water garden ideas

25 Water Garden Ideas To Have Relaxing Atmosphere 

Adding water features to your garden can be an option for landscaping. Not only are they beautiful, but somehow they can also spark a relaxing atmosphere because of the calming, bubbling sound. Therefore, we compile water garden ideas that can be an inspiration in designing your garden. Starting from the pond, pool, to fountain, we have covered them all!

But what if you don’t have large areas? No worries about the space! We also provide container water gardens that will fit your preferences. So, you can take advantage of empty areas in indoor or outdoor living spaces to create one. You may also try growing water plants to adorn your mini water gardens and keep the fish! Interested? Check out the 25 stunning water garden ideas below!

Outstanding Water Feature For Outdoor Space

These water garden ideas are worth it for those with large outdoor spaces. They will make you want to stay longer in your gardens to enjoy their beauty. You can even set a hammock, chairs, or tables next to these areas if you want to make them your favorite spots. Curious? Find yours!

1. Wildlife Habitat Garden Ideas

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Garden Buildings Direct)

If you have a backyard with dense lawns and trees, you may wanna try this garden idea. With a pond surrounded by native plants, this setting looks like a stream in the open land. The river stones arrangement on the pond edge adds a natural accent to your water garden. Not to mention the emerging flower spikes and tiny purple flowers that offer diverse shades to the landscape.

2. Water Garden Landscaping

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Better Homes and Gardens)

This water garden landscape is too good to be true! The artificial pond looks natural with water lilies floating on the water and fishes swimming around. Furthermore, the stone arrangements near the mini bridge form a mini water fountain, creating soothing sounds. In addition, the various plants with textures, layers, and colors elevate the outstanding landscape even more. You can also set a bench nearby to enjoy the beautiful scenery while having a cup of tea.

3. Traditional Japanese Garden

water garden ideas
Traditional Japanese Garden

The Japanese garden is identical to three essential elements: water, stones, and plants. And here, you have them all! The pond is so traditional and artistic by utilizing natural rocks as the frame. Meanwhile, the low-growing plants offer greenery to decorate its surroundings, while the tree provides shades and beauty to this calming layout. You can add a mini fountain to make a bubbling sound, one of the important things in Zen Garden.

4. River Deck Inspired Landscape

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Backyard Boss)

Even though you will occupy a large area in your backyard to build this river deck landscape, it will be super worth it! The combination of ponds with a wooden deck and bridge is such a clever idea! It brings you a peaceful feeling while hanging out on the beach chairs. Moreover, the tall trees offer a canopy to hide you from the burning sun and provide you with fresh air every day. Even though no aquatic plants are growing, this layout will still be a favorite for those who like shade gardens with water features around.

5. Minimalist Side House Pond

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Interior Design Inspiration)

In contrast to the previous one, this house pond is absolutely amazing for those with narrow space but still want to add an aesthetic touch with water features in their garden. You can build wooden floors with a small pond by taking advantage of the side house. To spice up the design, add rocks as a pond border to make it look more natural. Don’t forget to plant ground cover or low-growing plants to add a touch of greenery like rivers in the wild.

6. Stream-Inspired Garden Design

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Loren)

Indeed, water garden ideas that feature river flows are a favorite because they offer natural views directly on the home page. For example, this one. It is simple, without any floating plants, but looks captivating only by utilizing the arrangement of rocks on the edges. In addition, the installation of a mini bridge also works excellently in this setting because it adapts to the natural river atmosphere. Since there are no water plants, you can grow other plants along the stream.

7. Boho Garden Ideas

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Renovator Auctions)

Yes, we know it looks incredible, right? This design is out-of-the-box, and maybe no one would have thought about arranging two floating chairs on the pond! The pond is designed with natural rocks, gravel, and river stones. Thus it will look like a clear spring. In addition, the bamboo fence, foxtail ferns, palm trees with orchids growing on them elevate the tropical boho setting. Make sure you choose chairs with matching colors so the atmosphere comes to life!

