Turn Your garden into an African Rain Forest

If anything can turn a garden into a rainforest, it is a creekbed!

The most obvious water garden feature is a pond, and most people would think of a pond before anything else.

However, some backyards and suburban gardens do not easily lend themselves to ponds as such, for reasons of topography, size, or position. A creek bed, dry most of the time, can lead to a herb garden, vegetable garden, or flower bed.

When the garden at the end of the dry creek bed needs to be watered, lay the hose in it, turn on the tap, and water flows down the dry creek bed and into the garden!

Simple, economical, attractive, and easy to install!

The cheapest and easiest way to build a creek bed is to dig a shallow spoon drain, about one metre, or less, wide. Wind the spoon drain downhill, curving amongst trees or shrubs, if necessary, until it reaches the garden you will need to water.

Tamp the soil down well and place small rocks and gravel along the edges of drain, and some and small smooth rocks in the centre to create ripples and rapids. You can also plant grass in the creek bed to prevent soil erosion.

It is not advisable to use a plastic liner in a creek bed, because heavy rain will wash any gravel away, leaving an unsightly liner visible.

Alternatives

A better, but also more expensive option, is to use concrete or even fibreglass. If using concrete, you will need to lay reinforcing down first, using weldmesh or strong stiff wire netting.

Push small rocks and gravel into the concrete before it sets. You will also need to allow the concrete to cure for two weeks, under some wet sacks, to avoid cracking.

Fibreglass is a little more tricky. Heavy duty brown paper, or paper feed sacks, are laid in the spoon drain. A suitable sized piece of chopped strand mat is saturated with resin, and then laid on top of the brown paper.

*We have just found a very interesting web page which has Plans to build all sorts of garden stuff! Bridges, birdhouses, sheds, all sorts of beaut garden gear! If you are handy with a hammer and nails, or on a budget, this is the place for you!* Click here for garden furniture Plans, including a creek bridge!

The next piece of saturated chopped strand mat is then laid next to the first piece, but overlapping it at the join. This continues until the creekbed is covered with mat.

When cured, the whole process is repeated, until at least two layers of mat have been laid. When the resin is set, another coat of resin, tinted brown or green, is painted on, then sprinkled with coarse sand and gravel.

If you wish to use fibreglass it’s probably better to get a professional to do it for you. Fibreglass creek beds are expensive, but last a lifetime. They can also be cut into manageable size pieces and removed to another location, and rejoined, if required.

It is quite easy to incorporate a small waterfall in a creek bed, using a flat rock for the water to run over.

It is also effective to create a creek bed connecting two ponds, or a pond and a swamp garden. Creek beds are usually only practical if the yard has a slope, although it is possible to incorporate a waterfall, running down a short excavated slope, into a pond or garden.

A pump is usually required. If you have the space, don’t forget to put a small footbridge across the creek! Really, the possibilities are only limited by ones’ imagination.

*Creek bed plants* Most native water plants prefer still or slowly moving water. It is most effective to have one or two deeper areas in the creek bed that will hold water for a period of time after the water stops flowing.

These sinkholes are perfect places for some aquatic plants which like to have their roots growing in wet soil, and the stems sprawling across the creek bed, or along the bank. Water cress likes slowly running water, so a hollow built into the creek bed could be used to plant watercress.

Other plants include bacopa, or native cress, water primrose, nardoo, and knotweed. Ferns, sedges, and small shrubs can be planted near the edge of the creek, and in soil at the very edge. Most ferns and shrubs will quickly grow out over creek beds, and create a very pretty picture. Lomandras and dianellas are great, and don’t forget to include a couple of small palms near the creek bed, and a couple of small bushy shrubs, or dwarf clumping bamboo, for the birds to hide in!

Okay, that should have given you some ideas about a creek bed. Apart from giving you and your family much pleasure, a properly constructed, and appropriately planted creek bed should add thousands of dollars onto the value of your home.

Happy relaxing, Patrick

Backyard Waterfalls- The 4 Must Have finishing touches

One of the newest trends in landscaping is garden waterfalls. This is where fountains, ponds and waterfalls are combined together to form part of the whole scenery. Exotic fishes, specialized plants and elaborate lighting complete the picture.

There are a lot of garden waterfall designs to choose from. Over the Internet, you will get to see them in different shapes and sizes. In addition, every design has its own unique feature and style. Using only your imagination, you can also create one that will suit your taste and lifestyle.

