There are several "pros" and "cons" for adding a water feature (pond, pool, fountain, waterfall, etc.) to a garden.
- Aesthetic appeal
- Sound (if bubbler or fountain is included)
- Expands plant palette to aquatic and marginal plants
- Attracts wildlife such as frogs, birds, dragonflies, turtles
- Cost of installation
- Cost/time for upkeep
- Potential to attract unwanted wildlife, including mosquitos
- Space limitations
If the cons outweigh the pros for you, you can create a mock water feature using plants, pots and stones. Faux water gardens run the gamut from a small potted "fountain" to a full-blown, in-ground "river" running through the garden. For fabulous examples and inspiration check out this post on Gardening Gone Wild, contributed by Debra Lee Baldwin.
Her photos show mostly tender cacti and other succulents, but gardeners in colder climates could adapt the ideas using hardy ornamental grasses, hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.), groundcover sedums, ice plants (Delosperma spp.), hardy agave and yucca and embellishing with tender succulents used the same way we use annuals. Or use all tender succulents to create a small, potted, portable "fountain" and overwinter it indoors.
Image courtesy Debra Lee Baldwin. Design by Jim Bishop, Bishop Garden Design, San Diego.