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Water Features: Bogs and Streams

outdoor living space_stream closeup_ponds and water features_waterfalls in your backyard

In nature water is everywhere—lying in ponds and wetlands, running down creeks and rivers, flowing into lakes or oceans—and the beauty and wildlife it brings to a landscape is what we try to replicate with our water features. While we love to build ponds, there are options that require less maintenance. Adding a miniature stream and bog ecosystem means enjoying the sounds and sights of running water and animal visitors attracted to your yard.

It isn’t often that you hear of a bog being built. As a general rule, they are wetlands composed of peat, and they are closely associated with marshes and quagmires. In our landscapes, we add bogs to streams, waterfalls, and ponds because they are actually great natural water filters. By building one at the beginning of a stream, and recirculating the water underground and back through it, the stream stays clean and clear. We construct our bogs with layers of aquablocks (a kind of carton that holds and evenly distributes water), stones, and plants like cattails and water lilies. Good bacteria then gather in these different layers and break down organic materials as water flows through them. Clean water then continues to the main water feature.

pond bog

At the Eagleson home, our water feature starts with a bog, which feeds the stream running down to waterfall into the main pond where our koi live. The bog attracts hosts of frogs and toads in the summer.

water features

Streams or creeks can also be built with or without a bog, pond or waterfall. We build our streams to look as if they naturally occurred in the landscape, using careful placement of stones, boulders and gravel to mimic what we see in nature.

outdoor living space_ponds and water features_waterfalls in your backyard

We tailor our streams to fit in many places, big or small. In a complete makeover of a client’s backyard, we built a new patio that created a long narrow space along their pool, perfect for a water feature. We created a stream with the water starting under a rock bridge and flowing down through rugged boulders to a hidden basin where it recirculates.

Even when installing a running creek or stream is outside the scope of a project, we can build a dry creek that will fill with water when it rains. Dry creeks, aside from giving you a taste of having a water feature, can also help solve drainage issues if your yard tends to turn into a swamp after storms. And when the weather is dry, our carefully constructed stone beds turn into a nice hardscape feature.

It is amazing how adding a water feature can change a yard completely. The sounds of a stream can peacefully cover over the drone of traffic. Birds, bees, dragonflies and other wildlife become regulars. And, our clients testify, it draws them outdoors as well.


Eagleson Landscape Company provides landscape and hardscape services in the Greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Fishers and Geist.

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