There are a lot of factors to be considered in the process of building a garden waterfall.

The first is where it should be located. You can start by looking around you. Single out the area that is exposed to sunlight as much as possible. It should also be away from bushes or trees that have falling leaves or branches.

These things should be considered because the plants and animals in your garden waterfall will need all the sunlight that they can get. Furthermore, dried leaves and other particles can cause damage to the waterfall system if they have somehow gotten inside it. In addition, it can also harm the plants and animals that you have in the pond.

The second factor to be considered is your budget. The budget that you have will determine the size of the garden waterfall you want built. It is best if you keep up with the resources you have. This is because you might end up spending more than you should. If there are materials that are not as important as the rest, you can set it aside for later.

The only limit to the garden waterfall that you can create is your imagination. Make the most of what you have and use them to the best of their advantage. Summon all your creative juices so that you can come up with something wonderful even if you have limited resources and supplies.

The third factor is the kind of plants and animals you need to place in your waterfall. It is best to opt for aquatic plants so that maintenance will be easy. Do not cover the whole water with these plants. Half of it is enough.

Flowers are another option. Plant them around the edges of the pond. It can be noted that these plants secrete oxygen into the air. That way, you will have it in abundance while completing the beauty of the surroundings at the same time.

Have some fishes swimming around in the pond. Be sure that you know how big these fishes will get in time. Your pond may not be large enough to accommodate them when the time comes. Check on them regularly to make sure that remain in good health and free from predators.

Lastly, to be sure that your garden waterfall is always fresh and oxygenated, you will need to have a filter and pump installed. Continuous flow of water from the pump will drive away insects who want to breed in that area. The filter is the one that can solve algae problems that might surface later on.

Now, have you taken the time to consider all these factors? Chances are, you are already on your way to planning and designing your own garden waterfall.

Pond Waterfall Pumps- How to Choose the Best One

Some people love Do-It-Yourself projects. They prefer to create a thing of beauty with their own hands. With a DIY project, people get a sense of satisfaction that you cannot achieve with hiring other people to build something for you. If you are aiming to build your own backyard waterfall, you need to have the best materials and parts.

A key part in building a backyard waterfall is the pump. Your choice in the backyard waterfall pump would determine the overall look of your backyard waterfall. The structure of the backyard waterfall would be hollow without the water flowing through it. You would be left with a shell on your backyard.

Without the right backyard waterfall pump, people would continually study the structure with puzzled expressions and ask you what it is supposed to be. In choosing a backyard waterfall pump, here are some things you need to know:

1) Flow

You should buy a backyard waterfall pump which allows you to regulate the flow of the water. This way, you would be able to make sure that the backyard waterfall will look its best.

Some people, when they choose the wrong backyard waterfall pump, find that they need to modify the structure in order to accommodate the flow.

This, of course, means that time and money gets wasted.

In order to prevent this from happening, you need to plan your project carefully before you begin building. You need to choose the backyard waterfall pump carefully in terms of the water flow.

You need to see whether the flow caused by your backyard waterfall pump would be too weak or too strong to bring out the beauty in your structure.

2) Size

Large backyard waterfall pumps, of course, are ideal if you are planning to build a large structure. Some people would prefer using several small pumps to using one large pump as this would enable the waterfall to work even if a pump is broken.

In choosing a backyard waterfall pump, you need to remember that a key factor in building realistic backyard waterfalls is being able to hide the mechanism effectively.

Smaller pumps are easier to hide behind rocks. Small pumps also make minimal noise which would be drowned out by the sweet chiming of the falling fountain water. You do not want to hear mechanical sounds issuing from your waterfall; that would just ruin the effect you are trying to achieve.

3) Cost

The budget is always an issue to consider when you are in the middle of a DIY project. You need to consider your available resources when you want a completed project. You need to choose a water fountain pump that’s inexpensive, but not cheap.

This means you should look for something that will give you both quality and affordability.

It makes no sense to buy something that would cost you your entire life’s savings when you can get the same quality for a more affordable price.

“Cost”, however, does not solely refer to the price of the backyard fountain pump. You need to consider how much the pump will cost you in terms of electricity consumption and in repairs.

Because of this, you really need to choose that backyard waterfall pump carefully. You do not want to throw money away on a pump that needs to be fixed every day.

Pond Waterfall Ideas for Your Water Garden

Water features are becoming a popular way to make yards more interesting and add life to our landscapes.

