25 Patio Water Feature Ideas for Backyard Tranquility

25 patio water feature ideas

To make your backyard patio stand out, consider adding an outdoor water feature to the mix. Water Feature is a landscape and garden design feature that can be a fountain, pond, waterfall, or stream. From my experience, moving water always brings tranquility, but even looking at still water can calm you down.

25 Water Feature Ideas


Regal Spanish Courtyard Pond

This large courtyard patio has been turned into a secluded oasis with the installation of this serene water feature. The asymmetrical shape of the pond along with its rock boulder accents create a more natural-looking setting. I love how they’ve added height to the design by planting a tall tree on the island in the center. The plants on either side of the waterfall help it blend in with the plants around the patio’s border.


Unique Modern Reflective Waterfall

This unique built-in waterfall makes you think you’re looking through a glass window in the wall. However, if you stepped in front of it you’d notice it’s actually a mirror. The way the water falling in front of the image distorts it a bit reminds me of the reflection you see on a lake on a windy day. Wall ideas that incorporate mirrors can make a small outdoor space feel much larger.


Paver Patio with Pond and Waterfall

Adding a small pond with a waterfall to your paver patio creates a wonderful focal point in the space. The pond alone is great for adding visual interest. When you add in the waterfall you increase the visual appeal and add an auditory element with the sound of the flowing water. The way they’ve surrounded this feature with Japanese maples, ferns, and moss-covered rocks makes it feel organic in the space.


Garden Patio Water Feature With A Vintage Vibe

This patio water feature idea has a vintage vibe with its unpolished limestone rocks and copious amounts of colorful flowers. The design here reminds me of an aqueduct, directing the water through the garden. The weathered wood behind the fountain and the natural wood tone of the patio also contribute to the vintage theme of this design. All of the neutral colors of the hardscapes create the perfect backdrop for the vibrant sea of flowers.


Small Zen Pond

Installing a small Zen pond can create a peaceful patio design. The iconic pagoda statues bring in an element of ancient Asian architecture. The shape of the topiaries ties in well with the mushroom statues. They’ve also used colorful groundcover plants that don’t block the view of the small pond. I adore how the lily pads on the pond make it look more natural!


Slate Bridge Over Pond 

This Zen design incorporates a variety of Japanese maples and a bamboo fence to give it that Zen vibe. They’ve added a cypress tree in that back which is reminiscent of a bonsai tree with its carefully pruned bushy foliage. The natural slate bridge is gorgeous with its unique zig-zag pattern surrounded by Japanese water irises. The white building with black trim in the background resembles an authentic Asian dojo. This is truly a tranquil place ideal for some relaxing meditation.


Fire Pit and Water Fountain Patio Idea

This is a great example of how you can add multiple features in a small backyard space. They’ve added both fire and water patio features so they can enjoy the trickling water sound while cozying up by the fire pit. This idea is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t require any digging or fancy stonework. You simply add some water to the statue, plug it in, and sit back to enjoy the melodic sound of trickling water.


The River Patio Table

This design idea isn’t something you see every day! The water flows from a basin to the table and then drops off into a bottomless flower pot. There’s no better way to ensure guests enjoy a water feature than putting it right in the middle of the table. It’s sure to be the topic of your dinner conversation and will help set the mood for an upscale party.


Small Pond with a Garden Bridge

A beautifully designed water garden feature tied into a lovely perennial border makes this backyard a wonderful place to relax and entertain in the summer. This rustic design is bursting with features including a bridge, waterfall, and even a small windmill! The surrounding water bird statues and ornamental grasses remind me of a beachside vacation spot.


Luxury Garden Pond Design with Stone Fountains

This luxurious garden pond has a stunning, natural-looking rock fountain in the center. The water comes out of the top of all three rock pillars and then flows gently down the sides. The pond is filled and lined with various colors of river rocks which add dimension and texture to the design. They’ve installed large picture windows on the home so they can enjoy the water feature from inside the home too.

You may be asking yourself “how do they maintain this pond with river rocks for a border? are they glued?” There are several ways to install rocks around the border of a pond. Sometimes they’re just tamped in place if the slope isn’t too steep. On steeper slopes, smaller rocks can be glued to the liner and each other to keep them in place. When larger stones are used, concrete may be needed to hold them in place.


Backyard with Cascading Water Feature and a Small Patio

This picturesque backyard design fits in perfectly among the backdrop of the pine forest. They’ve used flagstone and boulders to make this outdoor oasis look extremely natural given the surrounding vegetation. The small flagstone patio gives you somewhere to hang out and enjoy this idyllic scenery. Working with the surrounding vegetation when creating designs for patio water features will ensure outstanding results.


