Introducing the Top Trends in Water Features

The hot new trend for 2014 is taking the indoors outdoors. The 2014 Garden Trends Report by Garden Media Group shows a strong upsurge in the popularity of outdoor living. Barbecue bashes and patio parties “in”; so, too, is outdoor decoration such as garden art, decorative planters, unique furniture and waterscapes. Wait… Waterscapes?

Waterscaping is the use of water in artistic and functional ways. While water conservation is an important aspect of modern life, waterscaping has advanced to the point that today’s products are

Stylish, affordable and water-efficient. Consumers are catching on to this and demand for these creative outdoor elements is increasing as the economy improves. Now’s the time for contractors and DIYers to take the plunge into waterscaping.

Perfect Portable Patio Ponds

Water gardening is becoming 2014’s favorite new activity and portable mini-ponds are the perfect way to test the waters before diving into full-scale in-ground ponds. They’re water-efficient, affordable and available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Add small fish or aquatic plants such as water lilies (the smaller Helvola thrives in these ponds) and you’ve created the perfect portable patio pond experience. You can even install a small fountain to add sound enjoyment. Another market for these trendsetters is renters. Due to the ponds’ small size and portability, renters are no longer excluded from the fun.

Fabulous Fountainscapes

Have you ever sat near a fountain in a park, just listening to the soothing sound of the flowing water? It’s a naturally relaxing experience that’s now available for the home. Ranging from DIY kits to elaborate contractor-installed options, fountainscapes are taking their place as one of 2014’s hottest water trends.

Fountainscapes come in many options, depending on style and budget preferences:

  • Multiple bubbling rocks
  • Brass decorative pieces
  • Ceramic bubbling urns

Natural rock is the top choice, especially for those with bigger budgets as it’s more expensive. However, there are budget-friendly options such as fiberglass stone composite look-alikes which allow cutting costs without sacrificing style. Fountains are easy to install, taking only a few hours, and are available in kits. Insider secret: The kits cost less than buying the individual items separately.

Pondless Waterfalls=Sustainable Style

Local water restrictions often place limits on waterscaping projects. However, these re-circulating beauties use less water than even portable ponds. Creative waterscaping ideas include placing a smaller waterfall near the entryway to dazzle visitors. Larger versions are perfect for creating a timeless backyard experience. They’re a great option for those with small children, due to their relative safety compared to ponds.

Pairing waterfalls with specialized pumps is another trend in 2014. Adjustable-flow pumps allow the flow-rate to be set from spectacular for outdoor events to slow and steady for quiet, contemplative times. The convenient remote control also turns the waterfalls on or off.

Booster pumps with larger reservoirs offer a way to enjoy waterfalls in areas with stricter water restrictions. This option allows flower and vegetable bed irrigation using the extra water in the falls’ reservoir. Instantly stylish, yet sustainable!

The Return of the Full Ecosystem Pond

Areas with lighter water restrictions are seeing the return of the in-ground pond. These full-scale ponds offer a number of benefits to enjoy:

  • Increased outdoors time, compared to waterfalls and fountains, which many find therapeutic
  • More interaction opportunities such as dangling one’s toes or feeding the fish
  • Educational opportunities for children, getting them more familiar with nature

A favorite benefit of full-ecosystem ponds stems from what started as an option: fish keeping. Most pond owners want a pond for the aesthetics – the sight and sound of water – but find that tending the fish becomes their favorite part of having the pond.

Luminous Looks – Pond and Landscape Lighting

As 9–5 days lengthen, people rely on pond and landscape lighting to enjoy their outdoor living spaces. This is especially true for waterscapes. Proper lighting extends viewing time and offers the chance to catch a show, namely the colorful display of fish swimming in and out of the lights. Backlighting waterfalls makes for a beautiful scene and up-lighting fountains from the ground, or even from within the fountain, creates a stunning moving sculpture.

LED lights are the preference as they have a warmer, more natural color, greater output and are more energy-friendly.

Test the Water

Budget-friendly, creative, stylish… What’s not to like about these trending water features? Whether you’re a contractor or a DIY’er, the benefits are limitless. It’s a great introduction to outdoor living, landscaping and waterscaping. Just as the drops of water into a pond create outward-moving ripples, the addition of one landscape item tends to lead to the addition of others.

Such value-add opportunities include:

  • Creating a natural transition between ponds and the rest of the yard via landscaping
  • Adding annuals, perennials and ornamental shrubs to water features
  • Hardscaping, such as deck and patio expansions

This is an exciting year for both contractors and DIYers as the trends give everyone a chance to create awesome outdoor living experiences.