Water Features For Permaculture Gardens

In the permaculture garden, we are working with nature to try to make our piece of land the very best it can be at the same time as making sure that the human occupants get what they need and want. Water features are a perennial garden favourite that never seem to fade in popularity. Almost every designer-created garden will have a water feature of some kind – great news for the local wildlife. If you want to do just one thing to attract wildlife to your garden then bringing water into your garden in some way or another is the thing that will do the most in that regard.

Water featureNot all water features, however, were created equal. Many of the water features that you see in people's gardens (even some of those designed by famous garden designers) are sadly lacking in biodiversity. While birds and other creatures may well visit to bathe or drink, the water itself is not appealing to the local amphibians or other creatures. All to often, we see water features that are simply lifeless 'sculptures' over which water is allowed to flow.

Solar powered yin yang fountainHere we come to one of the problems with many water features – the electric pump. With the exception of solar powered pumps, or those powered entirely with renewable energy, electric pumps are not really in keeping with a permaculture garden. If you would love to have a waterfall or small stream in your garden and long for the sound of flowing water then do try to find a solar pump if at all possible. Then you can listen to your babbling brook with a much clearer conscience.

Garden pondBetter still, eschew the idea of a 'water feature' with cycling water and instead, choose a real water feature – a beautiful, living, breathing pond. A pond is one of the best ways possible to attract wildlife to your garden and can house an extremely diverse aquatic ecosystem. Ponds can be large or small and, if well designed, can be the best addition you ever make to your outside space.

Tiny frogIf you do not have enough space to dig a pond at your place, or are renting, you can still have a living, breathing water feature. As long as you make sure that there are all the right features and creatures can get in and out you can make a water feature from just about anything – an old washing up bowl, for example, a plastic barrel or an old wine cask cut in half. This sort of water feature can easily be designed with wildlife and aesthetics in mind and can be easily removed again if landlords deem it necessary when it is time to move out of your current property.

Wherever you live and whatever your budget, you can create a real, wildlife friendly water feature for your garden and show those fancy designers how it should really be done.