LandscapingWater Features: The Key To Making Your Yard Your Personal Oasis
Water Features

Water Features: The Key To Making Your Yard Your Personal Oasis

Until you’ve experienced a water feature in your yard, you really don’t know what you are missing. It isn’t just the aesthetic of water moving, but the gentle sounds of a waterfall or the mellow feeling when you watch a koi in the pond that takes your yard from average to heavenly.  The beauty of incorporating a water feature is the versatility—whether you have 5 acres or 5 square feet, there are water features for your space.  Deciding on the right feature for your home can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help you make this dream a reality.  Whether you need a water feature for your pool or a small water feature for your backyard, we can help find the perfect fit for you. 

Water Features 101

It may seem like it’s a basic concept—you add water to some type of container in your yard and you have a water feature. In reality, water features are more complicated than meets the eye.  There’s a lot to consider when deciding on a water feature:

Location And Size:

Tall narrow trees are a beautiful way to create privacy around your backyard landscape.

How big is your space? How much of your space do you want the water feature to occupy? Do you want to be able to see the water feature from a specific location inside your home? Do you want the water feature to have a seating area, pool, or vegetation surrounding it? There are water features available to fit all of your needs, but answering some basic questions about the location and size of your water feature is the first place to start.  


raised backyard pond with rock wall

How much time do you want to spend on caring for the feature? For example, a large pond filled with koi fish is more complicated than just feeding the fish—you have to also closely monitor the water.  Typically, the bigger the pond the fewer small changes in the water affect the fish, but then you are dealing with a bigger pond. A small koi pond may save on square footage, but you’ll have to monitor the chemical state and PH of the water more closely. If you don’t want to do much maintenance at all, there are options for that, but it may not give you the look and feel you are seeking.  No matter how much maintenance you want to do on your pond, knowing the requirements of the pond you want is an important first step. 


Rock landscaping is a beautiful way to bring nature into your structured backyard landscape.

Do you think of a natural water feature when you are considering your plans for your backyard? Complete with natural stone, gentle water trickling over the edges of each rock? Or do you prefer a more modern, sleek look for your water feature? There are endless possibilities when it comes to the aesthetic of your water feature, and considering the current style of your home and yard will help you narrow down your options for your water feature.  Endless possibilities may seem daunting, but hiring the right professional can help you find the right style to create your dream yard.  


A pool patio doesn't have to be stone or pavers. Create a landscape design that matches your aesthetic such as a wood deck that wraps your backyard pool.

As with all home projects, considering your budget is a crucial first step.  If you are willing to do some of the work yourself, you can save some money on the cost of installation. There are also smaller water fountains that can be installed by most homeowners, although it’s important to consider getting power and water to the fountain before purchasing. As with all home projects, elbow grease, hours of tutorials on youtube, and several trips to your local hardware store should be considered part of the cost of the project.  

5 Water Features For Your Yard:

1. Ponds:


A classic for a reason, ponds are stunning additions to any landscape.  These timeless water features offer customization in materials, size, depth, use, and aesthetics. For a more natural look, you can use stones placed around the edge of the pond, or for a more manicured look, you can use bricks or pavers.  A small pond next to an eating or lounging area adds ambiance, while a large pond with koi or other fish adds drama and a unique flare.  Ponds are a great place to start when incorporating a water feature into your space.  

2. Waterfalls:

Waterfalls add visual drama to any space- they are a true wow factor when it comes to landscaping.  There are several ways to incorporate this feature, from adding a waterfall into your pool to a natural waterfall for your backyard.

Step up your backyard pool with a flowing water feature built-in to the landscape.

This waterfall into a pool offers not only looks incredible but adds fun to the pool for kids and adults alike!

This waterfall into a pool offers not only looks incredible but adds fun to the pool for kids and adults alike!

This natural waterfall is a great option if you don’t want a pond as part of your backyard water feature.  A safe option for families with kids or pets, this feature is known as a pondless waterfall and simply pumps water from the bottom of the waterfall back to the top. 

3. Fountains:

An impressive addition to any outdoor space, a fountain offers versatility and an opportunity to show your personal style

An impressive addition to any outdoor space, a fountain offers versatility and an opportunity to show your personal style.  Whether the fountain is cascading down rocks, mounted to a wall, or self-contained, these outdoor water features offer the auditory and visual benefits of large-scale water features.  One of our most popular types of fountains is those that pour into pools, fun for families to enjoy as part of their outdoor recreation.  

4. Scuppers And Sconces:


water feature and art installation contractors

Scuppers or sconces work well as part of a larger water feature or a standalone water feature for small backyards.  Adding these features to a pond or pool adds depth and a unique twist to the existing feature. As a standalone option for small spaces, they offer the ambiance of a water feature without the square footage other water features require. 

5. Streams

Big Rock Landscaping can design and install a natural creek with bridge so you can have nature running through your residential landscaping.

A perfect addition to any landscape, streams offer the natural beauty of the outdoors on your property.  You may think that streams require a lot of acreage, but this versatile water feature works in many landscape plans.  Similar to ponds, when you consider adding a stream to your yard know that you have plenty of options in terms of size and aesthetic. 

DIY Water Features Vs Professional

With so many options for DIY water features on the market today, creating your own backyard oasis feels more attainable than ever.  These options are great for those with experience in professional landscaping or those comfortable with learning through youtube and blogs.  DIY water feature kits are also a good option for people who have several open weekends or can take some time off work to devote to planning, designing, and installing their water feature.  Important issues to consider when DIY’ing your water feature:

Local Regulations:

You’ll need to check on local regulations for building your own water feature. You’ll also need to call to make sure your location for your water feature won’t disrupt power, gas, or other utility lines.  This step is crucial—you don’t want to spend time and money installing a water feature and have it removed because of non-compliance with local regulations, or worse, accidentally hit a gas line and have to deal with all the danger and hassle of a gas leak.  

Depth and Width:

Depending on what type of water feature you are interested in, you may have to dig fairly deep to give the feature enough space.  For example, if a koi pond is on your radar you will need to dig a hole deep enough for the koi to swim to the bottom for the winter months.  If you are wanting a larger feature, you will need to consider how wide the feature should be and what other landscaping needs to be removed in order to accommodate that width.  

Cost Of Kit + Cost Of Other Materials:

Some kits come with everything you need to make your water feature. Make sure that it includes a pump, lining, edging, and pipes. Additionally, make sure you have the tools necessary to start your DIY water feature project: a shovel or backhoe depending on the size of your project and a wheelbarrow or truck bed for removing dirt and adding dirt where necessary. 

If DIYing sounds like more than you want to take on, that’s okay.  Water features aren’t an easy DIY project.  Between incorporating water, electricity, pumps, and edging, there are many moving parts to a water feature, and one misstep not only adds time and expense to the project but added stress to your life. While you will pay a little more to have a water feature added to your yard by a professional, you can rest easy knowing that the project was completed by passionate experts. It’s not just that you don’t have to go through the pain of DIY’ing your water feature, but it’s also knowing that every step of the process from design to installation was completed by professionals.   

Big Rock Landscaping: Water Feature Experts

When it comes to water features, Big Rock Landscaping has the experience, expertise, and comprehensive process to manage your project from start to finish. Our award-winning firm has frequently been recognized for our customer service, as well as for our finished products. We do it all, but we take special pride in our ability to leverage water features to make your home and property look amazing. Take a look at our Water Features Design and Installation services we offer. If you have a water feature project you’ve been thinking about, give us a call and see how we can help you get started.

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