Tag Archives: backyard water features

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Mosquitoes and the Backyard Pond

Most biologists agree that a well-built backyard pond, stocked with fish, is the cure for the West Nile Virus. As a matter of fact, a common lawn uses more water and requires much more maintenance effort than an average backyard pond, and generally adds chemical compounds to the ground water and pollution to the air – not to mention the noise pollution to the neighbors from mowing & blowing. For a landscape feature which provides nothing beneficial to native wildlife (unless you consider pigeons and grackles to be desirable wildlife), many, if not most, lawns regularly hold enough standing water to breed thousands of mosquitoes.  Well, that’s not good!

New MosquitoWe live next to a modern water garden (backyard pond) full of hungry fish, and any mosquito who would dare to visit is immediately eaten in a piranha-like feeding frenzy. The same holds true for midge flies and most other small flying insects. In fact, just to reach the water, an insect must dodge a gauntlet of dragon flies, damsel flies, and fly-eating birds, frogs, toads, and lizards!

Mosquitoes will generally only lay their eggs in still, stagnant water, such as an empty bucket or an upside down Frisbee left out after a recent rain, or even a pond with no circulation or hungry fish. If the mosquitoes lay their eggs in your well-built backyard pond and the mosquito larvae hatch, the fish in your backyard pond will consider them a treat and pick them off the water’s surface with great gusto.

Dragonfly3In addition to being terrific integrated pest management, time spent in our garden is time spent being entertained by Mother Nature’s army of bug-eating creatures, who are all here for the same reason: a healthy, organic water source! Sustainability of a clean, healthy, backyard pond is a function of construction material, technology, and proper installation techniques.

If you already have a pond and need some mosquito-hungry fish, Maricopa County Vector Control will give them to you for FREE.

If you’re interested in what else you can do protect your property from mosquitos, see tips given by Maricopa County Vector Control.

If you need a well-built backyard pond, call us today!  623-572-5607.  You can check out our work in person any time you’d like.

Rodents

Rodents and the Arizona Pond

RodentsEven the cutest of wild critters can be detrimental to your Arizona pond!  During your normal Arizona pond maintenance, be sure to check around the waterfall and skimmer areas for rodent activity.  Damage can happen over time right under your nose!  They dig in and start tunneling around under the rocks and dirt, and can undermine equipment and plumbing, wreaking all kinds of havoc along the way.

The result of rodent activity in an Arizona pond can be anything from the mild annoyance of having to re-stack the rock or add some larger rocks to keep them at bay (in the early stages), to having to completely tear apart and rebuild your water feature (if left unchecked). We’ve had two incidents of the latter fairly recently because folks weren’t checking around the whole feature; hence, the warning.  Because we use a flexible system to build Arizona ponds, this is a fixable issue; however, it can be time-consuming, and thus, somewhat costly.

058We know it’s more fun to view your Arizona pond from your patio or sitting area, but once in a while take a little stroll around the whole thing to check the back end, too.  Just like you walk around your house occasionally to check for termite trails, right?  If you don’t do that either, it’s another thing you should consider doing on a regular basis, because prevention is a lot easier (and cheaper) than infestation!

If you need any help with any of this, let us know!  Contact Us.

 

 

A Backyard Pond Can Be Creatively Done

When building a backyard pond, a professional water garden or landscape architect will take several elements into consideration. Factored into the design of all backyard water features is the size of the yard space, the type of terrain to be built on, how much maintenance input a homeowner is willing to take on and the homeowner’s budget. But whatever type of water enhancement is to be built, one that is well thought out and professionally installed will become the most alluring focal point of your outdoor living area. Some think that only huge backyards can accommodate backyard ponds; however, if they’re done creatively, even the smallest of yards can be transformed into one-of-a-kind, beautiful and inviting settings for homeowners and their guests to enjoy. When it comes to ponds, bigger isn’t even necessarily better. Very large ponds require more maintenance and in reality, building a backyard pond doesn’t require it to be oversized to add life and peaceful energy to your outdoor space.

You can get as creative as you want when building a backyard pond, limited only by your imagination and the skills of your landscape designer. Ponds can be designed in any shape or size, but the ones that flow most fluidly are those with rounded edges like kidney bean shaped, for example. Ponds with lots of angles can trap more debris and limit water flow. In addition to the shape and size, placement is also something to consider when building a backyard pond. For example, in a dry desert such as Phoenix, it’s a good idea to have your pond situated in the shade. Flora and fauna around backyard ponds do need sunshine, but high exposure to the sun can cause an increase in algae and also raise the water temperature too high.

An experienced water garden designer will be creative enough to find the perfect spot for your pond and come up with natural and artificial ways to create shade to keep your pond healthy and welcoming. Call 623.572.5607 today for information about the wide selection of backyard ponds available at The Pond Gnome in Phoenix.

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Backyard Water Features Make Relaxing at Home More Enjoyable

Coffee Table Book-013How many times have you gone on vacation and come home saying, “there’s no place like home”? Sometimes by the time you’ve endured airport delays, long lines, traffic and the expensive credit card bill that awaits you in the mailbox, you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. So what’s the alternative? Believe it or not, there is an easy solution for creating an at-home, relaxing stay-cation environment. There’s nothing like being able to genuinely relax without leaving the comfort of your own home. By fashioning the perfect oasis with backyard water features, at-home serenity is not only possible, but it is a breeze to create.

So what exactly are water features? Water features for the backyard can be one or a medley of installations ranging from a basic birdbath or fountain to larger scale elements such as pools, ponds, waterfalls, fountains and streams. Water, by nature, adds movement, life, and natural sounds and scents to any environment, automatically generating more soothing surroundings. A professional architect, specializing in landscape and water gardening can design a backyard water feature to suit your own needs, desires, budget and available space. With proper design planning, water features for the backyard can transform your outdoor space from patio to paradise. It’s all in the details. A private backyard pond, for example, enhanced with natural embellishments like aromatic floral gardens, lush green plants or herbs, a bubbling waterfall, some quiet mood lighting and even some colorful fish, can take your mind and body to a peaceful place; a full sensory experience. It’s all the natural sights, sounds and touch that create ambiance and the comfort of a tranquil retreat.

Adding backyard water features to your home gives the vibe of a comfortable gathering place for friends and family, a sanctuary for privacy or a romantic sanctum to get away from it all. Call 623.572.5607 now to learn how backyard water features from The Pond Gnome can make your outdoor space more relaxing and inviting.