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Outdoor Water Features
What's Right For You?

How you use outdoor water features in your garden can be as varied as a bird bath or a large reflecting pool. The options are truly endless. Like garden art, water can be an accent, a focal point, or a hidden reveal (that little secret something).

So, what water feature is right for you? Are you going to make a big splash with a large waterfall? Or will you find yourself watching the birds play in the fountain outside your dining room window? A quick review of the options will set you off on the right foot.


Bird Bath

Just looking for a bird bath? Even a tiny reflecting pond captured on a stone can be enchanting -- and I expect you'll find birds there enjoying a splash. This is an easy and quick way to add water to any garden.

Garden Ponds

If your home is your haven, a garden pond might be just right. Fish and plants are a delight and add a whole new aspect to the landscape. Research and care should be taken in the planning of this outdoor water feature.

Garden Pools

Garden pools (without plants or fish) still have a lot of options. Reflecting pools are a calm respite at the end of the day. Placing a fountain in it adds another dimension. The materials used, the size, and the placement of pools create many different moods.


Fountains are sure to make a big splash. The sound of water is a welcome addition to many homes and can cover up the unwanted noise from nearby streets or highways. Traditional fountains could be the perfect addition to a courtyard garden, but fountains these days aren't limited to that style.

Modern patio fountains are sure to make a statement. Some sparkle like jewels.


Waterfalls always draw the eye. The sounds of water splashing over rocks is soothing and watching a waterfall can be as mesmerizing as watching the fire in your fire pit. Much of the time, waterfalls are made with natural rocks and boulders, but don't let that limit you. There are plenty of options.


Sprinklers are something that many people consider to be a functional item only, but they can be quite artistic. My favorite pick for this are the copper sprinklers. The quality varies, so check out more than one source before you commit to a purchase.


Want to add that extra something special? -- consider the five senses:

  • sight (color, shape, and texture)
  • sound (water or chimes)
  • touch (texture)
  • taste (an herbal garden?)
  • and smell (scent is a powerful thing in a garden).


Outdoor water features have a wide variety of costs -- both in initial costs and in time maintaining it. Understanding your needs can help you to find the perfect way to introduce water into your landscape.

Sprinklers can be a fun addition to any landscape. Virtually care free, there are many styles emerging for today's homeowner.

Bird baths have no moving parts and can be as simple as an artistic basin on a pedestal. The most work you'll have is rinsing and filling it with a hose.

Pondless waterfalls are a recent addition. In a world where our time is continually diminishing, pondless waterfalls offer added security where little ones play. Not having to clean a pond can also mean less maintenance.

Fountains are also a lower maintenance option. Cleaning it a few times a year and keeping an eye out to make sure the pump is still functioning and full of water is virtually all you need be concerned about.

Garden pools without plumbing or living creatures will be a lower maintenance item. Correct installation of a pond liner will minimize puncture holes upon installation.

Because you're taking care of living creatures, garden ponds are probably the most maintenance. Careful balancing of the eco-system can reduce time spent, so if you're well-informed, it's all the better for you. This means careful planning at the beginning.

Now that we've covered maintenance, you might have a better idea of what type of outdoor water feature you'd like to see in your garden. Make sure you look into the details of maintenance so that you're prepared for the upkeep.

Be prepared -- your family will be drawn to it just as you are. This is one item that has universal appeal!

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