Simple DIY Water Feature Idea for a Small Patio

This simple contemporary design is a perfect DIY project. They’ve buried a shallow steel box to make it level with the patio for a seamless look. Then, they added some beautiful river rocks and filled it with water to create the water feature. Not only is this easy to install but also easy to maintain. There is no need for a pump or water circulator – you could simply flood the metal box with fresh water from a garden hose every time the water gets stagnant.


Flagstone Patio Waterfall

This flagstone waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation giving it a tropical vibe. Flagstone works well for constructing waterfalls because of how easy they are to stack. Every piece of stone has a unique shape and color which gives it a more rustic and rugged look.

Pairing your stone water feature with a flagstone patio will help tie them together. Here they’ve even allowed moss to grow throughout and around the patio. It gives the stonework more character and makes this garden seem like it’s been here forever.


Contemporary Water Feature Idea

The use of metallic shapes and the clean lines of these water features are perfect for a contemporary garden design. They’ve softened the hard edges by adding containers of Carex grass and other vegetation throughout. Adding abstract art like these globes and pyramids to the design gives the patio an elegant, modern touch that’s enviable.


Patio Gazebo Moat

These homeowners have created a tropical paradise around their raised patio, complete with a small moat. The water-filled moat surrounding the patio makes it stand out and feel extra special. The use of palm trees, birds of paradise, and the thatched gazebo roof all contribute to the tropical theme. Hanging out on this patio must feel like being at an upscale, rainforest resort.


Pond Patio Border

This round gravel patio has a water feature on the border of one side which complements the stairs on the other side. Adding a feature like this to a garden full of flowers brings in another element of nature for you to relax and enjoy. They could easily add some flowering water plants like lotuses or water hyacinths to the design to further incorporate it into the garden.


Brick Water Feature with Vertical Design

This herringbone brick courtyard garden with all white flowers has a classic and timeless look to it. The vertical water feature is great for smaller spaces. The water gently trickles down the floating rock shelves on the back brick wall. From there it flows down the center of the patio before trickling down and being cycled back up to the top. I would love to spend an afternoon reading a book on this patio surrounded by this charming garden!


Whimsical Corner Garden Pond Idea

There’s nothing more whimsical than a garden packed full of various plants spilling across the landscape. The variety of foliage and colorful flowers create a magical feeling. Adding a small pond as they have here adds even more whimsy. They’ve even filled the little pond with a variety of water plants, turning it into a flowerbed of its own! The vining plants on the pergola make this garden even more enchanting.


Ornamental Garden Pond

If you need a water feature idea for a modern stone patio, look no further. This simple yet sophisticated design fits perfectly with the modern look of this patio. The plants bring some color and texture to the simple gray tiles of the patio. They have a shady space for lounging on warmer days and a built-in bench with a coffee table if you want to bask in the sun.


Small Patio with Garden Pond

Adding a small artificial pond with goldfish to a backyard patio can bring tranquility to the space. You can sit and enjoy watching the fish while enjoying the fresh garden air. The small water fountain will provide you with some soothing sounds to help you relax. A small pond is much more affordable and easy to keep clean versus larger water features.


Rock Garden with a Water Feature

This rustic alpine garden design features a rocky pond as the focal point. The mix of conifers, grasses, and flowering plants creates a stunning backdrop that reflects beautifully off the large stony pond. The use of river rocks is perfect given the mountainous setting that surrounds this garden. The beauty of this garden is sure to rival the amazing mountain views in the distance.


Rustic Country Cottage Waterfall Design

Here we have a quiet stone fountain surrounded by day lilies at the end of a backyard garden. The homeowners can take a stroll through the garden while listening to the soft trickle of water as it cascades down the large boulder. They’ve used simple concrete patio pavers for the path which allows the vegetation and water feature to be the stars of the show. I’d add a bench around the fountain so I could hang out while enjoying the view and soothing water sounds.


Front Yard Patio Water Feature Idea

This patio water fountain idea is a unique way to incorporate a water feature in your front yard. The fountains appear to come from the middle of this large boulder. It’s difficult to tell if this is a faux boulder or if they actually drilled into a natural stone to create this lovely fountain. Whether it’s a real boulder or not, the resulting design looks fantastic and even complements the stonework on the house’s columns.

About Dakota Crawford 45 Articles
Dakota Crawford is a freelance science writer who covers gardening, forestry, wildlife, and entomology. She earned three degrees from The University of Georgia: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Master of Science in Forest Resources, and Master of Science in Entomology.