Having a pond has been an extremely relaxing and fulfilling experience not only for my wife and me, but also for family and guests. Whenever we have friends or visitors, things always seem to gravitate towards the pond. If you're thinking of building or adding on to your pond, be sure to plan for a nice seating area. Flagstone, brick pavers, crushed stone, a deck...there are lots of options to choose from. With a few comfortable chairs to take in optimal views, you'll create a peaceful paradise for all to enjoy.

And if you think relaxing by your pond during the day is fun, try it at night; it's an entirely different experience. Low-voltage lighting has come a long way and there are lots of different styles to complement your environment. Lighting is easy to install and is inexpensive to operate. Lights along leading pathways or outlining a seating area will make it both beautiful and safe. Accent spotlights on focal points such as waterfalls, fountains, floral areas, rock formations or the underside of overhanging trees can be very dramatic. Underwater spotlights and floating lights also are available and can turn your pond into a dazzling display.

Music goes great with entertaining, so consider installing outdoor speakers. Ahhh...the sound of waterfalls, some good tunes and a few close friends next to the pond on a warm summer doesn't get any better than that.

A picture is worth...A LOT!

Don't forget, while relaxing near the pond, capture the moment. Taking photos from various vantage points around the pond will help you to remember what your pond looks like in full bloom. Be sure to organize the photos in an album that allows space for notes about your pond. You may want to write down the type of aquatic plants you added or just note how the pond made you feel this season.

The photos will also come in handy over the winter, when you are planning changes and additions to your pond for the following spring.