25 Ideas for Cool Water Features for Your Landscape
Make a splash in your garden by adding a water feature. The rippling water and gentle jets will make your garden cooler, while giving it a soothing feeling. These fountains, bubblers, ponds and more offer inspiration to suit any style, from naturalistic to modern.
1. Small rustic water garden
Add a bit of farmhouse chic to your landscape with this simple backyard water feature. A half wooden barrel goes well with a weathered water pump as a fountain. Add a few small aquatic plants like water lettuce if desired.
2. Subtle but splashy waterfall
A water feature doesn’t have to be a flashy embellishment in the center of your garden. A fountain with an organic finish like this one in stone blends easily with other outdoor elements. Install it near an outdoor seating area for maximum enjoyment.
3. Modern garden pool
A narrow water basin adds a bold element to any landscape. Here, the mostly monochromatic color palette complements the clean style of the water feature. Line the pool with repeating clusters of plants such as evergreens and hostas to create a relaxing, symmetrical spectacle.
4. Romantic Wall Water Feature
Place a vintage bistro or patio set near an inset wall water feature to create a cozy garden nook. Add plants around the fountain that take advantage of the vertical space and create a more inviting scene. It’s the perfect place to relax to the sound of splashing water or chat with a friend over a coffee.
5. Add some art
Figurines and other sculptures can help set the mood for a formal garden design. As part of an outdoor water feature, they become unmissable focal points in the landscape.
6. Natural Waterfall
If traditional fountains aren’t for you, get back to nature. This waterfall created with large stones mimics what you might find in nature. Complete the naturalistic look by adding native plants around this rugged water feature.
7. Go with the flow
If your yard has a natural slope, use it to your advantage. A hill is the perfect place to add a waterfall that trickles into a pond. Here, a dense mix of shade-loving plants and a small seating area complete this water feature.
8. Go non-traditional
When you think of a water feature in your garden, you might think of a birdbath or a tiered fountain. Break the mold with unique shapes or water sources like this semi-circular shallow pond. It provides wildlife with a source of water while providing the soothing sounds of splashing water.
9. Mixed materials
The gardens are full of natural elements that can be used to create an evocative setting. For example, this small backyard water feature combines several elements found in nature: a carved stone basin and bamboo faucet, accented with weathered wood and smooth rocks.
10. Bring a birdbath
If you’re looking for simple, low maintenance, a birdbath is an easy choice. Attract tons of birds (as well as butterflies and other pollinators) by planting seedy flowers and native species nearby. Be sure to place your birdbath where you can easily observe your winged visitors.
11. Blend form with function
This pond with a covered outdoor seating area next to it provides a peaceful and welcoming vignette. Alternatively, a stylish garden shed next to the pond could look like a miniature lake house while still creating a handy place to store tools and equipment.
12. Cultivate a water garden
Expand your plant repertoire in your yard with a water garden. Beautiful aquatic flowers and fun foliage will be a focal point. Use a bathtub or a pond as a foundation which can be easily adapted to your personal taste.
13. Add a pop of color
For small backyards and patios, a simple garden water feature can still grab attention. This glazed ceramic dish and bowl holds just enough water to let sunlight shine on the surface. A glass ball in the basin provides a safe perch for insects and other wildlife that stop for a drink.
14. Walkway water feature
Placing your garden water feature next to a path or steps makes it easy to admire it every time you pass. Here, a small waterfall trickles into a shallow pool. This is the perfect environment for a few potted plants like papyrus and canna that like constant humidity.
15. Don’t forget the details
Small details can add visual interest to a large, bold water feature. For example, a closer look at this fountain reveals intricate designs around the simple faucet that can be admired from the nearby seating area.
16. Japanese Garden Inspiration
An above-ground bubbler fountain offers soothing sounds in this peaceful vignette inspired by a Japanese garden. Plants with interesting leaves such as Japanese maple, liriope, and clumping bamboo also contribute to the authenticity of the Zen scene.
17. Barrel of Joy
A repurposed metal drum makes for a simple and sturdy water feature. Water flowing from the spout onto the rocks below emits soothing sounds. Placing plants in red, orange and beige hues around it makes a nice color echo with the natural rust color of the barrel.
18. Create a Centerpiece
A focal point helps bring a garden space together, and a water feature makes it a particularly attractive space. In this backyard, a fountain serves as a stunning centerpiece in a circular bed filled with flowering perennials and ground covers.
Enhance your water garden or pond with a small figurine. You can either use it as a freestanding piece of art or install it to act as a spout for a water jet like this fish figurine. Flaunt your personal style by opting for a cute or elegant selection, or something in between.
20. Work in Fantasy
Unique decoration around a fountain spigot can elevate an otherwise plain outdoor water feature. Here, a fish-like creature adds an eye-catching element of fantasy.
21. Bubble Burst
A fountain does not need to have a big splashing jet. A more subtle bubbler also creates a soothing atmosphere as the water gurgles and flows. The simple round basin of this one fits easily among the colorful plants.
22. Stream water feature
Add graceful lines to your garden with a gentle stream and walkway. The wooden pathway mimics the curve of the water’s edge to soften the look of the backyard oasis. Create visual interest with a mix of foliage and flowers like water lilies.
23. Go Vertical
Dress up a blank wall in your garden with a vertical outdoor water feature. Here, a stone fountain serves as an elegant focal point against a vine-covered trellis.
24. For the Birds
Real birds visiting your outdoor water feature are always a delight, but artificial birds can be just as delightful. This stone pond and fountain would be beautiful enough on its own, but a pair of crane statues really complete the scene.
25. A Taste of Modernism
The geometric shapes and moody hues of this outdoor water feature add a modern touch to a landscape. A gentle fountain in the center creates ripples as water trickles down the sides. An adjacent concrete planter echoes the shape and tone of the fountain base for a pleasant continuity.