In landscape architecture and garden design, a water features is one or more items from a range of fountains, pools, ponds, cascades, waterfalls, and streams. A landscape water feature can suit any garden style, garden size, or gardener’s time commitment. If you’re considering adding a landscape water feature or expanding one you already have, get inspired with our guide to landscape water features.
Start Small with Landscape Water Features
Sure, water features can be big and bold, but they can also be sized to better fit your space and your gardening time. For example, try your hand at tabletop water gardening for a simple splash of water gardening in a busy life or small area. Here, a few succulents and water lettuce are tucked in a small ceramic bowl. Move the mini water garden from a sunny spot to the dining area when you need a quick, no-cost focal point.
Best For: Beginning water gardeners looking for tabletop accents, a touch of nature, and low maintenance in a confined space. These spare-time water features are ideal projects for balconies, small decks, and other intimate dining or sitting areas.
Focus on Style
Small-scale water features can accent the design aesthetic of an intimate space in the same way that a big water feature fits into the design continuum of a bigger yard. A geometric two-tier water feature accentuates the clean lines and contemporary Asian influence in this outdoor space.
Explore Unusual Containers
Water features lend themselves to virtually any kind and style of container, including oversize galvanized tubs. The containers must, of course, be watertight. Large-scale containers such as these can support large-scale plants, adding height and structure to a landscape water feature. Group a few complementary containers of various sizes for a striking water-feature focal point.
Design a One-of-a-Kind Fountain
Unusually designed water features can integrate seamlessly into a landscape. The key is to use elements in the fountain that complement the shape, texture, and style of the garden. How you combine elements — basin, pedestal or base, and spout — determines the sense of style. Here, gently rounded stone edges and a spout fashioned from bamboo and bark help this fountain blend with the Asian-inspired landscape around it.
Reuse Cast-Off Items
If your outdoor style tends more toward the eccentric end of garden design, then your water feature can be a bit idiosyncratic, too. With larger containers, you’ll be able to include a wider variety of plants, such as the collection nestled in this vintage claw-foot tub, to create color variation, height, and texture in your focal-point water feature. Seeing beyond an object’s original use to envision its potential can create a delightful garden attention-getter.
Use a Birdbath as a Focal Point
Landscape water features include birdbaths and stand-alone fountains; some have moving water elements, while others highlight stationary pools. Placed in a circular paved area, a bubbling or still water feature such as this birdbath can act as a yard’s organizing focal point. A birdbath can be a focal point in a structured formal garden, on a deck, in a blowsy cottage garden, and in all sorts of garden incarnations when it’s surrounded by plants and hardscape suited to the desired style.