8. Natural Aquarium

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Ins52 Gibson)

After seeing this layout, you will think twice about buying an indoor fish aquarium. This one is better! It is clear, neat, simple, and looks like a natural pond in the wild! The earth-tone rocks are just in tune with the wooden floors. In addition, the selection of the bottom color of the pond, which is bluish turquoise, gives the impression of clear water, which makes it easier for you to see the pet fish swimming around. Let alone the colorful leafy plants growing on the stones, just like those in the water stream.

9. Lake In The Garden Pond

water garden ideas
Lake In The Garden Pond

This pond looks like a mini lake in the garden. The water lilies float on the water, while white and yellow iris happily grow on the edge. You can also notice a bird statue that seems to be hunting for fish, depicting the wildlife habitat. Meanwhile, the mini fountain wraps the surrounding with a calming atmosphere. If you want to keep the water garden charming at night, install a garden lamp next to the retaining wall and the fountain.

10. Mini Water Garden With Hammock

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@imgur)

Chilling in the forest is the right picture to describe the design of this mini water garden. Instead of placing chairs, install a hammock to lay down while breathing the fresh air in this area. You can grow low-growing plants as garden beds at the bottom of the hammock and build a pond next to it. To make the setting less plain, grow some water plants to the water feature.

11. Relaxing Bubbling Garden

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@extraspace.com)

Sometimes, the simple one works the best, like this water garden design. No need for water plants, chairs, hammocks, and wooden floors; you just need to build a long pond that resembles a stream with different heights. Thus, they will look like a stream with relaxing bubbling sounds. Then add rocks to this water feature to offer nature accents. Moreover, grow some damp-loving plants, like iris, along the pond to add greenery.

12. Modern Backyard Pond

water garden ideas
Modern Backyard Pond

For those who have a house with a modern design, it seems that this pond setting is suitable for landscaping your backyard. You can make a beautiful frame pond with wooden materials and build an artificial fountain to add soothing sounds. Apart from that, they also work great to make a floating deck that seems like a mini island on the river, then place a set of chairs and tables to hang out. Then, grow some water lilies and ornamental grass near the wooden bridge.

Oasis Container Garden Landscaping

Contrary to the previous ideas, these are ideal designs for people with narrow spaces in their homes. They can easily create a water garden with containers and beautiful water plants. Also, keeping fish in the pond as “living decor” is possible, making them look more attractive.

13. Container Water Gardens

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Container Water Gardens)

Not having a large area is not a problem. By designing container water gardens, you can still be creative in making water features for your outdoor space. Take advantage of plastic containers, then choose some aquatic plants according to the size of the place that has been selected. Next, clean the plants, pour water into the container, and plant them on top. Release some fish to liven up the natural setting.

14. Fern Water Garden Ideas

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@graduategardeners.co.uk)

You can never go wrong with ferns to brighten up your garden. This time, they beautifully decorate the minimalist water fountain to make it look like a tropical rainforest. The fountain is mounted on the stone wall where the water flows into the container below, creating a soothing sound of gurgling water. Meanwhile, gravel around the mini pond adds textures and natural statements.

15. Small Container Water Garden

water garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@BillyOh)

Considering the size, you can adjust it to the small and narrow space in your outdoor area. The dark gray color will easily match your house theme. But we recommend featuring greenery from the foxtail ferns to grow surrounding the pond as they provide lime green shades to light up the landscape. Some viburnums are also excellent to add. Make sure you prune them round to make them look neat and clean. Now, enjoy the gurgling sounds of such a fantastic water garden.

16. House Deck Oasis

House Deck Oasis
Source: Pinterest (@habitatbyresene.co.nz)

Oases are generally in the desert. But this time, we take it to the next level by placing the oasis in the middle of a tropical jungle! You can make this arrangement with a small water fountain, then put it in the corner of the wooden deck. Then, grow palm trees and yellow and orange irises in the surrounding area to make a bold tropical statement. We assure you that the gurgling sound of the water fountain will bring a rainforest vibe to your garden.

