Water captivates, astonishes and inspires awe. Using a confluence of water, light and often music, it wields power over emotion and state of mind. Water can provide ambiance, create a vibe, and define a space. Done right, it interrupts the lockstep of neighborhood lawns and creates a stunning and impactful show, etched in the mind’s eye of admirers.
Incorporating entertaining water into your landscape calls for creativity and deft planning. It can be integrated into a pond, waterfall, fountain or cascade—or simply into a small area of hardscape.
The landscape’s configuration is a determining factor for type and location. Consider whether the adjoining space will be used during daylight, evening or both. Water features that leverage vertical space make sense for smaller areas; expansive features adorn larger spaces nicely.
Reference the basic principles of design to incorporate water into your landscape. Scale the feature to its allotted space. Large or small, narrow or wide—almost any space will work; the trick is sizing your water feature to scale. Incorporate juxtapositions; layer contrasting elements that bring out the best in each other. Think cement statuary next to wispy grasses; vibrant blooms cascading over stone. Balance the visual weight of elements around the focal point. Repeat key elements throughout the space to create a pleasing visual rhythm. Keep plants and other elements organized and maintain their visual connection to each other.
Dynamic water patterns, lighting and music create drama—an integral element of any captivating show. It’s about the the interplay of lights and water; enhanced by varying jet heights and the intensity and color of lights. Experiment with various nozzles to create the vibe that suits the occasion—serene for a tête-à-tête, modern and edgy for a hip cocktail party. Nozzles that can be controlled independently allow you to create a unique show; illuminating the feature in neutral white, red, green or blue sets the mood.
Visualize the sensory impact of the water’s movement and the colorful lighting. As day fades into night, varying the jet heights and creating new rhythms with light and music will foster a new experience.
Your masterpiece will entertain and delight for years to come. Details make the difference—so seek inspiration and do your homework. Sidestep your comfort zone, push your creative limits—it will pay off in oohs and aahs.