In this segment on planning your yard I would like to discuss what makes your yard a place in which you want to spend time and what draws a visitor’s eye–accent pieces. To me an accent piece is what really MAKES the yard. It is something that you are proud of and something that sets your yard apart from your neighbors and friends. To me it seems that it should be something that fits you and the home.

It should be something that fits your family and your needs. It does not have to be an extravagant sculptured garden, it can be as simple as a screened in patio, but generally this will be at least one of the items that will bring you back again and again to your yard.

One ideas may be some sort of water feature. For some this could mean an in-ground pool. This does not have to be as expensive as you may think. Consider what you are really going to do with the pool. Are you going to have a lot of folks over to use it or is it going to be just for laps? That will dictate the size and shape.

A water feature does not have to be a pool. A pond is a wonderful feature and can usually be done for very little investment. What I feel is most important with a pond, or any water feature for that matter, is the sound. It is the sound of flowing water that is the most soothing, other than maybe a hot tub but we’ll get to that in a minute.

I would then recommend that you consider building your pond with some sort of fountain or waterfall. The goal here is not volume, rather it is the sound of gently flowing, falling water. A pond can be a visual and audio relaxant. Using plants and the waterfall as a means to transport yourself to a different place and leave behind the stress of work and traffic.

This does not need to be large to have an impact. You could built a pond that is essentially a catch pool for a fountain. The fountain may only be a foot high with the pool being no more than 2 to 3 feet in diameter, but the sound is still there. Depending on the area of the country in which you live, you may be able to keep fish in your pond, and leave them there year-round. You would want to check with your local nursery and a specialized pet shop.

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