Enjoy the many benefits of adding water features to the landscape

Thu, 04/06/2023 - 3:15pm

    Boost the beauty and your enjoyment by adding a fountain, birdbath, or other water feature to your balcony, deck, or landscape. This one addition to your outdoor space provides many benefits.

    The sound of moving water helps create a sense of peace and relaxation. It is a form of white noise that helps calm the mind and revive your spirit.

    It also helps mask noise pollution. Combine water features with strategic screening to create a quiet and private space.

    Water is also a great way to attract songbirds and pollinators to your gardens. A birdbath with gently sloping sides allows birds and insects to take a sip without getting all wet.  Or add a few stones to your birdbath to accomplish the same results. Be sure to change the water often as providing fresh water is important for the health of your winged guests.

    Bring in even more birds by adding some type of water agitator to your birdbath. Moving water is very appealing and helps attract more birds, especially during spring and fall migration.

    No need to worry about mosquitoes taking residency in your water feature. Moving water is less appealing and adding Summit® Mosquito Dunks® (SummitResponsibleSolutions.com) to water features prevents mosquitoes from breeding there. Just toss this donut-shaped cake of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) into the water. This naturally occurring bacteria only kills the larvae of mosquitoes, black flies, and fungus gnats. It won’t harm people, pets, fish, or wildlife.

    With so many options you are sure to find one that fits the size and style of your outdoor space. A wall-mounted fountain provides calming sound to patios, porches, and spaces near your home without taking up any valuable floor space.

    A small tabletop water garden or fountain can make a nice centerpiece when dining outside or entertaining guests. Then simply move your miniature water feature as needed to maximize your enjoyment.

    A natural boulder-turned water fountain is the perfect addition for those with informal or natural spaces. Make it appealing to birds by selecting one with a flat area or small indentation to capture some of the water before it flows over the edge.

    Select a garden statue with a built-in water fountain for a different aesthetic. Animals and mystical figures add playfulness to the garden while stately figures fit nicely in more formal settings.

    Convert one or several plant pots into a fountain. You’ll find lots of ideas and step-by-step directions on the internet. Or purchase one ready to install in the garden.  These, like other fountains, recirculate water which reduces water waste.

    Freshen up any space in the landscape with one of these water features. As soon as it is in place, you’ll enjoy the relaxing sounds of water and the songbirds, butterflies, and others it attracts to your gardens.

    Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook, 2nd Edition and Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” instant video and DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Summit for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.MelindaMyers.com.