Ponds and waterfalls provide beautiful scenery, the calming sound of flowing water, and they attract wildlife to our yards. You can enjoy the sight of wild birds coming to visit your water garden and the plants that surround it. Water features are simple and inexpensive to install if you use commercially available kits. You have only to provide the labor – all the other components and instructions are provided. Most pond and waterfall kits are customizable.

The most common way to incorporate a pond and waterfall into landscaping is the koi pond. Modeled after Japanese ponds full of beautiful fish, these relaxing water features are an excellent way to add an exotic flavor to your home and garden. Other options include a stand alone waterfall and many small ponds that are interconnected. You can indulge your imagination and build the watery paradise you envision. No matter what ideas you choose when creating your water garden, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, always consider the location and layout of your yard. A poorly positioned water garden will look out of place. Avoid putting water features directly in the middle of the yard. They will draw too much attention and destroy the “secret grotto” feeling that many people want in a water garden. Instead, consider putting your water garden off to the side of your property, or in a nice. Try to find places where the existing landscape complements your intended water feature.

Every water garden should have plants. Stark, bare rock ruins the peaceful atmosphere that we want out of our water gardens. Try to use plants that will survive well in your area and climate and that won’t need too much maintenance. They’ll blend in with the surrounding area better, and save you time. Choosing the right plants for your water feature doesn’t have to be hard. All you need to do is a little bit of research. Look for a book at your library, articles on the Internet about the best plants for a backyard pond, or ask your pond kit retailer for advice. You’ll soon find the right scenery to augment your perfect water feature.

When choosing fish, make sure that you research the species in advance. You’ll need to know how big they get, what kind of temperature, space, and food they need, and how much their upkeep will cost. Too many people treat fish as mere ornaments, forgetting that these animals need to be taken care of if their beauty is to add to a water garden. Don’t put small fish into a cramped pond, expecting that they’ll only grow to fit their space. Koi and even goldfish can grow to be a foot or more in length, and you’ll need to plan for this. With the right balance of elements, any waterfall or pond ideas will turn out to be a beautiful and satisfactory addition to your yard.

Pond Waterfalls: Another Dimension to Your Garden Pond

Do you wish to add another dimension to your garden pond? Then build a waterfall in it.

Building a waterfall into your garden pond is quite easy. All you need is to read on…

Here are the steps to following building your garden pond waterfall.

1. Make a plan.

Planning for a garden pond waterfall is necessary so that you will have something to base your construction on. The first thing you need to decide on is the design of the waterfall. From your desired design, you will be able to choose what kind of materials to buy or produce.

The most common mistake that people make when planning is to always opt for the largest waterfall style. In the process, they do not consider the size of the pond and how it will affect all other factors involved.

Keep in mind that the size of the pond should be proportioned to the width of the waterfall. Make sure that the construction will not destroy the balance of the overall surroundings.

2. Construction types.

There are basically two choices of construction to choose from. One is the use of a liner to put the rocks into and to form as the fall. The other is the use of the fiberglass waterfall unit.

The first choice is a lot of work in itself. And you will not be able to get the desired height if you are not capable of placing the rocks properly. So that leaves you with the easy choice of using fiberglass, which you only need to place on the pond.

Whichever type you choose, you still have to form the waterfall site by shoveling in the area where it should be placed.

3. Water pump.

The pump will serve as the medium for the water to be transported to the top of the waterfall. The size of the pump will depend on the width and height of the waterfall. You also need to consider the length of the pipe and whether it can extend from the source of the water to the waterfall.

You can always your dealer for the proper pump size to use. Just make sure that you know the dimensions of the pond so that the right kind of pump will be given to you.

4. Filters.

Biological filters help maintain the cleanliness of the water in the pond. It will also convert harmful elements into something that the pond and its inhabitants will benefit from.

The filter should be put on top of the waterfall so that the water is cleansed even before it flows into the pond.

The type of filter to be installed into your garden pond waterfall depends on the function that you want it to maintain. Again, you can ask your dealer for suggestions on what is the best filter to buy.

When all these are accounted for, all that needs to be done is for the waterfall to be built into your pond. You can do it yourself if you feel that you are capable of putting on and installing all the materials together. If not, you can always opt to have someone do it for you to save you all the trouble.

Once you have all these in their proper places in the garden pond waterfall, you can now turn on the power supply for the pump, sit back and enjoy the fruit of all your hard work.

