Water is a lovely addition to any garden, both as a feature and as a necessary element, essential to the health and wellness of your landscape. No matter what style, climate or space you’re working with, you need to take time to consider the water.
Whether it’s a tiny fishpond or a massive reservoir, water features have special maintenance needs. Streams get clogged or polluted, fountains need care to keep from breaking in a freeze and proper weed control and lake aeration is vital for the health of certain features. It’s important when your landscape includes a water feature that you take proper care of that feature, but not all gardens have that much water.
Is you’re in an arid zone and your plants are struggling to survive, you may need to look at irrigation solutions. What that solution will look like will depend on your area and the restrictions of your landscape. Sprinklers are a quick but potentially wasteful solution that may be expensive or even illegal in a drought. Xeriscaping is another option, but it’s important to remember that it’s not suited to all climates. The kind of plants that thrive in a xeriscape are often susceptible to overwatering.
Overwatering can be as deadly to plants as underwatering, so keep that in mind as you work on your landscape. You want to make sure that it has sufficient drainage to protect your plants, particularly in areas that see high rainfall or are near the water table. Not to mention: overwatering your plants can contribute to a shortage of water upstream or downstream, depending on your water course.
All water moves through the world in a cycle, and that cycle touches every living thing eventually. Consequently, it’s important to be aware of the downstream effects your water usage may have. If you use too much water in your garden, someone else may go thirsty. If you block a stream, you may be depriving wildlife three counties away. Using certain pesticides might poison a bay you’ve never even laid eyes on. Everything in nature is connected, and water is what connects it.
Water can be a beautiful addition to your garden, but never forget that it is, first and foremost, essential to the health and wellness not just of your garden but also to many other gardens downstream from you. Taking care of your garden must include taking care of your water.