When Dorothy Moores steps into her backyard, not only does she enjoy taking in the sights of the many plants and flowers around her, but she also looks fondly at the formal pond and waterfall that add some serenity.
It's also a special place for Moores because her son had this done for her.
"My son is a landscape architect, and over the course of three years, we completely transformed my yard," Moores said.
Since the installation, Moores has recalled many happy memories simply sitting outside her Augusta home.
"My husband and I have sat outside many nights just listening to the water. It is so relaxing. And it was so nice to have the pond when my mother could enjoy this," she added.
While Moores has enjoyed the peacefulness the water feature has added to the yard, she's learned a thing or two along the way about what's best suited for the delicate environment.
"We have koi and goldfish in both of the water features. We just don't have as many koi as we used to, because they love to eat the plants," she said. "And then of course, the heron love to come and relieve me of smaller fish."
In warmer months, Moores has found that lotus, pickerel rush and irises fare well in her pond.
Water lilies, swamp hibiscus and umbrella palm are also popular choices that work well in this climate.
Whether it's a grand-scale pond or a simple fountain, a water feature adds a special touch, and often a focal point, to an outdoor space.
"They're wonderful," Moores said. "I just love to sit out and listen to the water. There's nothing like it."
No matter if you're eyeing a simple fountain, or if you dream of filling your backyard with an elaborate waterscape, there are a few things to consider.
"When designing a pond, pick an area with a good bit of sun," said Mike Carter of Bob's Tropical Fish, in Martinez. "It needs to get about four to six hours of direct sunlight, because most water plants require full sun."
If you're taking on this project yourself, "it's also very important for the pond area to be level," he said.
Before loading the pond with fish and plants, just the right environment has to be set in order for them to survive and thrive.
"Filtration is the key for keeping your fish healthy," Carter said. And while all pumps come with a filter, "you might want to add a biological filter to extend the life of your pump."
To avoid having your water turn green, install a UV sterilizer. "It also helps to kill pests that grow in water gardens," Carter said.
Because maintenance is such an issue with water gardens, a fountain is a nice alternative. It requires less upkeep and is a smaller financial investment.
"People really are only limited by their imagination and what they want to spend," Carter said.
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