Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Build a Simple Backyard Waterfall

 Adding a waterfall to a boring backyard can bring life and tranquility into a home garden. Waterfalls can transform a backyard into a more sophisticated garden with ease. By planning well, taking the appropriate precautions and understanding the requirements for a backyard garden, a simple backyard waterfall can become a work of art.
Start with Some Preplanning
Before heading to the store to purchase supplies for building a waterfall, survey the garden and take some time to plan. Less is more when determining the appropriate size. Measure the backyard and the area that you are considering for placement of the waterfall. Keep children and pets in mind when selecting the location and the size. In addition, consider the layout. A waterfall that leads down a small stream and into a tiny pond sounds wonderful, but it could be too much for a small space. A small waterfall with a pond is the ideal choice for many gardens. Consider the size of a backyard waterfall carefully before beginning.
Location Is Everything
Selecting the best location for an outdoor waterfall and pond requires more than accounting for space. Be sure to consider any underground wiring or cables, the sound of the waterfall, and whether it might be distracting to neighbors if placed close to property lines, and the distance to a plug for the waterfall pump (one may need to be installed). If the backyard has a slope to it, placing the waterfall nearby can aid in the flow of water and help the waterfall and pond blend into the garden nicely. Now that these things have been taken into consideration, it's finally time to head to a local hardware store.
Make Purchases Carefully
A backyard waterfall can become expensive quickly if attention isn't paid to what's needed and what's purchased. A shovel to dig the hole for the pond, a waterfall pump, rocks, sand and gravel are all necessary. Think about which underwater pond plants would help create a delicate balance between beauty and the health of the pond and waterfall. Purchasing a waterfall kit from a store can potentially save money and provide all the directions and a warranty (check the box). It's an ideal choice for those who want to build their own waterfall but aren't sure exactly where to begin. Whether selecting a backyard waterfall kit or purchasing all of the materials separately, be sure to keep your budget in mind.
Measure First, Dig Second
Once the purchases have been made and the measurements and location are set, it's time to begin the process of digging the pond and then building the waterfall and rock structure around it. Many landscapers agree that you should construct a pond that is one and a half times the surface area of your waterfall and stream. Use this rule of thumb when digging and lining the pond that the waterfall will flow into. Include rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond.
Waterfall Pumps Keep the Water Flowing
The waterfall filter or waterfall pump will need to be installed at this point as well. Be sure to follow the directions included with the device or with your waterfall kit in order to get it placed correctly from the beginning. A waterfall pump requires electricity and will circulate the water to the top of the waterfall in order for it to flow into the pond.
The Waterfall's Design
Once the hole, liner and waterfall pump are in place, play with the placement of rocks around the pond in order to create the waterfall. Finding the right setup requires patience and might be one of the most arduous parts of the process. Be sure the design is exactly what is desired before filling the pond with water and attempting to try the waterfall out for the first time.
Fill the Pond with Water, and Watch the Waterfall Flow 
Once the steps are carried out, the waterfall can be filled with water. The pump can be switched on, and the water should flow gracefully over the rocks and into the pond. If the rocks are at the right height from the pond, the slight trickle of water into the pond should create a beautiful, soothing sound, instead of the sound of water shooting from a tap.
Designing a water garden with a backyard waterfall does take a bit of time, patience, preparation and trial and error. However, with the right equipment and some perseverance, a backyard waterfall is a stunning component of any garden.