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Popular in Gardening

Water Garden Landscaping Ideas

From ponds and waterfalls to tabletop fountains, incorporate water into your landscape with these ideas.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Sloping Stream

      A cacophony of colors and materials decorates the outlines of a stream.

      • A variety of visually-interesting materials and plants, including a weeping willow and variously sized boulders, move the eye from the top of the gentle slope downward.
      • Large, flat boulders do double duty, edging the pond and providing a wide enough spot for an informal path.
      • A few dwarf evergreens add year-round structure among the brightly colored lilies and black-eyed Susans.
      • Groundcovers and water plants, including water lilies, soften the otherwise hard edges of the pond's rocky border
      • A gentle curve cut out of the walkway mimics the outlines of the pond.
    • Dressed-Up Fountain

      A water feature set into a sloping corner offers traditional style.

      • Distinctive hardscape, including stone steps and a geometric paved landing, lend an air of formality to this elegant waterfall.
      • Urns overflowing with bright purple lobelia and red double impatiens soften the water's edges.
      • While many garden water elements feel natural, this pool was designed to contrast with the lushly planted landscape around it.
      • The rich hues of ivy, lacecap hydrangea, ornamental grass, and pigsqueak warm the cool tones of the waterfall's stonework.
    • Circle 'Round

      A series of spheres supplies structure to a minimalist water feature.

      • A gravel path from the house ends at a gently bubbling pond.
      • Plants echo the shape of hardscape. Here, liriope encircles the small pond.
      • Repetition is a key design element to this water landscape; multiple circles tie everything together.
      • The continuation of the path around the pond maintains circulation through the garden.
      • In place of a stationary pool of water, a bubbling base in the pool offers water movement.
    • Focus on the Fountain

      A pretty water feature livens up a small slice of yard.

      • Intricate trelliswork complements the elegance of the fountain and sculpture.
      • Gentle curves at the edge of the fountain soften the hardscape edges.
      • A pair of myrtles, grown in topiary form, adds a splash of fun to the garden. Their rounded shapes echo the curves in the lattice and water basin.
      • Containers set at the fountain's edge pick up the colors and foliage of the surrounding plantings.
      • Shade-loving begonias and caladium in colors that warm the cool gray stonework nestle close to the small-scale fountain.
    • Pond Perfect

      A restful landscape includes an expansive pond.

      • A bench, chair, and table offer a quiet alcove overlooking the expansive lily pond.
      • An arched bridge takes garden visitors over the water below.
      • Lighting can be an unobtrusive element when its shape and materials complement the rest of the landscape; here, a few lanterns light the way across the bridge.
      • Large and small boulders tumble and flit in and out of the pond's edges
      • Movement in water and elements on the surface offer visual interest to water features. Here, water lilies bloom and a small stream cascades into the larger pond.
    • Japanese Garden Inspiration

      A calming garden spot puts Asian style ideas to work.

      • Above-ground water features in the landscape offer soothing sounds and tranquil vignettes. Here, a massive boulder and gurgling fountain create a unique getaway.
      • There needn't be any distinct order to pavers. In this garden, a series of randomly tucked, small-scale steppingstones guide the way from bench to fountain.
      • Chairs work, but a minimalist concrete cube with a pair of cushions stands in just as well for seating.
      • Plants contribute to the Zen garden setup, with the lovely but restrained foliage of Japanese maple, liriope, clumping bamboo, and rhododendron.
      • Repeated shapes provide garden serenity; here, the shape of the fountain is echoed in the paved outlines of the sand garden.
    • Wonderful Waterfall

      A dense mix of evergreens and shade-loving plants creates a richly sculpted landscape around a backyard pond.

      • A dense planting of reliable arborvitae serves as a year-round softscape fence.
      • A garden with several vantage points offers multiple areas for enjoyment; this landscape can be viewed from up on the deck or down closer to the water feature.
      • A series of stacked boulders in varying sizes offers a naturalist edging for the waterfall and pond.
      • Extending from the lower seating area, a few flagstones jut over the boulders for a third garden outlook spot.
      • Paths and water features are easy elements to utilize to conquer slopes, and water features another. This cascading water feature tumbles gently over boulders and a series of flagstone steps before ending in a pond.
    • Modern Measures

      By relying on subtle shifts in color and replicating elements, a water feature offers a composed garden setting.

      • Accent lights need not be stationary; in fact, moveable versions afford flexibility. Here, punched tin lanterns can be relocated as necessary.
      • The size and shape of a water feature works wonders to complement the style of the rest of the garden, as with this slim, tranquil rill.
      • Along either side of the narrow slice of water, repeated clusters of plants and shrubs, such as evergreens and hostas, complement the restful vista.
      • A bench at the end of this water feature is part focal point, part resting spot.
      • A mostly monochromatic color scheme supports the sleek style of the garden and water feature.
    • Less Is More

      A stripped-down pond and outdoor shed provide an undisturbed vignette.

      • Urns and containers complement the style and colors in a landscape; here, the subtle shapes and hues of an oversize pot emphasize the garden's composition.
      • Garden sheds enhance a garden. The lines and materials of a Japanese-inspired garden house work in tandem with the water feature.
      • If the pond is large enough, extending a vantage point out over it (as with this front "porch") can give an interesting perspective on the landscape.
      • Color can come from multiple elements or from one single, well-chosen piece, as with this bold red Japanese maple.
      • Placed in a seemingly random pattern, the boulders around the edge of the pond are the perfect companions for both the shed and pond.
    • 10 of 11

      A Backyard Stream

      Clumps of carefree plants amble easily along the free-form edges of this water feature.

      • Transitions from one material to the next are less jarring if done gradually; here, a smattering of stones gives way to shredded wood mulch.
      • The lines of the stream reinforce the style of the rest of the garden -- the stream's rambling path creates a casual feel.
      • Set between the pathway and stream, a tricolor beach offers a burst of color.
      • Use perennials and annuals around a water element to add blooms throughout the season.
    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Backyard Landscaping Ideas

      Backyard Landscaping Ideas

      Developing backyard landscaping ideas can seem like a big project, but coming up with great backyard landscaping designs doesn't have to overwhelm. Looking for ways to give your backyard a makeover? Whether you're looking for simple backyard landscaping ideas, backyard landscaping ideas on a budget, or a complete overhaul of your backyard design, check out these cool backyard landscaping ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »



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