Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Five Basic Water Features

One cool thing about running a landscaping company near Spokane is the different kinds of terrain we get to work with. As you can see from our water features portfolio, we've landscaped sloped, rocky terrain, rolling Washington Palouse and everything in between. It's pretty much impossible to think of a location that couldn't be improved by a suitable water feature.

This is because water features have so much potential variation. The features below are basic elements a good landscaping company (i.e. us!) can combine and customize to fit the surrounding terrain.

Cascades: We like them so much, we named our whole company after them! Seriously, though, the main difference between a cascade and waterfall is that a cascade's job is to direct water more horizontally than vertically, without taking the smooth course of a stream. Water staircases are an example of a more artificial looking cascade. We find that a lot of jobs call for a more naturalistic "rapids" style.

Fountains: Fountains add dramatic punch to your landscape by providing a "tower" of flowing water and in most cases, a basin that reflects the light back to the feature. Fountains usually immediately turn into the dominant feature in your garden. We've found they provide a great counterbalance to major nearby natural features like steep slopes and large stands of trees. If you're using a mix of water features, the fountain can usually serve as the source of pump output.

Pools: Well, you've got to let all that water go somewhere. Pools can come in so many different shapes and sizes that they're probably the most flexible water feature. They can be the endpoint for a stream, the basin for a waterfall or just stand by themselves. They'll brighten a shady area or with the addition of some plants, add an accent to a clearing.

Streams: Streams add a dividing line or a border to your landscape, allowing you to give it the shape you want. A big enough stream also adds a great excuse for an ornamental bridge. They're an excellent way to make an open area look a little more intimate.

Waterfalls: Waterfalls are a favorite feature, and for good reason. They add some soothing noise to an area, cool down the air around them and easily complement terraces or other inclines. We've created some great natural-looking waterfalls, but you can make them as subtle or dramatic as you like. These days, waterfalls are easier to maintain than they used to be, because you can precisely control the water feed and pumping speed. You can even turn them off and let them sit as a dry feature when the mood strikes you.

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