8 Beautiful Water Garden Ideas for Landscaping Your Garden

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Water is one of the most beautiful elements you can incorporate into your garden. It evokes a feeling of peace and turns every regular landscape into a wonderland. Therefore, if you are planning to offer a big makeover to your backyard, a water garden is a perfect choice. Here are a few water garden ideas you can try that will drastically change your outdoor setting.

Lotus garden pond surrounded by resplendent vegetation
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What Is a Water Garden?

A water garden is a type of water feature in a garden, and it consists of a small running stream, some pools, or some ponds. Around these, there grow plenty of aquatic species of plants. Usually, you can find this type of water feature outside of the house, but some ideas involve organizing such a setting even indoors.

The main purpose of a water garden is to display the luxurious aquatic plants and offer them space where they can grow. However, depending on the type of water garden you like, you can include other elements as well. You can bring some ornamental fish to populate your ponds, or emphasize the architectural details by creating intricate water features.

Why Build a Water Garden?

If you’re looking for a way to revive your backyard, there are dozens of ways to do it. Simply reorganizing your plants and trees might help, but it might not achieve that dramatic change you are looking for. However, you can significantly improve the way your backyard looks like while appealing to the other senses as well. To work on the visual as well as on the so that part, you can try some water garden ideas.

By including streams, ponds, fountains, and pools in your garden, you will bring a lot of new life to it. Apart from the new plants and fish, a water garden will offer some vitality. The sounds of water flowing down the rocks will recharge your batteries and bring you plenty of energy to cope with the stressful world outside.

Water Garden Ideas

If we’ve convinced you such a design is perfect for you, you can now choose from a series of water garden ideas. Some of them are bigger and involve a lot of work, so you’ll probably need some resources. However, if you cannot afford a big water garden, you can create some micro decorations that are perfect even for an indoor setting.

Of course, sometimes creating the water feature might not be enough to complete the landscape. As mentioned above, water plants are really important, as well as fish and other aquatic animals. In other cases, you might complete the landscape with some furniture and a few other decorative elements. Here are the water garden ideas you can apply.

1.      Create a Stream

Of course, if you want to achieve the ultimate water garden, you should construct a stream. First, create its outline. For a dramatic effect, the stream can be meandering. Then, it’s time to add the other elements of the landscape. Start with the hard materials that are going to surround the stream. You can edge it by using rocks and grave and maybe build small waterfalls along it.

A perfect stream has plenty of aquatic plant species, so feel free to go crazy. Start with some water lilies or other floating plants, and continue with small shrubs, or even weeping willows and other trees.

2.      A Hardscape Fountain

Fountains are also among the greatest water garden ideas, as they allow you to combine the natural looks with the sophisticated elements of hardscape. First of all, you need to decide on the design of the fountain. If you want a modern garden, you can opt for some more geometric. Include more elements of hardscape to maintain a minimalist look.

However, if you want to incorporate more live materials, like plants, you can go for the traditional. One of those classical fountain models will work fine. These options will allow you to add some flowers without looking too eclectic.

3.      Circles

This is another minimalist idea for a water garden that looks both modern and natural. You can start by building a circular pond with static water. Then, add some floating plants on its surface. Surround this circle with a layer of concrete to define its outline better. The next circle will contain some water grasses, which then you should surround with a circle of gravel.

This design will offer a harmonious display of water features, plants, and hardscape. If you want to achieve the sound effect as well, you can resort to a trick. While you cannot have running water in a small pond, you can install a base at its bottom that will create bubbles.

Pond covered by water lilies next to a Chinese-style building
Image source: Max Pixel

4.      Bridges and Rocks

This is probably the most sophisticated among the water garden ideas. However, it helps you achieve that dreamlike design everybody wants. You need quite a lot of resources, but the final result is worth it. First of all, you need to build the stream or the pond, which needs to be quite wide and meandering.

The pond will need some edging, where you can use both rocks and vegetation. The vegetation needs to be thick and bushy so that it will look as natural as possible. Then, the big star of this landscaping idea will be a small Japanese bridge across the pond. Choose that classical water bridge design from Monet’s paintings, and you’ll get the best water feature you could think of.

If you don’t have enough space for an extensive landscaping, there’s no problem. The bridge can be decorative as well, so you can go for a smaller scale object. It doesn’t matter if you cannot actually step on the bridge, the visual impact will remain as powerful.

5.      Waterfalls

Of course, waterfalls cannot miss from a list of water garden ideas. If your backyard has various vantage points, it means it will be easier for you to build the waterfall. If not, you will have to work a bit more, but it’s still achievable. Decorate each level of the waterfall with big rocks, so you will create a flowing passage for the water.

If you have the means, you can even build some stairs from the base to the top of the waterfall. Don’t forget about the plants, which are mandatory for this idea. Also, some ornamental fish might thrive well in the pond at the base of the waterfall.

Mini Water Garden Ideas

You might be dreaming about a water garden, but maybe you don’t have all the resources to build one. Such a project might be pretty costly, especially if your garden doesn’t already have some essential landscape elements. Also, your garden might be too small to build a pond or a fountain.

There’s no need to worry, as you can still try a few ideas and build some mini water gardens. Here are a few tips on how to have your water feature in a small garden, or even indoors.

6.      Wine Barrel Water Garden

You can get a small pond even without digging your garden. All you need is a wine barrel you can cut in half, fill with gravel at the bottom, and then pour some water on top of it. To achieve the complete effect of a pond, don’t forget to add some floating plants inside. They might not survive for long, but you can change them from time to time.

7.      Bathtub Water Garden

If you have an old bathtub you are planning to no longer use, it’s time to turn it into a pond. It’s bigger than a wine barrel so that it will resemble a pond more. Fill it with water, add some plants, and populate it with several species of ornamental fish. This way, you will perfectly imitate a natural pond that will look unusual and chic.

Any kind of bathtub should work, but a metal one might be more suitable for this design idea. This way, the feature will last more and look a lot more interesting. If you like, you can add some other design features, such as glass items.

8.      Jars and Cups

This water garden idea is perfect even for an indoor setting when you want to bring nature with you inside. You can imitate a pond at a much smaller scale with the help of a transparent jar or cup. Pour some gravel in the glass item, then fill it with water. Then, sprinkle a few other stones, add some vegetation that can survive in a small container, and don’t forget about the fish. This idea might resemble an aquarium, but it’s perfect for a small place with limited resources.

Water garden with a pond, a tiny waterfall, and a beautiful stone edging
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Summing Up

These water garden ideas are perfect if you want to turn your backyard into a wonderland. They appeal to both your visual and your auditory sense and help you create a peaceful atmosphere away from the noise and chaos of the city. You can try the full-scale designs that require the complete remodeling of your garden, or the mini-ponds that are perfect for any kind of limited space.

Image source: Pixabay

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