Backyard Water Feature Ideas for Gardens and Patios

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If you're looking to add a serene and relaxing element to your outdoor space, a backyard water feature is a perfect choice. The sound of running water can create a peaceful atmosphere that's both calming and refreshing, and landscaping stones can be used to create a natural look, adding texture and dimension to the design.

As a leading stone supplier, Stone Center offers a wide range of landscaping stones in Ohio that are perfect for creating stunning water features in any outdoor area. In this article, we'll explore some garden water feature ideas that will inspire you to create a tranquil oasis in your backyard.

Good Reasons to Have Stone Water Features in Your Backyard

Water features are a great addition to any landscaping, and there are several reasons why you should consider adding one to your backyard or garden:

  • They add an element of natural beauty and can create a calming and serene atmosphere;
  • Even a small backyard water feature can provide several benefits, such as attracting wildlife and improving air quality;
  • The soothing sound can also help to drown out noise pollution, making your outdoor space more peaceful;
  • Water features can increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Types of Landscape Water Features

Water features for yards come in a variety of types, each with unique characteristics and benefits.

#1 Natural Ponds

water feature backyard
Landscaping ponds

These types of ponds usually use boulders as their primary material, giving them a natural look that blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment and creates a sense of depth and dimension.

Pros of using natural stone water features such as ponds for the garden include the ability to provide a native appearance and design flexibility. However, there are potential drawbacks such as the risk of liner damage and leaks, as well as the possibility of requiring significant excavation work during installation.

The typical cost of premier ponds ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 or higher.

#2 Swimming Pools

backyard water feature
Swimming Area in Yard

Backyard swimming pools are one of the most popular outdoor water feature ideas, providing an excellent way to beat the heat during the hot summer months. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be customized to fit any backyard space. To enhance the look and functionality of your pool, consider adding a flagstone pool deck. This type of deck is made of natural stone and provides a non-slip surface that's both stylish and durable while adding an eye-catching element and unique style to your space.

Installing a small pool in your backyard can provide you with hours of fun and relaxation, making it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

The average cost of a pool installation varies depending on the type and design of the pool, as well as the cost of labor and materials in your area. However, it typically ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 or more.

The main disadvantage is the cost of maintenance and upkeep, and the potential for safety hazards.

 #3 Stone Fountain

backyard water feature ideas
Kind of Stone Fountain

A garden fountain is a beautiful and timeless water feature. The soothing sounds of flowing water from it can provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere, making it a perfect addition to any garden.

The average cost of a stone garden fountain varies from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.

A potential drawback includes the weight of the fountain, which may require professional installation, and the need for regular cleaning to prevent algae buildup and water contamination.

#4 Waterwalls

water features for yard
Beauty of Snote Waterwalls

Waterwalls are a unique and modern water feature idea for backyards, providing a stunning focal point that can add an element of sophistication and serenity to any outdoor space. A water wall is typically made of a vertical panel of glass or natural stone and features a cascading flow of water.

The average price of a water wall ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 or more.

A water wall can provide a sense of privacy and seclusion, as well as improve air quality by adding humidity to the air.

#5 Natural Waterfall

Stone waterfalls are a stunning addition to any water garden, providing a serene and natural-looking water feature that can create a calm atmosphere. They're often incorporated into hardscape water features, blending the natural and man-made elements seamlessly.

Stone waterfalls offer several benefits, including adaptability to other features or as a standalone piece, and the pleasing sounds of water flows. But it may not be a low-maintenance option and can require some regular upkeep.

The typical cost of a small waterfall starts from $1,000 and varies depending on different factors.

#6 A Bird Bath

landscape water features
Small Bath for Birds

If you need more ideas on how to add interest to your yard, consider something as simple as a bird bath. A bird bath is a simple and effective way to add visual interest to a garden, while also providing a source of clean water for birds to drink and bathe in.

The average cost of a bird bath varies from $30 to $200 or more.

It can attract a variety of bird species to your garden, providing an opportunity for birdwatching and nature appreciation. Some potential drawbacks to consider include the need for a nearby seating area to observe the birds, as well as the risk of attracting unwanted pests such as mosquitoes if the water is not changed regularly.

#7 Stream Water Feature

stone water features
Water Stream and Cobbles

A stream water feature typically consists of a winding pathway of water that runs through the outdoor space, creating a serene sound. It can be customized to fit any size or shape of the yard and to adapt to different backyard stream and river ideas.

Stone aggregates such as river rock, gravel, and pebbles can be used to line the stream bed and create a natural look, while also providing a stable and durable surface for the water to flow over. Additionally, stone boulders can be incorporated into the design to create natural-looking eddies and water cascades, adding to the visual interest and natural feel of the feature.

However, it's important to consider the maintenance needs of the feature, such as regular cleaning to prevent mineral buildup and the potential for leaks or water damage.

#8 Walkway Water Feature

A walkway water feature can be a stunning addition to any backyard or other patio water feature ideas, providing a unique and modern design elements that can add an extra dimension of interest and tranquility to your garden. Walkway water features typically consist of a shallow stream of water that runs alongside a pathway or walkway.

One of the main advantages of a walkway water feature is its versatility and adaptability to different backyard creek ideas. It can be made from various materials to suit any aesthetic. However, the cost can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

#9 Splash Pad

backyard stream ideas
Child Entertainment in Yard

A splash pad can be a fun and exciting backyard water feature, providing hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. A splash pad typically consists of a flat surface that sprays water from various nozzles, creating a safe and fun way to cool off on a hot day.

It is safe as it requires no standing water, reducing the risk of drowning, and the water is typically recycled and filtered, making it a more eco-friendly option. Additionally, the falling water and water trickles can provide a restful atmosphere.

#10 Koi Ponds

landscaping water features
Pond Design

Koi ponds are among the most beautiful and unique backyard water feature ideas. They typically consist of a shallow basin filled with water, aquatic plants, and colorful koi fish.

Koi fish are relatively easy to care for, though you should consider the risk of predators such as raccoons and herons, as well as the potential for water contamination if not maintained properly.

#11 Pondless Waterfalls

garden water feature ideas
Natural Waterfall in Yard

Pondless waterfalls can add the tranquility of natural stone water features even in a small space. A pondless waterfall typically consists of a cascading flow of water that disappears into a hidden underground reservoir, creating the illusion of a natural waterfall without the need for a traditional pond.

The typical cost of pondless waterfalls ranges from $1,500 to $5,000.

Common Water Feature Tips and Maintenance

Maintaining a water feature is crucial to ensuring its longevity and beauty. Here are some practices to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean the water feature to prevent mineral buildup and algae growth;
  • Check the water levels and add water as needed to prevent the pump from drying;
  • Use a net to remove any debris such as leaves and twigs from the water;
  • Check the pump and other components regularly to ensure they are functioning properly;
  • Consider adding a water treatment product to prevent algae growth and keep the water clean;
  • During the winter months, drain and winterize the water feature to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

Choose the Best Water Feature Stones for Your Project

From fountains to a pond to water gardens, there are many water features ideas that can add interest to your space. If you're ready to transform your outdoor space with a beautiful water feature, consider contacting Stone Center for your landscaping stone needs. With a wide variety of high-quality natural stones and convenient delivery services, creating your dream water feature has never been easier. Visit Stone Center website or stop by one of our locations in Columbus or Cincinnati to get started. Don't wait to turn your backyard into a peaceful oasis - contact us today!


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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