31 Best Garden Water Ideas for the Perfect Garden!

White Piano Waterfall

Water features can transform your garden from beautiful to astounding. The trickle and whispers of a waterfall, the lighting of a fountain, or the calming appearance of a pond are elegant and attractive inspirational additions to your garden.

The sound of water, flowing, trickling, spraying or spurting, is extremely relaxing to hear and incredibly beautiful to watch. Its peacefulness brings you a tranquillity, that nothing else provides.  A beautiful water feature completes your garden. It transports you to a fleeting ‘back to nature’ moment that makes it all the more desirable. Regardless of its size or design, your water feature will be your ‘go to’ place for a calm, curative time of reflection and healing – it’s a must have! 

Below you’ll discover that we’ve brought you 31of the best water ideas you’ll ever contemplate for the creation of the perfect garden.

Adding water features at strategic locations is also likely to attract birds, hummingbirds, and wildlife.

It can be relaxing and therapeutic to plant flowers, vegetables, and perhaps even trees – yet all the more soothing and comforting to you. Sitting in front of your spectacular pond, waterfall, or fountain after a stressful day gives you maximum relaxation.

You may think that the best water ideas for the perfect garden are hard work and expensive. Such is not the case because you can create an awesome pond, waterfall, or fountain with less work and minimal budget.

Below are 31 of the best water ideas for the perfect garden.  These designs can be your inspiration in spurring you on to creating the finest water feature for your small or large garden.

Water Ideas for Small Gardens

  1. Tabletop Water Feature
    Tabletop Water Feature

You can use a pretty ceramic vessel. Fill the vessel with water and add a few aquatic plants such as papyrus or floating lilies. This water feature is simple yet stylish.

You can also use a clay pitcher and place it in a tilting position in one corner. Rainwater can flow in and out of the pitcher when it rains.

  1. Stacked Stones for a Natural Look

Stacked stones create a water feature with an earthy effect. Choose different sized rocks and stack them creatively, based on the atmosphere you want to make.

You can use rounded rocks to project tranquillity. Jagged rocks can be a simple centerpiece.

  1. Wall Waterfall
    wall waterfall

You can enjoy a modest water feature even if you have a small space. Build your water in a wall and make the water flow from the wall into a small and narrow container.

  1. Privacy Waterfall

If you have a privacy wall, you can make it a waterfall. This water feature creates an industrial look for your garden.

  1. Convert a Brick Wall into a Waterfall

If you have a brick wall, you can convert it into a waterfall with a slate where water can flow to a pond. This will provide a calm space in your garden. The sound of the water flowing to the pond will muffle the noise from the street behind the wall.

  1. Create a Round Stone-Edged Fountain
    Round Stone-Edged Fountain

This is a traditional water feature found in many gardens. Some homeowners may find it old-fashioned but they are gorgeous and timeless and easy to find in garden shops.

A round-edged fountain can fill a small space where wildflowers and weeds can grow.

  1. Mini Waterfall

A mini waterfall can make your small space sparkle. If you have brick flooring in a small portion of your garden, you can purchase a small waterfall to match it. The water reflection can make this water feature stand out in your garden. This small fountain can eclipse the other elements in your garden.

  1. Statue Water Feature
    Statue Water Feature

You can liven up your small garden with a water feature featuring a statue-inspired fountain. Choose a statue with the appropriate size so it does not look overwhelming in your small garden.

  1. Sunken Water FountainYou can create a small circular sunken water fountain with a brick frame. There is no right or wrong place in your garden for this water fountain. You can even position it in a space exposed to the wind. This water feature will easily blend with the other elements in your garden.
  1. Build a Small Water Garden

You can use an old big drawer or cupboard and transform it into a unique water feature in your garden. Fill the drawer or cupboard with water and place some water plants.

This small water feature will not only create an intimate look for your garden but also allows you to recycle things instead of throwing them away.

  1. Birdbaths

Birdbaths can add a lot of excitement to your small garden. With this water feature you can enjoy watching blue jays, thrushes, robins, and other birds flying around your garden. Most birds love birdbaths more than bird feeders.

