Water Features for Any Budget
Water features can help turn your landscape into something special, providing a focal point and attracting wildlife. Dive into these water features and come up with some great ideas for your own backyard.
This pond is a cost-effective alternative to the infinity pool. "The homeowner wanted to capture the views without the expense of a vanishing-edge swimming pool," says landscape designer Scott Cohen of Canoga Park, Calif. "The solution was to build a vanishing-edge pond with a bridge that crosses over to a patio. The cascading fall into the spa from under the bridge appears to be spilling over from the pond."
Outdoor Living Room
The elements of fire and water merge here with a fireplace tucked near the pool, doubling the area's functionality as a gathering spot.
An understated fountain is incorporated into the stairs and path of a paved walkway, creating the element of surprise. A boulder anchors one end of the stream, while at the other end, a basin captures the water, recycling it back to the rock.
This bamboo-and-stone water feature is tucked away in the corner of a small backyard, creating an intimate gathering place off to the side.
These orbs-turned-bubbling-fountains are just one of the elements in a cottage garden filled with tricks to extend the space. For added fun, consider transforming a bowling ball or two into your very own miniature orb fountain.
A semi-circular pond is integrated into this entertaining space at the edge of the patio.
The steep slope of this property created drainage and space issues, says Scott. The solution was to cut into the slope and construct a retaining wall at the rear of the pool. The wall creates a focal point for the pool. The spa was raised 3 feet, enlarging the patio space, and now makes an excellent swim-up bar.
Cape Cod Pool
Tired of the concrete slab that is your pool? Flagstone paving around this pool adds sophisticated flair. Tie the whole landscape together by adding similarly-colored rock in nearby garden beds.
An easy way to create an inexpensive fountain is to convert a garden pot — any size — into a bubbling water feature. Place it on an apartment terrace on in a nook on your patio.
Asian-Influenced Copper Basin
A simple fountain makes a bold statement. Water trickles through an Asian-influenced bamboo spout into the copper basin below.
Modern Square Water Feature
This multi-tiered fountain was added to a yard designed for an active sports-minded family. Included in the makeover were a putting green, a kids' play zone and a bocce-ball area.
Multi-tasking water features, such as this spa, provide dramatic interest and enhance the waterside experience. The homeowner is able to enjoy the sounds of a waterfall while soaking in the whirlpool.
This formal fountain built into a wall incorporates the nautical theme with its seashell-shaped water basin. An urn with a potted evergreen softens the stark hardscape surroundings.
Dry Creek Bed
Afraid of the mosquitoes and other wildlife a pond attracts? Simulate the illusion of a water feature with a dry creek bed made of rock. Ornamental grasses swishing in the wind replace the sounds of a gurgling waterfall.
If you have an old garden ornament that's collecting dirt, give it new life by transforming it into a bubbler. Here, a professional mason drilled a hole through this piece reclaimed from a church. A pump was placed at the base and hidden with tumbled rock. Voila — a brand new water feature.
Avoid potential dangers for exploring children and pets with this pondless feature complete with a recirculating waterfall.
This pond has an easy-to-disassemble quality that's attractive from your wallet's standpoint. If you have to relocate to another city, move this one with you.
Deck Fountain on a Dime
Looking for a easy-to-assemble and inexpensive water feature? Tuck this small pool in the corner of a deck.
Screening views was the big challenge as this lot backs up to three other rear yards. "The homeowner wanted to hide the roof lines without making the yard feel small", says designer Scott Cohen. "The solution was to extend the pergola into a trellis that framed the back of the pool. The added texture provide the screening we wanted, and the yard feels private, lush and textured."