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What A Water Garden Can Teach You

Aug 17, 2007
A water garden provides a wonderful educational opportunity for kids and adults alike. The process of designing a water garden is a great entry into the world of Japanese history, the study of aesthetics and design, and some exciting fundamentals of natural science and ecology. Installing and setting up a fully functioning water garden offers you a unique chance to watch an entire ecosystem develop from scratch. Once your water garden is up and running, there are still plenty of chances to learn. You will see the entire lifecycle of some of the garden's animal residents in action, and you will be able to watch the effect on the water garden system as a whole as the flora and fauna ebb and flow with the four seasons. A water garden may have the most educational potential of any kind of landscaping feature that you can incorporate into your yard, which makes it an exciting choice for anyone who has a naturally inquisitive temperament or a personality that is rich with curiosity.

A water garden provides an exciting, hands on laboratory setting for any budding ecologist in your household. The aim of designing a water garden is to create a self sustaining ecosystem that will be able to perpetually maintain itself. This requires doing a lot of research, and solving a lot of stimulating problems. For example, creating a functioning water garden requires that you find an ideal balance between different forms of plant life so that everything in your garden gets the nutrients it needs. If you have too many of the same type of plant, they will have to compete for resources, whereas if you incorporate a diverse blend of flora they will all be likely to thrive.

To get the most educational value out of your water garden, try seeing every element of your garden, from the fish you choose to the bugs they eat to the blooming schedules of your aquatic flowers, as a window into another world of information that you can choose to look through and learn from. For example, Koi fish are a traditional part of a water garden, but you can choose to see them simply as large, pretty creatures, or you can opt to learn a bit more so that you fully understand the wonder of Koi. In Japan, the long living Koi fish are seen as heirlooms and are passed down through generations in a single family. Koi often survive for half a century or more, and on a few occasions there have been Koi reported to have lived for over two hundred years. These colorful fish sometimes feature in traditional Japanese folk stories and legends, and bringing the mystical and magical Koi that are gifted with such astonishing longevity into your own backyard can be a great first step in finding out more about the history of Koi, and other aspects of Japanese society. Because it introduces you to new creatures, plants, and ideas, a water garden can lead you to investigate questions that you never even knew how to ask.
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