The Greater Ottawa Water Garden Horticultural Society (GOWGHS) has been raising funds to install community projects around the Ottawa area for the last several years like the Water Gardens at the Peter D. Clark Centre and the Queensway Carleton Hospital. This past year, Inside Out Landscaping (insideoutlandreno.com) and The Garden Fairy won the bid from GOWGHS and the Kanata March Horticultural Society (KMHS), to design and install a Healing Water Garden and ‘Gale’s Garden’ in the courtyard of the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice in Kanata. Here is some insight into our design and construction process:

Our design’s focus was to promote healing, peacefulness, and relaxation for the family, friends, and patients visiting the Hospice’s long-term care facility. We chose plants that included simple soft colours and textures like light pinks, whites and varying colours of greens and blues to make up the feeling of the garden.  The design has clean and simple groupings of plants, while also incorporating playful Pennisetum grasses and colourful daylilies for height and airiness. It has four season interest, along with varying sizes, shapes, and textures of plants.

The Water Feature we used for this healing garden was beautiful, stunning and grand.  At the back wall of the gardens we put a spectacular display of Basalt Columns in varying heights with a total of 5 spouts that bubble with water. They draw your eye up and you will be able to hear, feel and see water from all areas of the garden.  The basalt columns are easy to maintain, safe, and look beautiful and elegant. The water feature will help the patients and family at the Hospice to feel relaxed, stress-free and allow them to work on healing themselves and their family.

As for the construction, the installation process for the Basalt Columns was fairly straight forward and followed a step-by step process. First, we had to measure and layout the area, dig out a square hole in the ground for the Aqublox to go into, and make sure that the area was the right depth and completely level all the way across. After we dug a slightly deeper area for the pump vault to fit under the Aquablox. Once all of the area was dug out we could lay the protective Geo Synthetic fabric and the pond liner on the ground and place the Aquablox and vault on top. Once all the base was set up we connected the pumps and the plumbing and glued the pipes to the inside of the columns with waterfall foam.  Setting up the columns was a bit more challenging. Because they were double columns each one weighed over 1000 lbs. With some heavy-duty straps and the help of some of the other landscapers, we set up the large columns and back filed them with riverwash until the entire area was covered. Then we set up the pumps and plugged them in and instantly we had a beautiful running water feature!

Once the water feature was installed, we had the pleasure to work with the volunteers from the Kanata-March Horticultural Society. They were such a great group of people and they made the installation of all the perennials a really fun and enjoyable experience.  The plants were planted with love and care and we hope the people who visit the gardens feel that!

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