17. Timeless Rainforest Garden

Timeless Rainforest Garden
Source: Pinterest (@Cultivart Landscape Design)

Another tropical arrangement that offers a timeless design. The wide pond mimics a river in the rainforest. At the same time, the mini water fountain depicts the flow of a creek into an estuary. Meanwhile, the Japanese sago palm adorns the fountain bowl and provides textures to your garden. Additionally, the broadleaf potted plant at the corner emphasizes the bold statement of the tropical rainforest landscape. You can install lights at the bottom of the pool to illuminate it at night.

18. Simple Bowl Fountain

Simple Bowl Fountain
Source: Pinterest (@digsdigs.com)

We understand that some people don’t have extra time to design a formal water garden. Hence, we include this simple bowl fountain on our list! Despite being a minimalist one, it doesn’t mean you cannot make it attractive. Instead of adorning the fountain with too many plants, you can choose the best location to make it stand out, for example, near the house’s terrace with a background of tall plants. This arrangement makes this water garden look like an oasis in the sun’s heat.

19. Vintage Container Pond

Vintage Container Pond
Source: Pinterest (@happy loves rosie)

If you are a vintage lover, this design will match your preference. The containers are made of metal that seems to be rusty, then designed like a small fountain. To beautify the old-fashioned setting, you can grow floating plants and some flowering ones around this container water garden. Also, release fishes that will act as living decor to your pond. Moreover, this arrangement is the best set on your patio to offer relaxing vibes. Interested?

20. Bubbling Oasis

Bubbling Oasis
Source: Pinterest (@tumblr.com)

This bubbling oasis arrangement looks so unique. The fountain bowl has an exquisite pattern naturally formed from rock carvings as the material. In addition, the stone arrangement covering the base seems to support this container water garden. Meanwhile, you can grow ornamental grasses, low-growing plants, and ground cover (if you prefer) to offer greenery and a natural statement to the design. It will stand out whether you make it an outdoor or indoor water garden!

21. DIY Tiny Fish Pond

DIY Tiny Fish Pond
Source: Pinterest (@Ingrid)

Take advantage of your used Styrofoam to make a stunning tiny fish pond! Wash your Styrofoam, then add water. Then, enter river stones into the box to resemble a river. Prepare the potted water plants you have chosen, then arrange them on the outskirts of the pond. Next, set a mounted fountain as a water faucet, and hang two mini buckets to make a tiered fountain. And that’s it! You can place it on the patio or in your indoor garden.

22. Colorful Leafy Garden

Colorful Leafy Garden
Source: Pinterest (@pinterest.ca)

You will never go wrong with a tropical garden with colorful leafy plants. Let alone the bird bath that adds a water feature in the area. You can also add stones around the tub to cover the ground. For the plants, choose those with different heights, colors, and textures, like hostas, ferns, and caladiums, to offer layers in the landscape. Imagine you are surrounded by your avian friends that happily take a dip in the bird bath you prepare!

23. Peaceful Garden Setting

Peaceful Garden Setting
Source: Pinterest (@thedangergarden.com)

Are you the one who prefers greenery to offer a colorful landscape? Then, this one is perfectly made for you. The large pond bowl produces a sound that wins anyone hanging around the area. Moreover, the green plants and trees around it provide a calm and peaceful atmosphere. To prevent water logs from splashing water from the pool, you can add river stones at the bottom of the pond. In addition, the rocks also offer natural, earth-tone colors that harmonize the bowl.

24. Creative Courtyard Water Garden

Creative Courtyard Water Garden
Creative Courtyard Water Garden

Be more creative in arranging water features in your garden with this design! Instead of one tiny pond bowl, you can add more mini fountains with round shapes in the surrounding. Don’t worry about waterlogging because the river rocks will prevent it. In addition, the leafy and flowering plants that grow around it can absorb the spilling water and spice up the garden design. Also, grow ground cover at the base of the container pond for some more greeneries.

