- Creating an ideal home is a labour of love.
- The work that goes into it may be much but the reward comes when you look at the sanctuary and marvel at its beauty.
- Water features are becoming less labour intensive additions in front yards.
Creating an ideal home is a labour of love. The work that goes into it may be much but the reward comes when you look at the sanctuary and marvel at its beauty.
Water features are becoming less labour intensive additions in front yards.
David Owiti of Garden Consultant and Services, a Kenyan company that makes water fountains says they do not have to be loud or overwhelm the garden, but they are not cheap.
‘‘A water fountain can cost anything from Sh350,000 to Sh800,000 and the price can go higher depending on the design,” he says.
Garden water features are not so popular in Kenyan homes, but more people have started hiring consultants to make them.
“It has always been the last thing people think about when doing landscaping. But it may be expensive but it’s worth it,” says Mr Owiti.
He adds that smaller water features cost cheaper and a landscaping expert can help design one to your exact liking.
Most water features are mechanical and need a pump and while some homeowners may shy away from building them for fear of maintaining them every so often, the garden consultant says, there are ways to cut on costs.
“In commercial areas, they have to be on all the time but in a home, it can be switched of at night to save on electricity bills. Another important thing to note is that the water is recycled, there is an inlet and outlet therefore you are not keeping a tap on the entire time,” he says.
Benson Oruko, another Nairobi-based landscaper says that there is also a solar option for those who wish to completely cut out electricity costs.
“With good tubing, you can have a solar powered fountain. Once the tank is filled, you can also use the same water for over three months so that’s another way of cutting down on costs,” he says.
For clients who would like to add plants to the fountains, Mr Oruko says, one can hire an interior landscaper to help pick the appropriate flowers.
“That added feature is known as interior landscaping. A client pays maintenance fee that would ran for about three months until a certain time when the homeowner has learnt how to take care of the plants,’’ he says.
Homeowners can choose basic designs or complex ones borrowed from design magazines.
“Vertical structures that have a water pool base to bowl or urn fountains that have customised lighting are some the simple ones, but a client can come with a picture and we custom-make,” he says. Wall fountains are attached to a wall or a fence in a garden and require little space. These are best suited for yards with pets or children.
The bowl or urn fountains require more space; it is ideal for those with large outdoors and can be the focal point of the garden.
Water fountains can be made from cast stone, which is one of the most elegant stones. This stone is expensive because it is durable and gives an exquisite look.
A fibreglass fountain is a much affordable option while the resin option is the most expensive material for the garden fountain. It is easy to maintain and much lighter than stone, the only problem is that it may not be long lasting.
Concrete is the most popular and readily available choice among Kenyan homeowners and it comes in a variety of colours.