Water Features

The human fascination with water features in the garden goes back thousands of years. A shared reverence of nature inspired the Chinese and later the Japanese to become masters of the art of using water and rock. Experts in the management of water, the Romans built aqueducts and fountains, some still in use today. Islamic gardens always included water to counter the fierce heat. Their influence spread to Southern Spain. The most notable of these designs exists today at the palace of the Alhambra, with its formal canals, rills, and fountains. Gardens today can be improved by including some part of water feature.

There once was a heron–a fairly large bird,

He came quite early before we had stirred,

He ate my prize fish, almost every one,

Then he gobbled the last one just for fun.

Boxwood encloses this fountain.

Boxwood encloses this fountain.

A lion's head fountain.

A lion’s head fountain.

A tranquil scene.

A tranquil scene.

Lily pads float on surface.

Lily pads float on surface.

Water cascades down huge rocks. See "Too Late for Regrets" page 251 for a description of Timothy's water feature.

Water cascades down huge rocks. See “Too Late for Regrets” page 251 for a description of Timothy’s water feature.

Water trickles into pond.

Water trickles into pond.

Tulips surround fountain.

Tulips surround fountain.

Outdoor Spaces: Lloyd and Jody Wilcox’s Deck

With minimal effort, a deck can become a pleasurable outdoor space all summer long. Windowboxes, hanging baskets, and containers planted with annuals can transform an ordinary deck into a bower. When viewed from inside the house, the profusion of flowers is an especially pleasing sight.

Lloyd enlarged the original, average-sized deck in order to accommodate all the features that he and Jody were planning. He also designed and built the seats and attached the window boxes to the railings. The unusual shape of the deck adds to its charm as well as the unimpeded view of the mountains. Jody maintains all the containers with meticulous care, watering the sun-loving annuals morning and evening. She pays special attention to deadheading. She favors wave petunias, blue lobelia, alyssum, and diascia because they are the most rewarding. Large containers burst with marguerite daisies and petunias. Nestled in a corner of the deck, a burbling fountain with a background of ferns is surrounded by masses of color. Lloyd’s building skills and Jody’s eye for stunning color designs have made this deck into a delightful outdoor space.

Alyssum and petunias spill over a window box.

Alyssum and petunias spill over a window box.

Colorful annuals surround the fountain.

Colorful annuals surround the fountain.

A peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of tea.

A peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of tea.