Everyone wants a backyard paradise, and there are many ways to achieve a stunning result.

From healthy plants, easy irrigation and a gorgeous lawn, to functional outdoor furniture and peaceful water features, the options are endless.

One way to achieve an amazing backyard? Consider a backyard waterfall.

Waterfalls provide melodious tunes for the garden, and they provide necessary aeration to keep your ecosystem pond functioning and looking its best.

With the use of easy-to-install pond kits, you have the option of creating a pond and waterfall, or a standalone pondless waterfall. Regardless of which option you choose, waterfalls add relaxing, natural sounds to your outdoor living space.

    Here are our favorite tips to help you achieve the waterfall (and yard) of your dreams!

    1. Keep the Stones’ Size in Proportion

    The drop of the waterfall is the distance from where the water exits the waterfall spillway to where it hits the pond.
    Some 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 for them to be in scale with the project.

    2. Make Your Waterfall Fit in

    If the terrain of your backyard is flat, keep your new waterfall in scale with the surrounding landscape and terrain 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.

    3. Let Larger Rocks “Frame” Waterfalls

    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 waterfalls, it will hit the larger stones and find its path through the spaces between them – just like in nature.

    Small rocks and gravel can then be used to fill in gaps. 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 and be creative.

    4. Remember: The Fewer Rocks, The Better

    waterfall stones
    When it comes to adding stones, less is more.

    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 usually will see one very large stone, surrounded by a few smaller ones, with the water running between them.

    5. Consider Twists and Turns

    If you’re creating a longer waterfall, be sure to twist and turn the waterfall and stream so that there are new views and facets with every turn, which looks better.

    Take your time on this part – designing twists and turns can be the best part of building the waterfall.

    6. Provide 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 – wherever your family gathers most – to provide you views of cascading water from inside and outside your home.

    7. 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.

    Also, if you create a good, planted backdrop to your berm it will look as though it’s always been there. Make sure it flows into the rest of your yard.

    8. Study Nature

    Before creating a waterfall, study naturally formed ones.

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

    Brett McCormack is the Aquascape Supplies Australia account manager for Vic, Tas, SA and WA.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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