Condotti Obelisk Outdoor Fountain

Discover how to enhance your outdoor space with the perfect backyard water feature. Explore essential tips and design ideas in our latest article.

A good backyard water feature can transform a dull outdoor space into a tranquil retreat. Key elements include a balanced design that fits the size of your yard, easy maintenance, and materials that blend with your landscape. Water features not only increase property value but also provide a serene ambiance.

Our backyard water features should be beautiful and mix in with the surroundings. The best water features incorporate native stones into ponds or vegetation that matches the surrounding flora. Material selection, water feature size, and maintenance are important. They should be made of durable materials that are energy-efficient while being easy to maintain. Our backyard water features can become a focal point of our outdoor living spaces if we design and include these aspects.

Designing Your Backyard Water Feature

Parisienne Two Tier Outdoor Water Fountain

In designing the ideal backyard water feature, we must consider the overall style that reflects our personal taste and complements our outdoor space. Choosing features that scale correctly to the area and integrate seamlessly with the surrounding landscape is essential.

Selecting the Right Style

When choosing a style for our water feature, we must assess the existing aesthetic of our garden. We’ll determine whether a modern look with sharp lines and minimalist design, a vintage appeal with ornate details, or a more naturalistic style that mimics nature's randomness will best suit our space. This decision sets the tone for the materials and plants we’ll select.

Incorporating Focal Points

Every water feature should have a focal point that draws attention and interest. This could be an elegant sculpture, a cascading waterfall, or a simple yet charming stone fountain. The size and complexity of the focal point should harmonize with our backyard scale and keep the location manageable.

Choosing Materials

Our water feature's durability and appearance largely depend on our choice of materials. Stone, concrete, and natural rocks are famous for their strength and timeless look. For a more rustic appeal, materials like wood can be used. We must ensure that the materials are weather-resistant and complementary to our chosen style.

Integrating Plants and Landscaping

Landscaping around our water feature breathes life into our design. We can plant water plants and colorful flowers to enhance visual appeal and integrate the water feature with the rest of our outdoor space. Careful placement of plants can create natural transitions and help the water feature look like a part of the existing landscape.

Creating an Atmosphere with Lighting and Sound

Lighting can accentuate our water feature, highlight key elements after sunset, and create a mesmerizing effect. Strategic placement of lights can enhance reflections and shadows. Additionally, the sound of running water from fountains or waterfalls can significantly improve the atmosphere, offering a soothing backdrop to our outdoor activities. The flow of moving water adds an auditory element and contributes to a dynamic and engaging garden design.

Types of Backyard Water Features

Montefalco Three Tier Pond Fountain

Backyard water features can significantly enhance a landscape by adding visual interest and the tranquil sound of moving water. Depending on space, budget, and maintenance preferences, homeowners have many options.

Ponds and Garden Ponds

Ponds are the centerpiece of many water gardens, attracting wildlife and fostering a serene ecosystem. Garden ponds range from small, container-sized bodies of water to larger in-ground ponds. Garden ponds typically integrate plants and possibly fish, creating a natural habitat and requiring varying degrees of upkeep.

Fountains and Fountain Types

Fountains add a dynamic and often sculptural element to outdoor spaces. They come in many forms:

  • Wall Fountains: Ideal for small spaces, these fountains are mounted on walls and often feature intricate designs.
  • Tiered Fountains: Characterized by levels of basins through which water cascades, offering a classic aesthetic.
  • Fountains with Basin/Pool: These fountains collect water in a large basin or pool, creating a serene water feature.
  • Large Fountains: Majestic in scale, these are focal points in gardens or large public spaces.
  • Small Fountains: Perfect for intimate garden corners or patios, small fountains bring the beauty of water features to compact areas.

Streams and Waterfalls

Imitating the natural flow of water, streams, and waterfalls can be engineered to meander through the backyard, often culminating in a pond or pooling area. Rock waterfalls and babbling creeks create a dynamic focal point while offering the soothing sounds of nature.

Innovative Water Feature Ideas

For those seeking unique additions, consider these innovative ideas:

  • Water walls provide a sleek, modern look and the sound of water trickling down a vertical surface.
  • Bubblers, often incorporated into smaller features, create a gentle focal point.
  • Outdoor showers merge functionality with the relaxing ambiance of running water.
  • Water gardens, utilizing aquatic plants, can be a beautiful and eco-friendly addition.

Where to Place Them

La Mirande Outdoor Water Fountain

In determining the optimal placement for a backyard water feature, we consider visibility, its role in the landscape, and how it integrates with other elements in the space. Our goal is to enhance aesthetic appeal and create a sense of tranquility.

A Garden

We position water features amidst the flora in a garden setting to achieve a naturalistic look. We suggest:

  • Placing the feature at eye level for visibility among taller plants.
  • Ensuring the feature has a backdrop of lush greenery to accentuate its presence.


For pathways, a water feature serves as an interactive experience for those walking by:

  • Situate small fountains or bubblers alongside the path to engage the senses.
  • Consider a series of small features leading to a larger focal point at the pathway's end.


