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In the hustle and bustle of modern life, creating a peaceful sanctuary at home has become a priority for many. If you’re like me and have teenagers at home, tranquility is in short supply. A great way to achieve this is by adding a pond to your garden or backyard. Beyond being a picturesque addition, a pond offers a myriad of benefits that extend from enhancing the aesthetics of your outdoor space to promoting biodiversity and mental well-being. The intrinsic and monetary values of pond ownership can soothe your soul and pad your pocketbook.
Let us pretend you are returning form work on Monday (the worst day of the week) and are immediately inundated with requests/statements like:
We’re having THAT for supper!?
Honey, I got another email from (insert disappointing child’s name here) teacher today…
Oh, and did I tell you my mother is coming over?
Can you drive carpool for soccer tonight? (PS soccer is the worst….)
Now, imagine a backyard oasis complete with a babbling brook or a waterfall/fountain just loud enough to block out the nattering hoards and/or local traffic and the ambient hum of the world…. This soothing atmosphere can ease the stress of the day and pause the world for just long enough to ease the monster within….. This sanctum of peace will make you less likely to kick in doors and scream at ungrateful offspring..
In my case, the sound of falling/splashing water is a balm for my psyche. It reminds me of beautiful places in this world and people that I love to be with. I suggest that everyone should have moving water in their life. Be it a patio bubbling stone feature, or a floating fountain for your pond, these additions to your property can help you relax and keep you vital for the skirmishes that are common in everyday life.
Ponds, with their reflective surfaces and the interplay of light, instantly elevate the visual appeal of your property. Humans are attracted to water (especially clean, healthy water). Turn your ordinary yard into an extraordinary oasis that you can enjoy for years to come.
A well-constructed pond can positively impact your property value. Real estate experts often highlight the allure of water features, as they contribute to the overall ambiance and charm of a home. They can add to the value of your home/property. Potential buyers are likely to be drawn to a property that offers a well-maintained pond, viewing it as a unique and desirable feature. Humans have always been attracted to water, and we have a nose for good, clean water too. So, keeping a water feature/pond in good shape will attract a better buyer and keep the neighbors a little jealous of what you have created for you and yours.
The critters that live in your pond are vitally important to your pond ecosystem. Fostering the best possible species that are available to you is vital to recruiting others from the local neighborhood that will aid in the health and vitality of your local ecosystem. Curating these species are a great strategy for maintaining a clean, clear, and healthy pond for years to come. With excellent water quality comes excellent aquatic life.
A thriving habitat for various forms of wildlife, birds, insects, amphibians, ponds (and open water in general) attract a plethora of back yard visitors.
This influx of biodiversity can contribute to a healthier overall environment, as different species interact and support one another. This balanced ecosystem, where energy can cycle through is THE BEST strategy for pond maintenance. Why fight what Mother Nature has spent time perfecting? Let the natural biological processes keep your pond healthy.
As you build your “as natural as possible” ecosystem, do not forget aquatic plants. Native aquatic plants are the best choices for pond and stream projects due to their ability to survive the local aquatic environment, (So weird?!?! The tropical hibiscus died over the winter…shucks) and their relationships with your local critters. Observing dragonflies dancing above the water or frogs basking on the pond's edge, knowing they are there because you created the best environment possible, can be a delightful experience that reconnects you with the natural world. PLUS, those same dragonflies and frogs are converting nutrients (in bug form) into biomass. This process helps the pond cycle through the everyday organic inputs and keeps the food web spinning...
“THE CIRCLE OF LIFE!” (This reference is in no way a reference to a certain animated film about patricide and renewal)
The soothing sound of water has a profound impact on our mental well-being. The gentle babbling of a pond can create a tranquil atmosphere, providing a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life. Whether you choose to sit by the pond, read a book, or simply enjoy the view, the calming effect of water promotes relaxation and mindfulness.
Research has shown that the presence of water features can contribute to reduced stress levels and improved mental health. The rhythmic flow of water induces a sense of calmness, making your outdoor space a therapeutic retreat. As the world becomes increasingly fast-paced, having a pond in your garden offers a sanctuary where you can unwind and recharge.
A pond is not just a static feature; it's a dynamic environment that offers valuable educational opportunities for both children and adults. For your family, a pond becomes a living classroom where kids can learn about ecosystems, life cycles, and the importance of environmental stewardship. Observing tadpoles transforming into frogs or studying the behavior of visiting birds fosters a deeper connection to nature. The very alien nature of the underwater world is a shock to some, as these creatures are rarely seen easily in a terrestrial environment (especially in urban areas). Visiting / examining the submerged features of your pond, that you built/maintained will give you a sense of wonder and accomplishment akin to growing a garden or watching your babies grow into (hopefully) contributing members of society.
This handsome fella is a dragonfly larva, when he gets big and strong, he'll leave your pond and take a bunch of organic nutrients with him. On his way out he'll be eating a bunch of mosquitos.
The educational aspects of a pond can grow into science projects for the kiddos, foster observational abilities that are sorely lacking in the youth of today and get the young-ins outside the house for a change. Outdoor learning is SO MUCH better than reading about fish in a textbook. Seeing, smelling, and feeling the environment are the best avenues to learn new things. Perhaps this will foster some curiosity in the lads and lasses of our great nation. (I’m not holding my breath, but one can dream….)
The decision to add a pond to your garden or property goes far beyond mere aesthetics. It's a commitment to creating a harmonious space that enhances the quality of life for both you and the environment around you. From the visual allure and increased property value to the ecological benefits and stress-relieving properties, a pond is an investment that yields dividends in multiple dimensions. So, if you're considering transforming your outdoor space into a haven of tranquility, consider the many benefits that a well-designed pond can bring to your life.
Stay curious my friends, there is an entire world out there waiting for you…