The addition of a water feature to your garden can bring many benefits. Not only does it make a beautiful focal point, but it can also mask unpleasant road noise and draw beneficial insects and birds to your backyard. Here are three types for you to consider.

Pond or Lake

The choice between a pond or a lake depends on the size of your yard. With the right complementary softscaping, either can make a dramatic focal point. Moreover, modern technology has made caring for these features relatively simple. A filtration system and a pond or lake aeration unit are all you need for easy upkeep. Incorporating plants, such as blue flag iris, pickerelweed, and native sedges, can also improve water quality and prevent soil erosion.

Stream or Waterfall

While you may think that you need to have a pond or lake in order to incorporate either of these two features into your backyard, it is possible to create them using a concealed reservoir. With this option, water is pumped up from the reservoir to the beginning of the stream or waterfall spillway via which it flows back down to the reservoir. This allows you to have the sound of running water without the work needed to maintain an exposed body of water. It also makes these features an excellent option for homeowners with children or pets, as there are fewer safety hazards.


A recirculating fountain is one of the simplest and most economical water features to add to your garden. It functions somewhat like the pondless streams and waterfalls discussed above. Waterfalls from the top of the fountain down into a basin and is pumped back to the top of the fountain in order to repeat the cycle.

Fountains can be free-standing or attached to a wall. Graduated bowls, bubbling urns and tiered cement fountains are all popular free-standing options. Wall-mounted fountains can soften and smarten an otherwise unsightly wall in your yard. Though they are more complicated to install because they involve drilling and piping for the water flow, they may be worth the extra time and effort.

When selecting a water feature for your backyard, consider both your desired maintenance level and aesthetic effect. Your garden should reflect your tastes, but should also be a space that is convenient and functional for your needs. If you choose wisely, a water feature can greatly enhance your enjoyment of your yard for years to come.

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