For the avid home gardener with a love of water features, where better to derive inspiration for a pond at home from, than the world’s most famous ponds? While most of the following ponds are a touch too large to be replicated at the average home in the suburbs, or even the country, they do provide some wonderful insights into how beautiful ponds are created and maintained.
Royal Botanic Gardens Ponds, Kew, London
Kew Gardens is a must-visit for those with a love of plants and gardens. Spread out over 121 hectares (300 acres) and boasting the largest collection of living plants in the world (30,000 species), its many highlights include the Waterlily Pond with its 40 varieties of water lilies.
Giant waterlilies (Victoria Amazonica), which are named after Queen Victoria, are perhaps the most famous of these striking aquatic plants but the ‘accidentally created’ Nymphaea Kew’s Stowaway Blues and Kew's Kabuki are also very spectacular lilies that attract many visitors.
Monet's Water Garden Pond, Giverny, France
One of the world’s most famous ponds, Monet’s Water Garden Pond is one of two parts in Monet’s garden, the other being the Clos Normand, about one hectare in size, which lies at the front of the house.
The lily pond, his home’s gorgeous water feature, was inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the woodblock prints the extraordinary impressionist artist was an avid collector of. This garden features the famous nympheas, the wisteria covered Japanese bridge, and the beautiful weeping willows that brush delicately across the pond’s surface in the breeze.
So taken with this garden was Monet that he drew great inspiration from it for more than twenty years, creating new features before eternalising the landscapes in his paintings.
Alnwick Garden, Alnwick, Northumberland
For those looking to draw inspiration from a water feature for their pond at home, the Grand Cascade at Alnwick Garden is sure to provide something worthy of emulation, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The aptly named water feature, which begins as a set of cascading waterfalls before finishing in a collection of fountains, sends 350 litres of water into the air every second at its final point, creating a mass of water and mist synchronised by a computer program with four different sequences, each of which is nothing shy of spectacular.
Cambridge Botanical Garden, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
The Lake and Water Garden are beautiful all year around with teeming bird life, but they’re at their most strikingly picturesque in autumn when the weeping willows gently grace the surface of the pond with their beautifully reflected yellowing leaves. Of the ponds discussed here, this is the most ‘natural’, and quite likely the most gorgeous, making it a must-see for everyone.
These famous ponds, and many more across the UK and the face of the globe, are well-worthy of drawing inspiration from when designing an aquatic environment at home. While creating a garden of a similar size is out of the question for most home gardeners, emulating the placement of plants and features, like fountains, is inherently achievable on a smaller scale.