A stream in your own garden is a great thing – whether in combination with a garden pond or all by itself. However, there are a few things you should consider when planning and building. Find out here what you should consider when running a stream.
Streams can be created in gardens of all sizes and designed in a variety of ways. You can create them as a useful addition to the garden pond or use them to connect several small pools. In addition, they can be used to divide the garden area or to enhance the look of terraces and paths. The design of the stream is mostly based on the design of the garden, which means that straight streams are more suitable for formal, modern systems. Softly curving streams, on the other hand, go well with more natural gardens.
Planning and Design
Before you can start building the stream, you should plan it extensively beforehand. The best way to do this is to draw up a sketch of the property, including plants, the shape of the terrain, and the existing pond. Always consider the incidence of sunlight: Ideally, the stream should be placed in a partially shaded place so that too much water does not evaporate in summer and excessive algae formation is prevented. If you want to use the stream as an extension of your garden pond, it should definitely end in the pond basin – where it begins is up to you.
The ideal time to start work on the new stream is March. It’s not so cold here that the water freezes, but there is still time until the first aquatic plants should be planted in April or May. If you only start in summer, you will have to wait until the next year to put the aquatic plants on, as they will no longer grow properly before winter. You should of course adapt the planting of the stream to the look of the stream and pond. In addition, you should also consider lighting conditions and planting locations. For example, meadow plants and juggler flowers are suitable for places in full sun, while ferns and galsweet are suitable for places in partial shade. In addition, there are of course plants that are partially or completely in the water, such as dwarf rushes, swamp primroses, and dwarf cobs.
Different Types of Streams
The quiet Wiesenbach is ideal for level gardens because even in nature it meanders over meadows and fields with only a slight gradient. In order for it to flow really slowly, the gradient must not exceed 1 to 2%. This means that there may only be a height difference of between 5 to 10 cm on a 5 m stream. When choosing the plants, you should hold back a little so that the pretty course of the water and not the planting is in the foreground.
In the lush, natural stream you will also find a slow flow of water, but you can let your green thumb run free. Here it is intended that the stream takes a back seat. However, you should make sure that the planting does not appear as if it was laid out, but of course “randomly”.
If you like it a little wilder, you should think about a wild rushing mountain/rock stream. This stream is particularly suitable for hillside properties, as the water flows down over several steps parallel to the slope. You can use natural materials in the construction as well as flower pots, shallow tubs, or ready-made stream or waterfall elements. When planting, you should make sure that the plants (including those of the border planting) do not appear too dominant and rather contribute to the natural look. Low-growing plants are ideal as individually set highlights.
Materials for the Stream
How the creek is ultimately built depends primarily on the type of materials chosen. Mostly, however, concrete, plastic trays, and pond liner are used.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The concrete streambed is the most durable streambed. However, it also requires particularly careful planning, since it is hardly possible to make subsequent corrections here. It is ideally suited for slopes, as the roughened subsoil and poured stones make it easy to ensure a slower flow.
The second option is prefabricated plastic trays, which are probably the most straightforward variant. They are easy to install and simplify planning enormously, but they are more suitable for short streams. In addition, the choice of prefabricated shapes restricts the design, even if there is a very wide range of shell shapes.
Thirdly, we come to the construction with pond liners, which – similar to the construction of liner ponds – offers the greatest possible freedom of design. However, you should install stabilizing elements, otherwise, the entire stream could slide depending on the gradient. A worthwhile investment is sanded stone foil, which looks less artificial than a stream bed.
Regardless of the type of subsoil, you should also think about the creek bed. You should design this in such a way that the stream does not dry out even when the pump is switched off. This is important for the well-being of the aquatic plants and smaller aquatic animals that settle at the bottom of the stream. When building, you also have to make sure that the banks of the stream are on the same level. Because if one is higher than the other, the water will flow over the lower bank of the stream.
After the stream has been completely created, you need a pump that transports the water from the pond or reservoir up to the stream source. The most suitable are underwater pumps, which should be set up in a slightly elevated position in the middle of the pond so that they do not suck in any bottom sludge. Alternatively, you can switch the pump behind the pond filter so that the stream also serves as a “natural filter path”. From the pump, the water is then forwarded to the source of the stream with a hose. You can hide the end of the hose optimally in a source stone. It is important that the hose is not laid under the stream bed so that it can be easily reached if necessary.
When choosing the pump, make sure that the flow rate is not too low, otherwise, the stream will turn into a small trickle. The best thing to do is to seek advice from a specialist retailer so that the delivery rate and height of the pump match the slope and width of your stream.