5 Outdoor Water Feature Ideas That Will Transform Your Landscape

Written By: Andrew Blanchford

Dec 29, 2022 12:21:23 PM

Adding a water feature to a backyard is a great way to add some peace and tranquility to your landscape. The sound of running water is soothing and calming but it can also drown out unwanted background noises and help you feel as though you’ve been transported to your own personal oasis.

There are many different types of water features and choosing the right one for you will come down to what will work best with the aesthetics of your space as well as what your goals are for the feature.

Thinking ahead about what type of water feature you might want to incorporate into your Bozeman, MT landscape will help you make a perfect choice.

Ideas for Water Features

We’ve rounded up some water feature ideas to get you dreaming about how you can transform your space.

Use This Worksheet to Plan Out Your Landscape Design

#1: Add an Elegant Fountain

One way to really make a statement with your backyard water feature is to choose a statue or fountain that is like a piece of art. 

For instance, in the case of this Tuscan Villa project, a 3-tiered Italian-style fountain was a showpiece of the property. It added to the Tuscan theme of the space.

tuscan home with plantings and water featureWhile that was the perfect fountain for that space, there are many fountain ideas for a backyard that might best suit the space that you’re in. Like any other landscape design element, it’s all about customizing it to the surroundings. 

Whether you go with something ornate or simple, you want to make sure the fountain blends seamlessly with the rest of your landscape design.

#2: Incorporate a Bubbling Urn or Another Small Feature

Of course, a water feature does not have to be large in size to make an impact. We also have a lot of homeowners who just want a simple water feature like a bubbling urn or maybe some rocks with water trickling out. 

A smaller water feature can still give you the soothing sound of running water which is both calming and has a noise-cancellation effect.

small backyard with plantings and water featureA great example is this courtyard project in Bozeman, MT. Even though this is a townhouse and an overall smaller property, the water feature has a major impact. 

The sounds from a bubbling stone water feature in the courtyard actually reverberate off the walls and do an excellent job of blocking the sounds from a nearby golf course. 

There are many different styles of smaller water features including not only carved boulders and bubbling urns but also spilling bowls, stacked stones, and smaller statues. You’ll want to find a feature that suits your style preferences and also fits into your space both physically and aesthetically.

#3: Choose a Waterfall Feature in the Backyard 

A larger option would be a waterfall feature. While some homeowners want a complete pond so that they can have fish, these options do tend to be higher maintenance. With a true pond, you have to maintain a living ecosystem, which does require upkeep and care.

For that reason, some end up choosing a pondless waterfall.

water-feature-3These water features create the look of a waterfall but without a big pool of water. That’s because they are actually fountains in how they operate. The water gets drawn back into the underground reservoir and is then reused continuously while it’s turned on. 

A pondless waterfall can be a beautiful addition that gives you the look and sound of a waterfall without maintenance. You can also get creative in these designs, using boulders and even plants.

#4: Opt for a Fish Pond

Of course, a true fish pond is an option. We find that since many of our clients are vacation homeowners, this is simply too much work. But for those that live here year-round and love the idea of owning a fish pond, the maintenance is actually part of the fun. 

waterfall and pondFish ponds do require a filtration system since you have a living habitat that needs to be maintained. You have to ensure the water remains clear and healthy for the fish.

The fish become like pets and the care of the aquatic plants and the ecosystem as a whole is enjoyable. Therefore, at the end of the day, like any other landscape decision, there’s a large personal element to your choice.

#5: Consider the Landscaping Around a Water Feature 

When talking about water feature ideas, we would be remiss in not mentioning the importance of having great landscaping around many of these elements. You don’t want your water feature to just be plunked somewhere in the yard. You want to make sure it is placed somewhere that it makes sense both aesthetically and functionally. 

And there is also landscaping around the water features to consider. Whether it’s incorporating some additional rocks or maybe even some plants, you want to make sure the landscaping helps to blend the feature with the surroundings.

Working with a Pro on Water Feature Ideas

Whether you like some of these specific ideas or you have something else in mind, working with a professional can help ensure that you’re happy with the finished result at your Bozeman, MT home.

As we mentioned, you ultimately need to weigh the options and choose the outdoor water feature that’s right for you. No matter what direction you go in, hearing the sound of trickling, bubbling, or flowing water can be a truly welcomed addition. There’s just something automatically calming about hearing running water.

Partnering with a landscape design/build company will help ensure your happiness with the finished product. 

Choose a landscape designer who can help guide you in the process of making decisions that are right for you. The last thing that you’d want is to end up with a water feature that doesn’t aesthetically fit the look of your space, doesn’t function properly, or is more work than enjoyment.

When it comes to investing in your outdoor living space, you deserve every aspect of it to come together in the best possible way.

Are you ready to begin the process of creating an outdoor living area with a water feature that you adore at your Bozeman or Big Sky, MT home? Let’s connect and talk about your project. Then, we can meet and begin talking about your ideas. We can’t wait for you to enjoy your tranquil outdoor space!

Landscape Design Worksheet Download CTA

Let's Connect

Topics: Landscape Design

Posted by Andrew Blanchford

Andy grew up in southeast Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelors of Science Degree from Pennsylvania State University in Landscape Contracting. He is a Certified Plant Professional and is the only Certified Landscape Industry Manager in Montana. When not at work he has fun with his family. He also enjoys travel, trail running, skiing, and the great Montana outdoors.