With the possible exception of sunlight, no element is more crucial to a lush landscape than water. Besides enabling life, water also enhances the serenity of an outdoor space. The sound of it trickling in a backyard fountain, for instance, is as meditative as waves lapping onto a beach. Even when waters are still, the containers that hold them can function as charming focal points, as well as ready hosts to a variety of aquatic specimens.
What's more, "watering" the garden doesn't have to be backbreaking or prohibitively expensive. Even the most ambitious idea featured-installing a pump-run urn fountain (opposite and below)-can be completed quite economically in a weekend. Elsewhere, the soothing effects of water are achieved through more humble means, such as the clever placement of an antique sink. Find the project that's right for you, remembering that when it comes to cultivating open-air ambience with water, every drop counts.