Water in your birdbath should not be deeper than 3 inches to avoid the drowning of smaller birds. It should also have a non-slippery and slightly sloping wall.

  1. Pretty Water Container Gardens 

Create a small pond in your garden using a water container and fill it up with easy-to-grow water plants such as the lotus plants. Lotus are difficult to grow in small ponds because they may overtake this water feature.

A container garden is an ideal replacement for a pond. You can also plant taros, water canna, and water lettuce in your container garden.

  1. Build a Pond Surrounded with Stones

A small pond can be a little jewel in your small garden. Your little pond surrounded by stones can be a haven for plants, wildlife, and even you, your family, and guests.

You can make a gentle stream of water from a bamboo fountain fall into your small pond. You can also fill up your small pond with goldfish.

Water Ideas For Large Gardens

  1. Stone Pond with Wooden BridgeStone Pond with Wooden Bridge

A wooden bridge is reminiscent of a Japanese garden. A natural stone pond recreates a natural water feature. You can decorate with different types of landscaping stones and rock to make it have a unique look.

The wooden bridge across the pond brings this water feature to a whole new level.

  1. Pond with Metal Staircase

Include a metal staircase in the center of your pond to raise the pond above the ground. The metal staircase will draw more attention to your pond. Include some stones, and natural elements such as plants and lily pads to create the perfect mix.

  1. Garden Fountain in a Glass Container

This water feature may seem out of the box but it will stand out and will look amazing from a distance.

You can have a tornado-like waterfall with a cylindrical shape and make it sit inside a glass cylinder. Surround the glass cylinder with different types of pebbles and add a few LED garden lights around it. This water feature will look stunning at night.

  1. Face with Flowing Water Feature
    Squirting Face Water Feature

Add some mystery into your garden with the statue of a man’s face with water flowing from his mouth. You could surround the face statue with some greenery, but whether you do or not, it’s a great conversation piece in your garden.

  1. Vertical Fountains for a Touch of Zen

The combination of man-made and natural elements of decks creates unique and awesome water features. Create a round space filled with different shapes of stones and a brick border. You can have this next to your patio.

Place three vertical fountains with different heights and create a peaceful scenery. The vertical fountains offer a touch of Zen to your garden.

  1. Multi Waterfall Garden 

Some of the best water ideas for the perfect garden include a combination of fountains, waterfalls, and ponds.

You can create a three-level waterfall (using huge rocks) that flows into a pond. Border your pond with different shapes of rocks. Line the levels of your waterfall with plants and your pond with watering plants.

  1. Watering Can Water Feature
     Watering Can Water Feature

If you have stairs leading to your garden, line one edge of the steps with watering cans that match the material of the stairs. The watering cans can create a playful, interesting, and fun waterfall.

You can paint with the watering cans to make them look brighter.

  1. Giant Stone Waterfall

If you have a huge garden and are up to undertake a gigantic project, a giant stone waterfall may be an ideal option.

Create an interesting tall waterfall gate made from different shapes of huge stones and make water flow into a pond. Natural sunlight can make this water feature look great.

  1. Water Feature with Gazebo
    Water Feature with Gazebo

Build a paradise in your garden with an awesome pond surrounded by plants and a stone path leading to a gazebo. A combination of plants, wood, and stone creates an awesome display of colors and textures that will make your garden look so appealing.

  1. Water Feature with Squirting Jets

Build a pond and install about four water-streaming jets arranged in such a way that they create a unique water display. Surround the pond with stones and flowers to highlight the effect of the squirting jets.

  1. Water Feature with Vintage Furniture

A brilliant combination of water, greener, furniture, and other natural elements, can make your garden extremely appealing and relaxing.

A lily pond adjacent to an outdoor seating area with vintage furniture is an awesome site. The beauty of a water lily pond is you simply drop the lilies on the pond and leave them alone because they do not require any upkeep.

  1. Cascading Water Feature
    Cascading Water Feature

Whether in the corner or at the center, a cascading water feature is always a striking addition to your garden. Creating a cascading water feature needs the expertise of a landscape designer.

A cascading water feature can be a multi-level waterfall made of stone.