On a patio, where space is at a premium, we recommend:

  • Integrating water features such as a wall fountain to save floor space.
  • Aligning the feature as a viewing point from patio seating creates a central focal area.

Near a Firepit (Fire and Water Zen Vibe)

For a firepit area, combining fire and water elements promotes a zen-like atmosphere:

  • Position the water feature within sight but at a safe distance from the firepit.
  • Ensure the water feature is downwind to avoid smoke interference with the enjoyment of the water feature.

Benefits Of Backyard Water Feature

Adding a water feature to your yard can change an ordinary spot into a calm place. Here are some benefits of having a water feature in your backyard:

  1. Piece of Art: Water features such as fountains, ponds, or waterfalls add a visual element to your garden. They can be the focal point or complement other design aspects of your yard. The visual appeal can also increase the overall property value.
  2. Soothing Sounds: The sound of flowing or trickling water is inherently calming and can mask unwanted noises from traffic or neighbors. This makes a calm space where you can rest and relax. 
  3. Attracts Wildlife: Water features attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Watching these creatures can provide enjoyment and make your garden a lively and vibrant place.
  4. Cooling Effects: Water features can help cool the surrounding area on hot days, making your backyard a comfortable retreat during the summer months.
  5. Improves Air Quality: Water features increase air humidity in nearby areas, which can help improve air quality. Additionally, the negative ions produced by moving water can reduce air pollution.
  6. Therapeutic Benefits: Water can be soothing to look at and listen to, which can help lower stress and improve your overall health. 

Overall, a backyard water feature enhances the beauty and enjoyment of your home and offers environmental and health benefits.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining our backyard water feature ensures its longevity and beauty. We approach this with a focus on regular cleaning, seasonal preparation, and addressing any issues early with proper troubleshooting methods. Effective long-term care and possible enhancements are essential in preserving the feature's appeal.

Routine Upkeep and Cleaning

We know that routine upkeep is essential to keep our backyard oasis thriving. Algae prevention is a top priority, as it impacts water quality and can clog filters. For ponds, we recommend:

  • Check the pump and filter system often and clean it if needed. 
  • Adding floating plants to reduce algae growth.

For fountains, the key steps include:

  • Cleaning with a soft brush to remove debris.
  • Ensuring the water level is high enough to submerge the pump, preventing damage.

Winterizing Your Water Feature

Winterizing is crucial for protection during cold months. We take the following steps:

  • Removing any water from fountains to prevent freezing and cracking.
  • For ponds, installing a pond heater or de-icer ensures fish and plant survival.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When issues arise, we troubleshoot promptly:

  • If a pump malfunctions, we check for debris and ensure it's adequately submerged.
  • Signs of cracks or leaks require immediate attention to avoid extensive damage.

Long-Term Care and Enhancements

Long-term care involves periodic deep cleaning and considering upgrades or enhancements:

  • Replacing worn-out parts like the pump or lights can extend the life of our water feature.
  • Adding new elements like lighting or additional water plants can enhance visual appeal.

Regular maintenance and cleaning protect our investment and keep our backyard retreat enjoyable for years.


When designing the ideal backyard water feature, consider personal style, space, and intended benefits to ensure it complements the garden theme and enhances aesthetics, creating a serene atmosphere. These features, which require regular maintenance to remain beautiful and functional, can transform your backyard into a relaxing retreat. Modern innovations help maintain efficiency and longevity, though complex setups might require professional installation. 

Ready to find a water feature that fits your style? Explore our various backyard water features and transform your outdoor space today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Water features can transform ordinary backyards into serene retreats. Here, we'll address some of the most common questions to guide you in selecting and maintaining the ideal water feature for your space.

How do I choose the right size for a water feature in my backyard?

When determining the size of your backyard water feature, consider the scale of your outdoor space and how you intend to use it. Smaller gardens benefit from compact features like a birdbath or tabletop fountain, whereas larger spaces can accommodate ponds or cascading waterfalls.

What are the best materials to use for DIY backyard water features?

For do-it-yourself projects, durable materials such as fiberglass, concrete, stone, and resin offer longevity and ease of maintenance. Each has its benefits; stone and concrete blend naturally with the environment, while fiberglass and resin are lightweight and often more cost-effective.

What is the easiest type of water feature to maintain in a backyard?

Freestanding fountains are among the easiest to maintain since they often involve fewer components, which reduces the risk of algae and blockages. Features that include a recirculating pump are also low maintenance, as the moving water helps prevent stagnation.

How can a water feature add value to my outdoor living space?

A well-designed water feature not only creates a focal point but also enhances the overall appeal of your garden, potentially increasing property value. The sound of water can provide a calming effect, making your backyard a relaxing place to spend time.

What are some creative ideas for small backyard water features?

Consider vertical water walls, spout and basin setups, or petite, self-contained fountains for limited spaces. These can infuse charm and elegance without consuming valuable ground space. Container water gardens are also a versatile and portable option.

What factors should be considered when installing a large water feature in a backyard?

When installing a sizeable water feature, it's essential to evaluate the topography of your land, the quality of your soil, and the proximity to electrical sources for pumps and lighting. Also, long-term care requirements should be considered, including cleaning and seasonal preparation.