Waterfalls do provide soothing sounds for the garden, but they also provide necessary aeration to keep your ecosystem pond functioning and looking its very best. With the use of easy-to-install waterfall kits, you have the option of creating a pond and waterfall, or a standalone waterfall (or Pondless® waterfall). Regardless of which option you choose, waterfalls add beauty to your outdoor living space.

We’re sharing our favorite tips to help you create the natural-looking waterfall of your dreams!

DIY Backyard Waterfall

Fit the Waterfall in with the Surrounding Area

If the terrain of your backyard is flat, keep your new waterfall in scale with the surrounding landscape by building a berm around the waterfall area.  Several smaller drops of 4 to 9 inches or one drop – no more than 18 inches – will help blend your pond and waterfall seamlessly into your landscape.

Study Nature

Be sure to study natural streams and waterfalls to find ideas and inspiration. That is how the greatest waterfall builders in the world gain their inspiration!

Frame the Waterfall with Larger Rocks

Your waterfall will look more natural if you “frame” it with the largest of the rocks that you have chosen. Then, locate a rock with a flat surface and place it between the frame rocks. As the water falls, it will hit the larger stones and find its path through the spaces between them – mimicking how this happens in nature. Remaining rocks can be set along the edge of the basin and gaps can be filled using smaller rocks or gravel. The waterfall will be the focal point of the water feature, so take your time with the rock placement and be creative.

Small pondless waterfall

Make Stone Size Proportional to Drop Size

The drop of the waterfall is the distance from where the water exits the Waterfall Spillway to where it hits the pond. A few of the main rocks should be several inches larger than the drop of the waterfall. For example, a drop of 12 inches should use rocks that are 16 inches in diameter in order for them to be in scale with the rest of the project.

Use Fewer Rocks

Fewer rocks are better when building a waterfall. Three large stones are better than 12 small stones stacked up. Nature will provide you with some tips for designing and building your waterfall. You will usually see one large stone surrounded by few smaller ones with the water running between them.

Create Twists and Turns

If you’re creating a longer waterfall, make sure to twist and turn the waterfall and stream so that there are new views and facets with every turn which looks better visually. Take your time on this part – designing twists and turns can be the best part of building the waterfall.

Waterfall with stream

Make a Room With a View

For maximum enjoyment throughout the day, make sure your waterfall is visible from a regularly used window or patio door, or wherever your family gathers most, in order to provide you views of flowing water from both inside and outside of your home.

Soften the Edges

The more plant material you can line the falls and stream with, the better. It will soften the hard edges of all the stone and make sure the waterfall blends into the rest of your yard. If you create a good, planted backdrop to your berm it will look as though it’s always been there.