Water Rills Are The Calming Garden Feature Your Outdoor Space Is Missing

Many homeowners enjoy implementing water features in their gardens to create a calming effect or a safe space for their favorite little critters. From ponds to fountains and charming DIY bird baths, the possibilities seem endless. However, installing a water rill may be just the thing to create the soothing, balanced design you've been striving for. A rill is a structured stream that comes in various shapes and sizes, making it a versatile tool that can be installed in all types of gardens. Homeowners not only enjoy the sound of water as it flows through the stream but also its ability to create an extravagant focal point.

If water rills are what your garden is missing, we'll break down the different designs available, how they're typically installed, general maintenance, and cost. As summer quickly approaches, a water rill could be the perfect feature to create a peaceful outdoor ambiance you can relax in all day while enjoying the beautiful weather.

Design options

After deciding to install this feature in your garden, you'll need to figure out the mood you wish to create. This is because the various construction methods available will affect the sound and movement of the water. "If your garden is on a gradient, a stepped rill can provide sound and movement as water drops from pool to pool, or a shallow, textured floor will produce white and excited water," Martin Kelley, managing director of Fairwater, told Homes & Gardens. "If the site is flat, a level ribbon of water can be reflective and dramatic."

Additionally, many materials can be used to create a design that corresponds with your aesthetic preferences, such as stone, decorative tiles, tempered glass, stainless steel, and more. There are also different layout options. For example, you could insert various stones within the water to mimic a natural river or plant different types of greenery that could complement a nearby pond and create a cohesive design.

Installation and maintenance

Depending on the size and style you choose for your rill, installation costs could be anywhere between $1,000 to $6,000. Although an expensive endeavor for many, it always takes a lot of work (or a hefty investment) to create a peaceful sanctuary in your backyard. Typically, someone will need to dig out a trench, create a reservoir, cover the trench with some sort of liner, fill it with concrete, and create a pump system. Since this is a project that includes multiple steps, it's advisable to work with a water garden specialist in order to get the job done right.

If you choose to install a water rill, you should also be aware of the proper maintenance requirements to keep it looking beautiful. For instance, if you prefer to maintain a clean, modern design, it's advised to use a chemical treatment that will keep the water clear and prevent algae and different types of plants from growing. Additionally, you'll want to regularly remove leaves and other types of debris to prevent the water from changing colors.