Water Feature Ideas – Inspired by Nature

Water Feature Ideas – Inspired by Nature

In this part of our series on water features we draw inspiration from the natural world- ponds and waterfalls. Nature in all its beauty and power can form the most dramatic water features to the most tranquil and we try to draw inspiration from this in our many backyard creations. Here we take a look at natural water feature ideas.


Ponds can be created to a size to exactly suit your space. Over the last Century over 70% of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside, meaning garden ponds have an increased importance for wildlife.

Try to make your pond with at least one shallow sided slope and add a layer of cobbles or large flat stones which will create a perfect habitat for amphibians and insects and make it easy for wildlife to get out. 

water feature ideas inspired by nature - coastal themed ponds

Here The Caledonian Garden at RHS Tatton Flower Show by Aidan Cifelli makes great use of Scottish Pebbles and Cobbles in the shallows of this pond. Products used for this stunning pond include Scottish pebbles 14-20mm, Scottish Pebbles 20-30mm and Scottish Pebbles 40-90mm.

For super tiny spaces look no further for inspiration than Sara Edwards’ Defiance Garden. Here a simple bowl pond among clever planting and use of Duck Egg pebbles create a stylish space created for an inner city balcony.

This inspirational garden shows that you can incorporate a water feature into the smallest of urban living spaces.

small pond ideas


Adding a waterfall to a pond can help to aerate the pond. Much like ponds though, waterfalls can take up as much or as little space as you would like. You can have a waterfall feature without the pond as a stand-alone focal point.

waterfall ideas

Make your own waterfall using a number of larger stones, which should be in proportion to the drop of the waterfall. The main stones should be a few inches larger than the drop of the waterfall and it will look more natural if you frame it with these larger stones. Find a smaller stone and place it between the larger stones. As the water flows it will hit the larger stones and push through and over the smaller stone– just like in nature. 

If you’re creating a longer waterfall, be sure to include a turn (or two), which adds greater interest to the scene. Adding plants will soften the hard edges of the stone and make it look as though it’s always been there.

A great choice of stone to use for creating your own waterfall feature would be Slate Rockery stone. Or, our Cambrian boulders come in a range of sizes, perfect for creating your own waterfall.

So here we have looked at a couple of natural water feature ideas, inspired by nature. To catch up with other parts of the Water Feature Ideas series, click the links below.

water feature ideas - feature stones
water feature ideas part three - contemporary style

Watch our video below for ideas on which type of water feature is right for your garden.

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