How to create a beautiful rock waterfall in your backyard garden

Custom rock waterfalls do not only add to the beauty of your surroundings, they also add serenity and peace to it.

Try to sit near one. You will find yourself staring at the pretty picture that it presents.

You will also find the sound of water amazingly soothing.

There are persons that do not like the idea of having waterfalls in their garden.

One reason is that they are afraid that mosquitoes might make it their breeding ground. Another reason is that it needs to be maintained regularly.

Both of these fears are totally unwarranted:

A waterfall is in constant motion and therefore insects will not be able to breed on it. And you waterfall does not have to be maintained every day. You only have to check the fishes in the pond and the plants that are growing around it from time to time.

If you do not have the time for these things, you can opt for a pond -ess custom rock waterfall. Or better yet, have it placed in a location where it will be free from elements that might cause the waterfall to not work properly.

Experts are saying that having flowers around the waterfall is not a good idea. This is because its blossoms and leaves will fall in time. When it does, it might go directly to the water and block the pump. If this happens, you can expect failures in the way your waterfall is functioning.

The same will happen if your rock waterfall is located in areas with excess soil and debris. If your waterfall is located in areas with an abundance of debris and soil, there is a possibility that some of them might get into your waterfall.

You should take some extra precaution if you do not have any filter to separate the good elements from the bad.

Creating a custom rock waterfall

Having a custom rock waterfall does not have to be expensive. You can actually create one yourself.

All you need is a pool liner and some stones. Begin by digging up the hole. It is up to you how large the hole will be.

Buy some pool liner over. Once you have placed them on the pool, you can out the stones on the edges, to hold the liner and keep it hidden in view at the same time.

Once the base is solid enough, stack the stones one atop another. Keep doing this until you achieve the feature that you want.

After that, you can prepare the pump that will bring the water into your waterfall. Once all this is accomplished, you can now sit back and enjoy the view and the sound of what you have created.

Whatever feature you want your rock waterfall to have, keep in mind that the essence behind it all is to make it look as natural as possible. If you have it in your garden, make sure that it blends with its surroundings well.

For your rock waterfall, it would look amazing if you try and have a stone landscape around it. This kind of design will also be helpful in maintaining that the garden is kept inside the waterfall and not outside of it.

Creating a custom rock waterfall is easy if you already have all the materials at hand. Just as long as you have an idea how it will look like, there are no problems to be encountered in the process of building that rock waterfall.

How to create a personalized water garden in your backyard

With the growing popularity of custom landscaping, your yard doesn’t have to be the same old patch of grass anymore.

One of the most common options for adding interest and variety is a water garden, complete with pond and waterfall.

Water gardens have the advantage of being a very economical way to make a big change to your yard. They provide beauty, the relaxing sounds of running water, and even attract wildlife to your property.

But they also come/came with some serious challenges:

  • Custom waterfalls used to be difficult and expensive to create.
  • Real rocks are beautiful, but hard and labor intensive to move.
  • Keeping the water clear and circulating properly in the water garden used to be a chore, too.

Without proper circulation, your pond will silt up and become inhospitable to life.

Once the province of custom landscaping companies who charged a bundle for the service, personal water gardens are now within reach of the average person.

This is because of the advent of kits that allow you to have your own waterfall and pond.

Buying a customizable kit when you build your water garden allows you to create a custom landscaping piece all on your own.

These kits come with all the components you’ll need, a manual to tell you how to put them together, and all the information you’ll need to keep your waterfall and pond running smoothly.

The kits come in several sizes, so that you’ll be sure to find one that fits into your landscaping design.

They’re made up of quality components from known water garden suppliers, and many kits include the phone number of a landscaping expert you can call to ask any questions you might have.

With a waterfall and pond kit, you can build your water garden quickly and easily.

Your new water garden will add interest to your yard. The filter and waterfall system keeps the water clean and circulating, so if you choose, you may even add fish to your pond. Soon, you’ll have aquatic plants and a wide variety of life in your water garden to add beauty all year long.

Even in the winter, a water garden is a beautiful feature of your landscaping. All you need is a waterfall and pond kit, and they will to do the work.

Dig and install the kit according to the instructions, and get the water circulating. After two to six weeks, a healthy ecosystem will spring to life in your new water garden, delighting everyone who sees it.

If you’re wondering what to do with your yard, consider a water garden kit today.