Water features will calm life's inner stresses

Many times we find ourselves seeking vacations where the water presents itself.

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The sounds of the water in the garden can be relaxing and help reduce stress.
John Zvirovski / The Jamestown Sun
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There is something about the sound of water that seems to put us all at ease, whether it is just the soft nature of a light mist floating above the water or the splash of waves and surf crashing against the rocks. Many times we find ourselves seeking vacations where the water presents itself. Often, in the summer, we go to the lakes to relax or fish or we take a well-deserved vacation to the ocean or state parks that abound in streams, rivers and waterfalls.

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Sitting on the beach of a lake or ocean seems to lull our thoughts away and take us to a place of solace. The repetitious sound of the waves washing ashore seems to cleanse our minds and make us see life in a better light. It is a cheap amenity to make us all feel better.

The next time you are relaxing by the water, close your eyes and think about what is actually happening to your inner being and how your stresses seem to fade away with each wave that comes along.

Have you ever noticed when people see a waterfall in nature? They seem to stop and just stare at the sight in awe. Many times you will find you are staring at it also in a similar fashion. Sometimes it is the sheer beauty of the spectacle and other times it is the noise of the water hitting the rocks or pool below which seems to lull us into a sense of peace. Even a gentle rain on one of those tense days can seem to put us in a better place. We all experience a different feeling when we encounter water in its natural setting and the majority of the time they are good, uplifting feelings.

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John Zvirovski, Jamestown Sun garden editor
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

As much as I love the heat of the desert, I seem to gravitate to areas that have water activity. Whether it is in the natural setting or a man-made element, water has that calming effect on me that many other elements do not. One exception to this observation: Water in a flooding situation does not seem to have the same calming effect, as many people can attest from past years.


Since we don’t always have the option to go to places that have the water features we desire, many times we try and bring some of these features to our home setting. They come in the forms of small tabletop fountains to larger outdoor ones, and some are even elaborate enough to contain small ponds with waterfalls flowing into them. Like most ideas we have for the garden, the features we create are in direct proportion to the space, time and money we have available.

Many great options exist for various water features. You can have them in an apartment setting all the way to an estate setting. In apartments, small wall features or tabletop items are available. They give that great sound of water noise without taking up a great deal of space. Some of these are great for deck placement also.

In most residential settings, outdoor fountains and small ponds are great amenities for the garden. Strategically locate them off a deck or in a corner of the garden where the noise can echo off the vegetation behind it. Water features that are placed in the proper areas will emit the best water sounds to enjoy during the day or evening. Most residential areas with average-sized yards can have fountain features all the way up to small ponds and waterfalls. Your limitation is typically the cost and not the imagination.

Some situations exist where one has vast yard spaces and money to allow for larger ponds with fountains and falls on a grand scale. Some ponds can be filled with fish, while others may have waterfalls that can be many feet in height with water cascading down in large quantities. The sound of some of these features is absolutely breathtaking.

Most water features have the same required components in order to function. The size of the feature will determine the extent of the products needed for the best display. The three main items needed for a water feature are an electrical source, a pump and a catch basin to hold the water. Some of the basins can be from pre-made tubs to expansive pond liners for larger features.

When putting in your feature, always allow the time to accomplish the tasks that lie ahead for the project. We all want to get these done in a speedy manner, but take your time and do it right the first time around to prevent any costly mistakes later. Make sure the foundation you set your feature upon is level and stable to prevent shifting later that may cause water to shift to one side. This idea is very similar to an unbalanced birdbath, but much more time consuming to remedy.

Check out the catalogs in hardware stores or the numerous designs online to get an idea of what might work for your setting. All purchased features usually come with the required equipment along with great instructions for installation and maintenance.

The sound of water in the garden can make your yard a living sanctuary in which you can retreat to on a daily basis. If you enjoy these sounds, look into adding a feature to your landscape and appreciate all of the stress-relieving elements that come along with the music of water in motion.

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