We have a complicated relationship with water in these parts – as I write, sudden showers are lashing ferociously, whipped by early spring gales, and completely destroying the white flowers on my beloved star magnolia tree. By the time you read this, on the other hand, we could be in the grip of the next heatwave or under several inches of snow – we live not just in interesting times, but in an interesting place to be sure!
All of which is relevant when considering whether or not to include water in some form in your garden. The ways you can do this are many, from splashing fountains to bubbling water features to formal or wildlife ponds, but if you’re not inclined to commit to any of these, you can still include water in the garden in a simple way, for instance in the form of a bird bath or water bowl.
I installed a corten steel water bowl in my own garden fairly recently, sitting on a stone square which in turn sits on a stone plinth. What struck me was the movement it brought into the garden almost immediately, in many ways. It’s still water, so no pump or pipes, but a light breeze causes ripples on the surface, and although I’ve always left food out for garden birds, the water proved a real attraction for them as they swooped from the feeders in the pear tree to the water bowl and back.
On still clear days, the water surface reflects the sky above, and on frosty mornings a layer of ice will sometimes form – in the strange winter- spring of 2018 there was even often a layer of snow on top. For such a simple, uncomplicated garden feature, it’s amazing how it manages to reflect the changing of the seasons, and the changing moods of our temperamental weather, as well as providing a focal point and a neighbourhood bar for the birds.
Quite simply, it’s brought a touch of magic into the garden, and I love it.
Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.
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