I have seen a few ponds and creeks at Chelsea, but they never look very convincing. No, water in small gardens – be they show or back yard – looks so much better when it is deliberate; designed to fit.

Despite there being a lot of water on show this year, all of it was controlled, carefully delineated and held in containers; stone, corten steel, tiles, pressed aluminium. Even the largest expanse of water, that of Thomas Hoblyn’s Italianate garden, was only 2 inches deep.. indeed to prove its trick, Alan Titchmarsh paddled quickly across it like a latter-day Jesus in a Dickens & Jones pinstripe 3-piece.

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Rills have become a popular design device. Show gardens need to reach out, to project towards the viewer and what better way than with a bold run of water splashing towards us and tumbling at our feet into a pool or grille? We can use a similar trick in our own plots to suggest a hidden source tumbling forth… as long as we blur the start-point with terrace, rocks or plants.

The water features that worked the best for me were those which worked with its natural qualities in order to enhance them. If you’re aiming for joyful droplets, playful trickles or calm reflectiveness, make sure your design delivers joyful, playful, calming.

As in Islamic or Italianate gardens, water in our own gardens is increasingly a luxury (my pond is a foot lower than it should be this year and the frogs are looking nervous) so this year’ water designs have reminded me to be bold, be deliberate, and let the water itself do the rest.