bodies in the form of streams, canals and damns to give the illusion that that water is naturally available, bridges to connect them and belts or clumps of trees.

Water feature at Cheswick house

Water feature at Cheswick house

Now for all the history lovers, you can see a preview of the garden style by William Kent in villa for Alexander Pope’s villa garden at Twickenham, for Queen Caroline at Richmond and Rousham House, Oxfordshire and design works of Capabilty Brown can be observed in Compton Verney, Warwickshire and Ickworth house and garden, Suofflk. Besides these two works of Humphry Repton, considered as a successor of Capability Brown, is quite famous as well.

If you want to imitate an English Landscape then these are the few must haves –

  • We suggest that an English garden is best suited if the architecture of your home is on the similar lines.
  • Find a balance of informal and formal planning in your garden layout. You can achieve this by using curvilinear and straight geometry. Avoid symmetry since the intention is to give the garden a natural appearance.
  • A water pond with ornamental plants or a fountain with a classical statue is an essential. If you have acres of land, try and make an artificial stream and add bridges at necessary nodes for connectivity.
    Ickworth house garden ,Suffolk

    Ickworth house garden ,Suffolk

  • Have a fairly large lawn bordered with perennial plants. Roses are quite a common plant in this style.
  • You can use brick or stone pathway and picketed fences
  • Add an Arbour which will lead to a your home entrance
  • Have small stone seating in your garden
  • Allow your garden to be slightly overgrown with plants, you will mostly find flowering plants in this style of garden

Adding these elements with proper planning and execution will give you your very own English garden.

Written by Priyanka Malik for GreenMyLife

 

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