My top tip for 2014: the stainless steel water feature
Among the contemporary schemes we have designed lately, there has been such a surge of interest in this kind of water feature. I love installing these ultra-modern pieces, as they can bring perfectly-orchestrated lines and movement to a design.
Below you can see a garden that we recently completed in Bolton. Although it’s a medium-sized garden, the owners boldly envisioned having not one but two stainless steel water features, which I think works so well in the finished scheme.
To give you an idea of the technicalities behind this sort of look, this first feature is a large ‘wave’ style piece, about 1.8m high and 3m wide. Having the water blade at the top allows the water to cascade down the front face, creating a twist on the classic waterfall effect, with a much smoother, cleaner line of movement. The water is received by a stainless steel sump, and a pump keeps the water recycling, so you don’t need to worry about wastage.
This garden makes the functional beautiful, as you can see in the raised deck dining area enclosed by raised planters and topiaried Portuguese laurels. This is at the other end of the garden, and also serves to frame the second water feature. This is a simpler structure with an inverted sail shape, about 2m high. Here, the placement of the water blade again creates a downwards movement, but in this case it is slower and less uniform, following the convex surface for a more varied effect. Again the water is recycled from a stainless steel sump.
With features like this, the backdrop and lighting can be just as important as the thing itself, and have a major impact on how it integrates into your scheme. In this garden, we have chosen a soft, wine-red feature wall to frame the structure, which is itself floodlit. Separate spot lights light the feature itself from below, using specialist filters so this piece dramatically comes into its own after dark.
Stainless steel water features, when done just right, with the backdrop, lighting, and “companion planting” of other complimentary elements of design, are a real joy to behold. They provide a unique focal point that brings a scheme together without distracting from the beauty and utility of your whole garden.