  1. Water Feature with Japanese Theme

A Japanese-theme with Zen garden water feature can provide your garden with a relaxing and calm Asian feel. You can build a raised pond and add a few bamboo pipes across it. Water can flow to the pond through a bamboo pipe attached to one of the surrounding plants.

The soothing sound of moving water can be relaxing and therapeutic.

  1. Water Feature with Plants and Fish

Creating a serene and peaceful pond in your garden is one of the major goals of many homeowners. The harmony between the rocks and plants surrounding the pond, as well as the goldfish in the pond is an awesome sight.

Add in a wooden bench near the pond and create the most relaxing spot in your home.

  1. Water Rills
    Water Rills

A rill is a shallow channel built to carry water from the water source to the catch basin of your water feature. The flow of water through a rill provides a constant relaxing noise.

  1. Tanks and Troughs

A trough is a long and narrow container used for mixing chemicals and growing plants. You can fill a metal trough with water and pebbles and add some water plants to create an amazing and unique water feature.

Place the trough in the middle of some colorful shrubs and flowers in your garden.

  1. Swirling Whirlpool

Create a whirlpool or vortex water feature with a big stylized burnished copper bowl placed atop a collection of small stones. As the water in the whirlpool swirls, it will create a charming swishing sound.

Place your whirlpool in the middle of some angular and drought-resistant plants for a lovely sight.

  1. Pond with Multiple Garden Features
    Multi Waterfall Garden

Fill your pond with a variety of water plants that grow profusely in it to create a colorful and exciting wild effect.

A pond can add a lot of charm and tranquillity to your landscape. Planting various flowers around your pond can not only fill up the space but also add texture to your garden. For a special touch, add some fish to your pond.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Water Feature 

Here are some things you need to remember when shopping for the best water garden ideas for the perfect garden.

  • Most water features in the market are self-contained and only need to top up to your water supply.
  • All water features have a water reservoir with a pump that moves water in a pipe. Water is brought down to the reservoir by gravity. The same concept is true with granite, stainless steel, or sculpture water features.
  • Water features with moving water will need a pump driven by electricity or solar energy.
  • Choose a water feature with a relaxing sound.  The sound of the water feature is often more important than its look. The sound should not be annoying.
  • Think about the lighting that goes with the water feature.
  • Choose a water feature that is easy to drain. Water in your water feature will tend to get slimy so it should be easy to drain, disassemble, clean, and re-assemble.
  • If you have a modern garden go for water features made of glass, stainless steel, etc. Millstones, cherubs, and similar features often look out of place in modern gardens.

You will find a lot of water features in garden and home depot stores. You can also opt to have a DIY water feature.

Finding the Perfect Spot for Water Features

Placing water features in the right areas in your garden is what will bring out its best. Here are some tips:

  • Always think of what is going to be above your water feature. Placing a water feature under a tree means you are ready to get rid of the leaves that will get in it.
  • Any water feature will always look good when placed amongst plants rather than in the middle of the space.
  • Always consider the safety of children around your water features. If you have small children, opt for water features that do not expose water.

Often, choosing the right spot for your water feature is more crucial than the feature itself.

Do-It-Yourself Water Features

If you do not want to buy water features for your garden, you can make one.

If you are not exactly a handyman around the house, you can go for simple water features such as a bowl pond that does not need a reservoir and pump. You can convert a pot or shallow bowl into a pond. You need to ensure, though that all holes are sealed. It is also best to apply varnish or a waterproof sealer on the surface.

A more sophisticated water feature will need a reservoir and a pump along with digging a large hole. Some electrical connections may also be necessary.

Before embarking on a DIY project for your water features, make sure you are into it and know exactly what to do. The first decision you need to make is to find the right spot in the garden for your water feature.

Final Thoughts

Water features are a beautiful addition to your garden or property as a whole. They are also relaxing and therapeutic.

There are many ways to be creative with your water features. You can use stones, walls, or recycle some of your household items. You can be as simple or as exquisite with your choice of water features.

You do not need a large area to implement the best garden water ideas for the perfect garden.

Try some of the garden water ideas mentioned above. The difference between a pretty garden and an awesome garden is having the best water ideas for the perfect garden.


Jenny Marie

Tribal Writer


 Edited By

Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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