25. Green Backyard Space

Green Backyard Space
Source: Pinterest (@m a r c o ‘ n e i l l)

In addition to the green landscape on our list, we offer a fresh oasis surrounded by rich greeneries to adorn your garden. The dense ornamental grass and leafy plants cover the space look exceptional without being too overwhelming. Meanwhile, the stones serve as a barrier between the plants and the pond, making the landscape attractive. And yes, you can’t rule out the bubbling sound that offers peace in the backyard.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do you make a simple water garden?

Among all water garden ideas, the minimalist and simple ones are everyone’s favorite since they are pretty affordable and won’t spend much time designing. If you have narrow spaces, you can choose the container water gardens with floating plants and release fish into the pond. How to make it?

  1. Choose a location to put your container water garden. We recommend a mini porch or backyard as these two locations still get the sunlight aquatic plants may need.
  2. Prepare the containers. Adjust it to the location and design you will use to make the water garden.
  3. Water plants are optional but will do great! These plants function to decorate the container and provide a natural atmosphere for the fish you will release.
  4. Mini fountain and a water pump. Both are used to maintain good oxygen circulation for plant and fish growth.
  5. Add water and introduce the fish! Actually, this is optional, but most people add fish to help keep their container water garden clean as they will feed on the moss growing on the walls of the container.

What can I put in a water garden?

Besides the fish, people who fancy water gardens will add a few aquatic plants, such as water lilies, water lettuce, azolla, duckweed, and water hyacinth, to adorn their precious garden. They have different leaf shapes, so they offer different layers. In addition, you can be creative with the rocks arranged around the pond. Also, the bog plants will do great to provide shade on the pond.

How do you grow a water garden plant?

Having a garden pond will be perfect with water plants. But, how to grow ones in your water garden? Check the tips below!

  1. Choose the right plants. Not all plants can thrive in water, so you must know their characteristics first. We recommend water poppies, yellow iris, moneywort, water hyacinth, or water lettuce.
  2. Wash off the soils on the roots before planting. The soil is rich in nutrients that will dilute in the water pond and trigger algae or other water weeds to grow.
  3. Next, you can directly plant them in the gravel and let the roots develop in the water. In addition, a shallow edge near the pond can be an alternative spot to plant the water plants.
  4. Don’t you dare choose deep-root water plants to grow near the water filter, as the roots can clog the filters quickly.

The first thing is to choose the right plants. Not all plants are water plants.

Do water gardens need a pump?

Water gardens do need a water pump to keep air and oxygen circulating in the water. Oxygen is crucial for the survival of the fish in your pond if you have one. In addition, the water pump is also helpful in avoiding stagnant water, which is a comfortable place for mosquitoes to lay eggs. You don’t want your garden full of their colonies, do you?

How do I keep my container water garden clean?

Keep the container water garden clean is important to remove the mineral or debris yang mengendap di dalam container. Kalau terus dibiarkan, akumulasi kotoran tersebut dapat mengganggu ekosistem kolam dan kesehatan organisms di dalamnya. To keep them clean, try these tips:

  1. Empty the container. Be careful not to flush away the water plants.
  2. Rinse the container garden thoroughly with water. But please, don’t scrub the walls as you may disturb the natural microorganisms in those areas.
  3. Refill clean water into the container as soon as possible to prevent the aquatic plants from drying out.
  4. Place them in the sites with sun exposure.

How do you keep a pond clean without fish?

Not everyone has a pond to raise fish. Some just enjoy the water feature in their garden to provide a relaxing atmosphere and beautify their outdoor area. Therefore, we offer tips to keep their pond clean:

  1. Remove any algae growing on the pond surface using a rake. These algae produce too much nitrogen and suppress oxygen in the water.
  2. If the previous method does not work, install a UV fertilizer. Besides killing the algae, it can also combat the viruses and bacteria that may disturb the pond ecosystem.
  3. Add beneficial bacteria tablets to help clean the specks of dirt accumulated in the pool.
  4. Use a water pump or water fountain. They will improve oxygen circulation in the water and help water filtration run smoothly.
  5. Introduce copper salts or hydrogen peroxide to kill the algae. The hydrogen peroxide is better for ponds without fish, while the other is more fish-friendly.

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