Water Features in the New Jersey Landscape

Water features can make a big impact on NJ landscape designs. For years, architects and designers have chosen water as a focal point or an accent to compliment designs and plans. This is due to the effect that water can have on its surroundings, from a visual, auditory and overall aesthetic perspective. In fact, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow noted the impact of water’s beauty through these words – “My soul is full of longing For the secret of the Sea, And the heart of the great ocean Sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

Residents of New Jersey can attest to the beauty that water has on its surroundings. With many NJ residents living within a stone’s throw of the ocean, it is no wonder that water features in New Jersey landscapes are so popular. Landscaping water features can recreate the beauty and soothing effects of natural bodies of water right in our own backyard. Beyond water’s natural part in our universe, it has definitely found its place in adorning our homes and landscapes.

To capture water’s true beauty, we need to be artisans and yet be respectful of water’s part in our eco-system. Whether a simple pondless water feature or an elaborate Koi pond is chosen as a landscaping accent, water can add a sustainable element of life to your NJ landscape design. The challenges of adding a water dynamic to the landscape, however, are directly related to the scale and splendor that you wish to implement when designing your water feature.

Below are some key planning points to ensure a successful water feature project:

  • Do your homework. Even the simplest water or pondless projects, when poorly implemented, can end up costing twice their value. As an example, the most crucial element of any successful pond is its ability to hold water. Therefore, a heavy gauge liner with a suitable underlayment is important in order to insure good water retention and should be considered. Otherwise, if the pond leaks, it can cost a lot more than the initial extra cost for the better quality liner. For larger projects, it is best to seek professional advice from a trusted industry contractor.
  • Have a complete plan in place that encompasses not just the water feature, but its surrounding location and serviceability needs. For example, a pond in the sun requires more maintenance than one situated in a shadier spot. Most ponds require electricity and proper filtration, so if you are interested in installing a waterfall or fountain, be sure you can get electricity to the location. A licensed electrician is needed for this type of application. Other things to consider include the filtration system, which can be just a skimmer with a mechanical filter or a UV filter, depending on your specific pond.
  • Know what features you want and plan accordingly. No two features are exactly alike. Water gardens are distinctly different than Koi ponds and can’t easily be interchanged. Koi ponds must be of a certain size, depending on how many Koi you want and the smallest Koi ponds are typically around 1000 gallons. Water gardens, on the other hand, can be as small as 15 gallons. Pondless features do not require a set volume of water, but rather a specific flow rate [gpm] that produces the effect that you desire. Keep in mind that pump sizing, in conjunction with flow valves and manifolds, are key to effective water features. If you know what you want from the beginning, choosing the proper sizing and accessories will be key to getting the desired outcome.
  • Be mindful of the environment. Water is not only a natural resource, but a key part of our eco-system. There needs to be a delicate balance maintained in order to sustain a healthy pond environment that is suitable for aquatic life. Improperly maintained ponds can have negative effects on the surrounding environment and on any inhabitants within the pond. When undertaking any outdoor project, especially one involving water, it is best to make eco-friendly decisions from the start.

Incorporating a water feature within your NJ landscape design can add beauty and tranquility to your backyard landscape. Whether you are interested in a Koi pond, pondless waterfall, fountain, waterwall or other water feature, the professionals at Grandview Outdoor can help you with all aspects of planning, design, installation and even servicing of your water feature.