24 Outdoor Water Feature Ideas for Backyards, Gardens, & Patios

Looking for some exciting backyard makeover ideas to improve your outdoor living space? Whether you want to go big with a luxurious landscape design or keep it simple with a DIY garden project, adding a water feature like a pond, a fountain, or a waterfall is a great way to upgrade your yard. Check out the backyard water feature ideas below to transform your outdoor area into a beautiful oasis!

Mix Water into Your Landscaping

Update your home landscape design with a big water feature! Incorporating a pond, pool, or fountain into your landscaping will help you create a backyard space you’ll enjoy for years to come. Create some privacy with a tall waterfall made of stacked rocks, or turn challenging yard terrain into a flowing stream.

Combine an Outdoor Kitchen with a Water Feature

Do you love to host backyard barbecues? Create the ultimate outdoor entertaining space by designing a pond, pool, or stream around an outdoor kitchen. This is one grilling paradise you’ll never want to leave!

Design a Modern-Day Moat

Not only does a flowing backyard stream offer soothing sounds, but it also provides a sense of privacy and seclusion. It’s like having your own moat! Just be sure to include landscaping details like a bridge or stepping stones across your stream to connect your home with the rest of your yard.

Line Your Yard with a Small Stream

If you’re not able to include a large stream or pond throughout your yard, consider designing a shallow, more controlled stream to run along the edges of your backyard instead. Add a small waterfall between levels for detail, as well as smooth stones or pebbles for texture.

Include a Water Feature Next to a Fire Pit

Want to keep warm and stay by the water? Consider designing a water feature close to a fire pit! Whether it’s a swimming pool or a simple water fountain, this creates a lovely entertaining spot in your backyard.

Build a Swimming Pool

Adding a water feature like a pool or a hot tub in your backyard isn’t just great for family fun. It can also increase the value of your home. Design an underground pool with lights and bubblers, or set up an above-ground, deck-mounted pool. You can also seamlessly integrate this element with other landscaping details like waterfalls, fountains, and water walls.

Add a Kid-Friendly Splash Pad

Do your kids love to run through the sprinkler? Upgrade their backyard water adventures with a splash pad. Residential splash pads have all the appeal of the typical water park splash pad—just with the comfort of being at home! Splash pads are also safer than a traditional swimming pool because there’s no standing water.

Go Natural with a Small Backyard Pond

Unwind after a long day next to a small pond in your backyard! Utilize landscaping elements like pebbles, stones, flowering plants, trees, and ferns around your pond to create a sense of natural beauty. You can even build your own pond using materials available from most hardware stores. Or if you’d rather skip picking up separate materials, learn how to install your own using a convenient backyard pond kit here!

Invest in a Koi Pond

If you have the space and the resources, turn a section of your backyard into a tranquil koi pond. Make sure your koi pond is large enough to allow fish to grow and live comfortably. Koi also eat plants, so only add non-toxic greenery to your pond, such as water lilies, water lettuce, or other floating plants.

Keep It Simple with a Birdbath

One of the simplest and most affordable backyard water features is a birdbath. Without pumps, filters, or costly installation, birdbaths are a budget-friendly way to add a water feature to your outdoor living area. Not to mention, they come in all shapes and colors, making it easy to find the option that fits both your space and your style.

Blend a Water Feature into Outdoor Furniture

For an over-the-top water feature that everyone will be talking about, consider a custom outdoor water table, like this succulent water table with a pondless stream from California Waterscapes!

Create a Small Rock Waterfall

Adding a waterfall to a backyard pond, stream, or pool is a great way to incorporate movement in your garden. Rocks, concrete, and even fiberglass can be stacked to create a path for the water, while flowers, succulents, or grasses can be added for color.

Add a Pondless Waterfall

Pondless waterfalls are ideal for small backyards that don’t have enough room for a pond. Instead of water collecting at the bottom, these waterfalls have pumps that circulate water back up through the fountain, creating the same effect in half the space. In addition, pondless waterfalls are low maintenance and can be designed with stones, plants, and pebbles for a natural look.

Opt for a Staircase Waterfall

For a unique, modern water feature that’s sure to be a conversation piece among guests, create a staircase waterfall! This small backyard design adds a luxurious touch to any garden or outdoor living space.

Design a DIY Water Wall

An outdoor water wall is one of the most eye-catching modern water features to incorporate into your backyard. This stylish design also makes a great addition to outdoor living rooms. Feeling adventurous? Learn how to make your own DIY patio water wall feature with items like glass sheets and wood.

Relax with a Traditional Fountain

Fountains are the perfect addition to yards, patios, decks, or as a landscaping centerpiece in a garden. These popular water features include pipe fountains, disappearing fountains, spouting fountains, and self-contained fountains. They can also have sconces, scuppers, and downspouts in their designs.

Use a Sphere Outdoor Fountain

Even if space is limited in your backyard, you can still enjoy a water fountain! Also known as ball fountains, sphere water features are tranquil elements that don’t require much setup and can easily fit in any sized yard. Check out how to make your own spherical outdoor fountain here!

Incorporate a Bubbler Fountain

A bubbler fountain is a small water feature that gives your backyard both pizzazz and a relaxing feel. Place one in a tiny garden, or install a large one in your green space to make it the focal point of your yard. Underwater bubblers can also be added to ponds and pools for a bubbling effect similar to a hot spring.

Install a Water Blade Fountain

For a twist on the traditional water feature, use a water blade in your landscaping. Not only do these fountains add a modern touch to existing ponds or pools, but they can also be installed on their own as freestanding water features.

Make a Courtyard Fountain the Focal Point

Designed to fit a range of outdoor living spaces, including courtyards, atriums, or gardens, a courtyard fountain is truly a work of art. These fountains can be made from stone, bronze, copper, and concrete. For a similar effect, you can add a DIY wishing well to any entryway or porch.

Get Creative with a Decorative Fountain

Show off your sense of style with a fun, decorative backyard fountain! Old-fashioned pumps, wine glasses, and teapots are just a few items you can use for your one-of-a-kind water fountain. You can learn how to make your own unique DIY water fountain here!

Don’t Forget to Include a Pathway

Especially if you’re incorporating a large stream or pond into your outdoor living space, having a walkway is good for connecting your deck or patio with your backyard. Pathway designs can even include custom details like stepping stones that blend effortlessly with your garden!

Create Additional Ambiance with Lights

Outdoor water features with lights provide a more intimate atmosphere in your backyard day or night. Consider adding low-wattage wash lights around waterfalls or fountains to highlight the surface of the water for a reflective effect. LED lights may be more expensive upfront, but their long lifespan may prove to be a cheaper investment over time. You can also work lights into fountains, waterfalls, and pools. Just make sure to use lights that won’t increase water temperature and that have non-toxic elements.

Make a Water Feature Pop with a Statue

One way to make your backyard water feature truly stand out is with a ceramic, stone, or bronze garden statue. Available in all sizes, characters, and shapes, garden statues add flair and personality to both your garden and water feature. Statues also vary from classic busts to abstract art pieces.

Backyard water features are a great way to enhance your outdoor living space and turn your patio, deck, or garden into an outdoor sanctuary. From a simple water fountain to a large pond, there’s an outdoor water feature idea that will make your yard your new favorite place. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your backyard design, take a look at these easy DIY garden ideas!

24 Outdoor Water Feature Ideas