Of every 100 landscapes that beautify houses in the United States, three will include some type of water feature, whether it be a waterfall, pond or fountain. Currently, in Europe, 16 out of 100 landscapes include a water feature.
If what they say is true, that Americans tend to be slightly behind our European counterparts, at least when it comes to landscaping, adding water features to the yards that surround our
homes will continue to pick up speed in the years ahead.
Derk Hebdon, CLP, Water Features Division Manager for Bratt Landscaping, Inc. in Pleasant Grove, says he spends much of his day helping Utahns overcome two stereotypes about water gardening.
“There are two myths about water gardening. First, people believe they waste a lot of water when they install a pond or creek in their backyards. And second, that water features are too costly to maintain,” Hebdon says. “I’ll call these two myths half-truths, because they can be true if a water feature is not built right. If a water feature is built correctly it is very low maintainance and uses less water than grass or trees.”
Another concern Utah County residents have is that their water feature will soon collect debris and become murky with algae.
Hebdon says there’s no reason your water feature can’t be crystal clear when it’s treated like a living, breathing, working ecosystem. “If you understand the ecology of a pond, even an artificial pond, there’s no reason for the water not to be crystal clear.”
Hebdon said that a combination of three things will keep your water feature clear of algae. Bacteria (applied by the
owner in granual form), water plants and fish (like Koi or goldfish) will help to keep pesky algae in check. “We create a working ecosystem. The fish, plants and bacteria all work with each other to keep ponds clear and clean. Between the plants, fish and bacteria, what’s actually happening is you end up starving the algae,” says Hebdon.
Installed, a water feature is similarly priced to a hot tub. “Water features start at about $4,000. That would include a 6-foot by 10-foot pond, with a waterfall, plants, liner, rock work and mechanical and biological equipment.”
“A well-designed water feature will actually increase your property value. Most of the water features have under-water and above-ground lighting. It’s really very dramatic,” says Hebdon. “Most people who get started in water gardening usually end up expanding their water feature. It’s a very fun hobby.”