How To Make A Small Garden Stream – This Is How It Works

Water has a calming effect on many people. This applies not only to the wide, open sea, but also to the garden on a small scale. With us you can find out how to plan and create a stream in the garden and much more.

how to make a small garden stream

how to make a small garden stream

Depending on the size and effort, you should think about professional help with building a stream.

Do you dream of sitting by a gently babbling stream in your garden , switching off and watching how the sun reflects on the surface of the water? Well, let’s go. We explain to you how you can easily realize your dream of a stream in the garden yourself.

The beginning: planning your own stream in the garden

As everyone knows, good planning is half the battle, and it’s no different with a project like this one. So before you rush to start building a stream, you should first ask yourself a few questions:

  • What financial resources are available to you?
  • Where is the ideal place for your stream and how much usable space is there?
  • Which design do you have in mind: do you prefer it romantic, playful or straightforward and minimalist?

Also helpful: Draw up a sketch of the course of your desired stream that is as precise as possible, this makes planning easier and you encounter possible complications more quickly.

Create a stream in the garden

Create a stream in the garden


Green idyll consisting of a stream and a small pond.

 Basic requirements for a stream – what should you watch out for?

Ideally, a plot of land on a slope is best suited for planning a stream, but it can also be realized without a large slope. Around 3 percent difference in height is enough to get water to flow – that is to say: 3 centimeters over 100 centimeters in length. Places in partial shade are particularly suitable. This ensures that not so much water evaporates from solar radiation, and at the same time you save water and energy costs. If you have enough space, it pays to think about whether you might not also have a small garden pond increase. The advantages: With a garden pond below the surface of the ground, you gain further slope. If you do not live on a hillside property, you also have soil directly from the digging of the hole for the garden pond to fill up the stream. Regarding the dimensions, the following applies: the minimum length should be around 2.5 meters – whereby the course of the stream does not have to be dead straight. Small curves provide variety and space can be saved with them.

Catch basin, pump, amount of water

The accessories are at least as important as the stream itself. The collecting basin and pump “must by no means be too small, because the amount of water must be sufficient to supply the pipes and the entire stream with water,” the specialists at Oase Water know. “A creek 5 meters long needs a catch basin with a capacity of around 500 liters.” There is a simple formula for the amount of water: The width of the stream in cm x 1.5 liters per minute equals the required output in liters per minute. In concrete terms, this means: With a 20 centimeter wide stream, 30 liters per minute should flow off at the source, with a width of 30 centimeters it would be 45 liters.

Colca Canyon stream bowls

Colca Canyon stream bowls


“Colca Canyon” stream bowls from Oase in sandstone look

 Create a stream in the garden yourself – that’s how it works

Have you completed the planning for your stream? Then it goes to the implementation. At the beginning, stake out your sketch – then the actual work follows.

The first steps

  • Dig out the creek bed with a shovel until you have reached the required depth (at least 25 centimeters) and remove roots and stones
  • Tap (or tread) loose soil with a shovel
  • Make sure that the sides of the stream are horizontal to each other, otherwise there is a risk that the water will flow into the garden
  • Next, line the pit with filler sand, fleece and pond liner. Important: Spread the film well, especially in the corners there should be no gaps. In addition, make sure that the film and fleece are flush at the edges.
  • A capillary layer is also required so that plants do not later feast on the water from their stream or the water simply seeps into the earth. This can, for example, consist of a 20 centimeter wide, protruding strip of pond liner that you place in a similarly deep trench and fill with gravel. Concrete is also suitable for filling, but is much more complex to process and makes subsequent work as good as impossible
  • Remember to regularly install barrages in your watercourse. These catch fast flowing water and allow it to drain more slowly

Shaping the stream

  • Next, fill the stream with gravel. So that this is not carried away by the water, the gravel should lie tight and tight – you can also attach it to the pond liner with mortar
  • They fill the edge with a mixture of plant substrate and loamy soil – this is how aquatic plants can be planted. Stones or stone slabs are suitable for optically concealing fleece and pond liner on the bank, but also additional gravel or planters

Selection of suitable plants for a stream

Aquatic plants

  • Burning buttercup
  • Juggler flower
  • Swamp forget-me-not
  • Water mint
  • Cotton grass
  • Dwarf rush

Plants for the bank

  • Purple loosestrife
  • Japanese sword lily
  • Lady’s mantle
  • Pennywort
  • Cranesbill
  • Knotweed

Insert the pump and lay the water hose to the source stone

  • Put the pump about 80 centimeters deep in the ground so that it is protected from frost and cold even in winter. The hose for the water cycle should be laid about 30 centimeters deep next to the stream, this ensures that you can also carry out minor repairs later
  • Last but not least: the test run. Check to see if any water is being lost and correct the problem if necessary. Is everything going like clockwork? Then congratulations on the new stream.
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