Continued from page 1

“If you have a natural pond you can add fish and plants, and you’ll need to tend this just like you tend a perennial garden,” Mr. Short said. “The fish will hibernate in the winter even if you have snow or ice on the pond.”

Harmony Ponds’ signature feature is to use large boulders that have naturally eroded as part of the pond’s design.

“We also make sure to use that same stone elsewhere in the garden for a natural look,” Mr. Short said. “We predominately do natural ponds with fish, frogs and plants around them.”

Mr. Brinitzer said homeowners should be aware that ponds with fish may attract other wildlife, including raccoons, hawks and blue heron, that will eat the fish if the pond’s water is not deep enough.

For homeowners with less space, Mr. Short suggested considering a water fountain set into a wall or boulder rather than a pond.

“If you go with a fountain, you need to make sure and look at all the angles to maximize the view,” Mr. Short said. “You want it to be an attractive focal point, an art object that you can enjoy in all four seasons.”

A water fountain will require extra maintenance to keep it clean and to prevent freezing in the winter.

“If you don’t mind cleaning the water feature occasionally, you just need a recirculating pump and then to clean out the system in the spring and fall to make sure the parts are working,” Mr. Brinitzer said. “If you have a larger water feature and you want it to remain algae free, you need to have a chlorination system and built-in pumps to calibrate the water movement.”

Mrs. Alifrangis said that while their waterfall and pond require a lot of work to keep clean, her husband finds the work minimal compared to the joy of having the waterfall.

In the winter, Mr. Brinitzer said, most of his clients turn off the pump and drain their water feature. Homeowners also can put a heater in the feature to keep it ice-free or make sure there is enough water flowing to keep it from freezing.

Homeowners considering a water feature may not think of it as a danger in the same way that a swimming pool can be, but Mr. Brinitzer said families with young children should avoid having a water feature unless it is extremely shallow. They can also opt for a wall-hanging fountain.