Waterworld: Landscaping ideas for a liquid lawn

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Spring is the season of renewal. Roughly translated, that means it's time for the dedicated to go play...

Spring is the season of renewal. Roughly translated, that means it's time for the dedicated to go play in the dirt. Perhaps you want to do something a little differently with your lawn this year; and by different you're thinking, "the wetter, the better." Ponds, streams, waterfalls and of course, plants are all water features that'll help enhance your lawn this spring and summer. Here are a few landscaping ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.

Ponds/Streams/Waterfalls

Even if you live in the city, that's no reason for your backyard to suffer. If you're particularly determined to transform your urban living space into a green haven, a pond, small stream and/or a waterfall is the way to go.

Free-form ponds are an excellent choice for the uber-creative. They tend to incorporate a number of design elements and are known for attracting ducks, geese, frogs and other non-invasive species of wildlife. If you want fish (Koi or any of the other goldfish species) in your pond, keep in mind that you'll need to dig at least two or three feet down; contact your power/gas company prior to starting your dig.

What waterscape would be complete without a small stream to accentuate it? You'll want to terrace your stream, especially if it leads to a pond; this will enhance its acoustic effect. A quarter foot of depth is ideal, but remember you'll have to line the stream with a waterproof material to reduce water loss.

In terms of waterfalls, you need not have Niagara Falls. Six inches in height is enough to create the babbling brook sound that you want.

Whatever style or combination of styles you choose to display in your lush lawn, you'll want to keep your water flowing. This is particularly important to remember for those of you who may want a pond, but little else. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and nothing can ruin a getaway moment faster than those uninvited guests. Invest in a premium water pump to ensure that your water remains fresh and oxygenated.

Plants

Lots of folks don't tend to think of plants as water features. But having the right plants in your lawn or garden can really give your seasonal oasis some life. For a more exotic feel, the Ethiopian Banana Plant (which doesn't actually produce bananas; hence its other name, the False Banana) is a good idea. It's a great addition to a pond or backyard stream, since it loves water, needs full sunlight to really flourish and prefers humid, warm climates.

If you think the Ethiopian banana is a little large (they regularly exceed 15 feet in height), consider a few autumn ferns, dahlias, rose hibiscus or a sanchezia patch.

When you're ready to take the next step, get in touch with your Atlanta-area landscaper and bounce your landscaping ideas off of them.

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