What is a Water Garden Waterfall?
A water garden waterfall can be the focus point in most water gardens is the continuous flow of running water. The sound of soothing and peaceful falling water brings visions of long lost worlds such as Shangri-la to the mind’s eye. Utopian communities reminiscent of Kropotkin’s “The Conquest of Bread”, with a windmill at the crest of an enchanting waterfall, that gives flourishing life to a mountain village water garden. Even just small chalices with but a few pebbles, moss and bamboo table top water garden waterfalls around its exterior, can calm the enraged urban spirit; stressed and distraught at the incessant onslaught of menacing towers of glass that scrape the very heavens in the same defiance as that of cruel and decadent Babylonian rulers. The cascading structure of any water garden waterfall will be more than just a focus point for human imagination; it will be the flowing veins of the water garden. The pool is the body, with its delicate balance and ecosystem of life. The pump is the heart of the water garden, providing energy to circulate and oxygenate its water, through the constant feed of the waterfall.
The cascading structure of the water garden’s waterfall is usually done in accordance to the needs of the average water gardener. If height is to be achieved, then the waterfall usually needs a very high down-slope above the pool surface. This can be achieved in a number of ways; from building an artificial earthberm in the middle of the front yard with excellent recycled liner, a cascading rock formation from the very roof of a one story house completely waterproofed with polyurethane plastic tarping, or as simple as some minute adobe aqueduct system the size of a fruit bowl that rolls around like some miniature Greek and Roman temple into a round goldfish aquarium bowl filled with anacharis and water lilies. Or even a multiple level cascading system, with waterwheels and Tolkien like elven palaces and hobbit homes at the creeks edges, with dwarven pine trees and bonsais. The actual idea for the waterfall itself needs to be something that really goes with the water garden as a whole, something thematic.
The pool is also very important to the water garden waterfall, as it is the whole basis for why and how the waterfall is built. For example, it would be best that when building a water garden, if the waterfall is to be the main attraction, then less precautions on the garden itself need to be achieved, and more attention given to the pump house and cascading structure, in which case the pool could be just a bucket painted the same color as the wall paintings with some gnomes around it. If however the waterfall is to be a sustainable meditative outdoor retreat concept based on platonic principles of ideal societies, then the pool will need more attention; in such a case the pool becomes an almost essential part of the concept and demands a fragile and subtle balance between organisms living in the water garden. Giving the pool the attention it deserves is vital to a successful water garden waterfall.
The pump is the water garden waterfall heart, as it gives life to the otherwise stale pool of shallow unmoving element. Water that moves in constant flow… is life. Water cannot travel uphill without energy, and a good pump will provide this energy depending on the desired height, size and rush of the garden’s falling water. Water that will fall; first must be up on high, only then can it fall into cascading beauty and tranquil sounds. This makes it necessary to calculate how high, and how fast the water is to fall. If a lot of water is to be pumped to the waterfalls mouth at incredible speeds, then a lot more energy is required than one which only falls about an inch or two from the rim of a crystal goblet with a bluish red Beta swimming in it.
The waterfall in any water garden, can be done big or small, for indoors or outdoors, strictly aesthetic or spiritually energized, as it can also be the expression of an artist’s inner self. All water garden waterfalls need a cascading structure, pool and pump. Those available on the market can make life easier for those ready to build now, while taking the time and patience to detail each and every aspect of the waterfall becomes an endeavor of self discovery for those who just plain like the hobby of doing it themselves. The water garden waterfall is an expression of life that calms the restless mind and inspires the meditative aspects of waking dream, through precious insight derived from the sound of falling water.