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Nothing beats the soothing sound of running water for enjoying your outdoor space or garden. It can mask the sound of traffic or other intrusive neighboring sounds. One of the most dramatic ways to introduce a water feature to your yard is by building a waterfall. This can be a simple tickle of water over some stones or a cascade of water running from a stream to a pond below. Waterfalls are easily constructed using kits or water pumps and flexible or rigid liners (see water gardens).

If you are thinking of building a waterfall for your garden, consider the following:

  • Waterfalls look best if they are located on sloping ground. Water should flow downhill to a pool or pond placed in a low spot where water would naturally collect. If you are installing a waterfall on basically flat land, make the changes in ground level gradual enough to appear natural.
  • Rocks and stones make the most fitting settings for natural looking waterfalls. Real stones are heavy, so also consider using cast stone or light weight resins. The type and color of the stone is important. Your waterfall will look better if the materials used closely resemble stone native to your area.
  • Formal waterfalls usually look like a curtain of water cascading from a straight water course over a weir constructed from stone or brick. Care should be given to the placement of such a water feature so that it forms an axis on the overall garden grid. Contemporary style waterfalls can be constructed from heavy duty glass that can be lit from behind for a spectacular nighttime effect.
  • Plant the slope of the waterfall with plants that fit the scale of the waterfall itself. Use plant material that will thrive in the moist conditions of the surrounding soil and that can tolerate any water spray from the falling water. Water garden plants can be installed on the edges of the waterfall for a soft, natural look.

Waterfalls can be incorporated into swimming pools and can even serve as water slides. If you have enough space, you can build a grotto behind the waterfall for a very special customized pool.
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