12 Small Garden Water Feature Ideas To Add A Little More Zen To Your Life

Flowing water is not only beautiful to admire, but the sound is very relaxing. And, if you have a small garden, terrace, or patio, strategically adding a water feature is also likely to attract birds, wildlife and hummingbirds.

There are all kinds of water feature ideas out there. Garden water features can be added to even the smallest of spaces—even indoors. All you need is some sort of vessel or bowl. If you have an outlet nearby, a small pump can circulate the water. Or, you can simply have a still water feature with a couple of aquatic plants and a goldfish to keep the mosquito larvae at bay.

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Ready to add a little zen into your life? Here’s a round-up of small garden water feature ideas for inspiration.

12 small garden water feature ideas

1. Start small.

Small garden fountain water feature on table

nalinratphi / Shutterstock

If you have a smaller space, start with small water features like this vessel. These water feature designs can sit in a corner or on a table in your small garden or balcony.

Shop These Products Now: Table Top Water Feature

2. Try a wall-mounted feature.

Garden water feature, modern waterfall

ThomBal / Shutterstock

Get creative with how you maximize the space you have. A wall-mounted water feature that pours water into a narrow trough or rectangular container can be a good small garden water feature idea when your space is narrow or limited.

Shop These Products Now: Water Feature

3. Use a water feature as the focal point of your zen garden.

Stone water feature against rock background

hxdbzxy / Shutterstock

A tabletop water feature can be created by filling a beautiful ceramic vessel with water and adding some aquatic plants, such as floating lilies and papyrus. While they may not be small, water features such as this keep things simple yet elegant.

Shop These Products Now: Garden Fountain

4. Keep it simple.

Ceramic pot with plants, garden water feature

vatathara / Shutterstock

A tabletop water feature can be created by filling a beautiful ceramic vessel with water and adding some aquatic plants, such as floating lilies and papyrus. While they may not be small, water features such as this keep things simple yet elegant.

5. Get creative with household items.

Copper clay water jug creating waterfall in garden

CHOTE BKK / Shutterstock

Think you don’t have the room for garden water features? Think again. When you’re pressed for space, it’s time to get creative. This homeowner used a clay pitcher to add a water feature to their garden.

Shop These Products Now: Watering Can

6. Use stones for a beautiful, natural look.

Garden waterfall created from brick and rocks, surrounded by lush green landscaping

Nicholas Peter Gavin Davies / Shutterstock

Stacked stones create a unique, earthy water feature effect. You can get creative with how you stack your stones, and the kind of stones you choose to create the appropriate atmosphere you’re looking for. Jagged rocks could function as a more austere centerpiece, whereas rounded rocks can invoke tranquility.

7. Try a fountain for a stunning visual effect.

Garden fountain spraying water upwards

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

A vessel shoots a small fan of water upwards, creating a beautiful architectural aquatic effect. This can add a little life and spark to your garden – and can keep mosquitos at bay.

8. Incorporate plants.

Garden waterfall created with ceramic vase

val lawless / Shutterstock

Electricity is required to add a pump that creates the water flow, but you can still create a beautiful water feature by using only a vessel and adding some aquatic plants. Plants can provide a more earthy and colorful look and feel to your water feature space.

9. Have your water flow into a small container.

Watefrall flowing out of brick wall into stone pond

Sandy Blanco / Shutterstock

You don’t always have to keep just your water feature modest. Here’s an idea you can execute in a smaller garden: build your water feature to flow from the wall into a small narrow container.

Shop These Products Now: Wall Waterfall Fountain

10. Create a stacked look.

Stone vessel water feature with 3 spouts

Andries Oberholzer / Shutterstock

Two stacked vessels create a relaxing water flow, and a place for birds to visit. Garden water features such as this will give your space a clean and minimalistic appearance.

11. Create a privacy waterfall.

Man-made waterfall wall

daizuoxin / Shutterstock

Not only does this wall provide privacy, but it can give garden water features a more industrial look.

12. Convert an average wall.

Waterfall created from brick wall flowing into backyard pond

LOOK Photography / Getty Images

A wall was converted into a water feature, featuring slate that the water can flow down. The sound of the water muffles the noise from the busy street on the other side of the wall. This provides a more calm space for those using the garden.

Shop These Products Now: Wall Waterfall Feature

The bottom line

Not only are water features a beautiful addition to your property, they’re also relaxing. There are lots of ways to get creative with your water feature, but the nice part about water features is that you can keep it simple. Incorporate stones, plants, walls, and even household items to give your water feature the unique look you’re after. The best part is that you don’t need a large area to put in a water feature. You can start with a small vessel and upgrade from there if you choose.

Do you have a small corner in your balcony or a spot in your garden that would perfectly accommodate a water feature? Adding one is easy, and can provide plenty of enjoyment and rewarding zen.

Frequently asked questions.

How do water features work?

A spinning magnet forces the impeller to turn, which then pushes the water from the reservoir into the fountain tubing, and connects the fountain head to the pump. The water is pushed out of the tubing then ends up back in the reservoir.

Is a water feature easy to install?

Installing water features involves a lot of hard work and time but the process is relatively simple. You’ll need a few tools and materials to make it happen.

Do you leave a water feature on all the time?

While you don’t have to leave your water feature running all the time, doing so does offer benefits. By leaving on your water feature, you’ll draw out the lifespan of the device by avoiding turning on and off the pump and thus wearing it out. Additionally, keeping the water circulating decreases your chances of breeding mosquitos.