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Glitz up the backyard with water

Waterfall or pond retreat can boost wildlife

Few things can add to a backyard's ambiance like a water feature. From a simple pond to an elaborate waterfall, water features offer beauty, tranquility, and even a boost to wildlife and the environment. In their simplest form, a water feature may consist of an easily installed, inexpensive preformed pond. Preformed ponds are manufactured from black plastic or fiberglass in a variety of sizes and shapes, typically 3 to 6 feet across and 12 to 18 inches deep, although sizes as large as 12 feet are available. Most preformed ponds are one-piece, but some of the larger ones come in sections that are assembled on site. If you would like to give the appearance of an even larger pond but still stick with the simplicity of preformed units, consider placing two of them side by side and then concealing the intersection with a stone or wood bridge. Preformed watercourses, which mimic streams and allow for the water to drop and "gurgle," are also available for combining with the pond. Pref...