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Koi ponds, water features, fountains and … fire

By Ed Ball | Published on September 30, 2021 | 2 min read

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Balancing elements throughout a landscape plan is the hallmark of beautiful design. Every landscape aims to have the right portion of hardscape, organic materials, wood, metal, open and planted elements. Too much of any single component, and the entire design will feel imbalanced.


The same is true when bringing water and fire into a design. Both features have become increasingly popular over the years, at least in part because they are more accessible to homeowners. Fire pits, water features and combination features are available from big-box retailers with simple installation.


It’s not uncommon for our team to be called to a home where the family wants fire and water features more integrated into their landscape. Of course, we are happy to oblige! Water and fire can be part of a balanced design in many ways. Sometimes the addition can solve an issue in the yard, such as adding a dry creek bed to tame drainage issues.


Koi ponds and water gardens

Ponds and water gardens come in many forms, from patio container water gardens to koi pods with integrated waterfalls. Despite cooler temperatures, many species of water plants over-winter well in our region, and koi can also tolerate winters when provided the proper protection.


Whether you plan to enjoy watching fish or improve a space with a plant-only approach, this type of water element does best when water is moving, at least to some degree. In most cases, installing a small fountain is adequate. However, it’s more common to route the pump to power a waterfall that provides soothing sounds.


Koi and goldfish thrive in a balanced pond and may live to outgrow their surroundings. There are so many beautiful fish available, and many will quickly learn to eat out of your hand! Just be aware of natural predators who may be attracted to a fresh catch and take appropriate care to protect the inhabitants.


Water features and fountains

Water features need not have fish or plants to provide soothing melodies. The sounds and sights of moving water can be accomplished through creative designs of all sizes and shapes. Small patio features provide intimacy with the feature, while larger fountains and waterfalls bring drama and beauty to your yard. If water is what you want, there is a way to add it to the design.


Fire pits and fireplaces

Fire elements also add drama and motion to your yard and come in many iterations. Fire is unique in that it not only provides the audible crackling enjoyed by many, but it also provides warmth and mesmerizing dancing flames. Depending on your space and your goals, a fire feature is easily integrated into your outdoor living space.


Whether you are drawn to the sounds of fire and water or are merely looking for a way to keep warm when evening temps dip, be sure to share your goals with your landscape designer. And remember, fire and water can be incorporated to create a balanced, beautiful design regardless of any space constraints.