Hot 2017 trends: Landscape Water Features As Focal Point

Written by Greenwise Team
Published on January 10, 2017
During January, we’re counting down the top landscaping trends for 2017. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at each of the six trends as determined by industry experts and consumer demand.  While there are a variety of wide-ranging predictions, we found six trends most landscape industry experts agree upon. This week we take a look at how landscape water features are trending as focal points.
2017 Top Trend #6: Landscape Water Features as Focal Point
Landscape water features have long been a popular feature in outdoor spaces.  Yet historically, homeowners add this feature later or not at all. What’s changed recently is a shift toward highlighting water features as a landscape focal point right from the start. Water features balance outdoor spaces, creating an organic, aesthetic, feel to any landscape no matter the design (formal English to cottage looks). As a result, when done properly,  water features create a spectacular focal point in the landscape.
Water can do great things for a backyard. Whether it’s rippling in a swimming pool, bubbling in a creek, or splashing down a fountain, water features can add a luxurious look, block undesired noise, and create a tranquil ambiance for homeowners. Consequently, landscape water features not only transport you to a different place but completely improve the local environment.  It provides a refuge for all of the local birds, pollinators, amphibians, dragonflies, migratory birds, and native aquatic life.  As a result, they are an oasis in the middle of the urban desert for the owner and the local wildlife.
Water Works: What to Consider
Before adding landscape water features, homeowners should ask themselves some key questions.
  • Does it blend with the scale and style of the house?
  • Does it fit into the aesthetic of the neighborhood?
  • What will the total cost be?
  • Are there safety concerns to be addressed?
  • How much work and cost will be involved in the maintenance and upkeep?
Some homeowners also want to be sure that they’re not out of step with good environmental practices. While landscape water features may seem wasteful, it doesn’t have to be. Done right, landscape water features will:
  • Consume less energy.
  • Use less water.
  • Attract and protect key wildlife, such as butterflies and other pollinators.
Furthermore, a water feature is one of the 5 elements the National Wildlife Foundation requires in order to get certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.
landscape water features
Know the Trends
An American Society of Landscape Architects Survey cited 84% of architects will use some form of water in their designs. And 86% say they will increase their use of water in the landscape. Because of its versatility, water remains extremely popular. As a result, there are infinite ways to incorporate it into your landscape. Consequently, here are 7 landscape water features predicted to be popular in 2017:
landscape water features
  • Natural Rock Waterfalls
Create a natural rock waterfall in a quiet corner of the yard. Surround it with lovely trees, shrubs, plants, and landscape lighting. Or design a tiered waterfall with trickling water that falls into a stream below.
landscape water features
  • Free-Standing Fountains
If you have a small yard, a fountain is a great way to provide water sounds while conserving space. In the front yard, a fountain will create a welcoming entrance. And adds a relaxing atmosphere to a backyard sanctuary.
landscape water features
  • Outdoor Ponds
Ponds are a great landscape feature that family and guests love. Also, you can personalize the pond with underwater lighting, plants, flowers, or colorful koi fish. Add a small ledge with a trickling waterfall for running water sounds.
landscape water features
  • Reflecting pools and pondless waterfalls
Reflecting pools and pondless waterfalls create a great option for smaller properties. These features can be scaled down to fit into most landscapes.  Yet they provide all the natural benefits of their larger cousins. Plus, they require less maintenance. And if you install an automatic re-fill system, all you have to do is start ‘em up and shut ‘em down.
landscape water features
  • Bubbling Rocks and Fountains
Bubbling rocks offer a uniquely personal and subtle feature to landscapes. Also, these fountains are perfect for noisy yards and work well in small spaces. Because of the variety available, this feature lends itself to blending in nicely with every type of landscape design. So the rocks are more for the natural garden and the fountain for the formal.
landscape water features
  • Water Walls and Rills
This is the trend-setting category.  For example, two-story water walls, such as the one pictured here, are extremely popular. Scale down water walls and rills to fit into a small but highly visible space for smaller budgets.  Furthermore, a water course filled with pebbles on the sides and in between a stepper walkway gives you the feel of walking on water.
landscape water features
  • Creeks
Some homeowners prefer a creek to create even more of a natural look. In addition, creeks work particularly well on large acreage. Furthermore, they serve very practical purposes. Homeowners in drought-prone areas can opt for a rock and plant-bordered dry creek. While homeowners in regions with sudden, heavy rain can use the creeks as a beautiful way to channel water runoff and prevent flooding.