Virtually any outdoor space will be improved by a water feature. Whether you’re aiming for the tranquility of a Japanese garden, a quiet babbling water feature, or an oasis to attract local wildlife, ponds are a multifaceted contribution to the back yard. In this article, we examine several really cool small pond waterfall ideas, with hopes of inspiring you to create your own!
Adding a waterfall to your pond can both add a soothing sound for when you’re relaxing alfresco, but also helps to keep the water fresh and clean by preventing stagnation. Practical and pretty, a pond-side waterfall is an addition to the garden that doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.
Small Waterfall Ideas: What You’ll Need
- A water pump
- A water source (typically a pool of some sort)
- Some hose
- Rocks or other decorative materials to cover the hose from view
- A power source
You can build a small waterfall yourself, but there are many pre-built options that may be worth checking out as well. Where possible, we link to inspiration below. For information on pumps, dive into our page on the best waterfall pumps. If you’re planning on keeping fish, too, take a look at this post on pond pumps and filters.
And if you just want a super-simple inexpensive fountain, see this post on solar fountains.
Small Pond Waterfall Ideas
We cover some of the cheapest, most innovative and small pond waterfalls, many that you could even set up yourself!
Just make sure you don’t need to go anywhere for a little while before you start scrolling…
1. The spilling pot
We love the idea of adding some colour to the garden. The brighter, the better!
This spilling pot style is an easy way to hide any wires or mechanisms that are required for setting up the waterfall and can be customized with your own paint designs for a personal touch. If you want to build something similar to this, you’ll need to start with a pond pump like this TetraPond Pump [Amazon Link], and then pick your garden pot to insert it inside.
Read how this particular design can be installed here.
2. Au NaturaleThis faux babbling brook adds a touch class to the garden. Its beautiful, natural appeal makes its installation process worth the effort.
This small pond waterfall is a great design to surround with leafy plants and is perfect for ponds that are surrounded by a natural ridge or slope. One for gardeners who want to keep things looking natural!
To start something similar to this one, you’ll need a pond pump like the TetraPond Pump [Amazon Link].
3. BacklightingThis is a great way to turn your waterfall into a nighttime feature. While a pricier touch than some of the other ideas, it’s great to use with a patio pond that’s closer to the house, for extra outdoor lighting.
A backlit waterfall works best with a stone pond to stop it from looking too artificial.
You can get Aquascape submersible LED pond lights [Amazon Link] to achieve a similar look without breaking the bank.
4. Copper spout
Anything reminiscent of a tranquil Japanese garden is totally fine by us. This simple copper spout adds an urban edge to a garden pond.
This particular design is easy to install in the smallest of spaces and provides the tranquil sound of trickling water in an urban atmosphere.
See this Bamboo Accents waterfall [Amazon Link] for further inspiration.
5. Wall of water
For a futuristic edge to an outside space, look no further. This weird and wonderful waterfall is a great garden party conversation piece.
Better-suited to a larger garden, the surrealist design is almost hypnotic to look at. Whether it’s placed in the center of a pond or used as a standalone decorative piece on pebbles, this is guaranteed to give your garden an edge.
6. Big bowl
An elevated pond like this one means that it can be placed anywhere in the garden. With a chic, understated design, this water feature is a subtler way to get a waterfall into your backyard.
One of the greatest aspects of the design is that the setup is relatively easy as there’s no need to have a pre-existing pond!
Get a couple of large outdoor pots, and a TetraPond Pump [Amazon Link] and you’ll be on your way!
7. Flower bed
If you’re tight for space but want something a little different, this is the design for you. This modern, wood-based structure is the perfect blend of artifice and nature. We are always fond of integration of benches with garden walls, and the addition of the waterfall here is excellent.
A bigger project, this is one for gardeners who are willing to invest time and money in their pond layout.
8. Slippery steps
This layered structure is the epitome of extravagance. Reminiscent of a mountainside stream, this natural design is very much a centerpiece.
This is a great idea for people with limited space, as you only need to build upwards. A great way to keep things looking natural! For a similar look, you could try this waterfall from Sunnydaze [Amazon Link].
This design is standalone, no pond necessary. The grate makes it an easy way to recycle the same water in use, and if you don’t have much space in the garden you can still have an outdoor water feature.
A great one to dip your feet in on a hot summer’s day.
A modern, urban design that uses very little space. The surface of the structure can be altered to fit the decoration of your garden, though we love this metallic look.
Perfect for a smaller, more modern garden layout, this design is all about the waterfall.
This SunnyDaze waterfall [Amazon Link] is reminiscent of the design shown here.
11. Life on the Ledge
Ideal for a raised pond structure, this ledge design is a classy and compact way to design your waterfall.
The shape of the ledge can also vary depending on the shape and size of the pond it’s paired with. This longer example creates a mesmerizing wall-like effect with the water. In our opinion, the longer the better!
12. Having a ball
A silver sphere like this one works well with smaller spaces. It’s another waterfall design that can be standalone, without the need for a pond, and we think it looks great on these pebbles.
Its modern, sci-fi style makes it a unique addition to the garden that isn’t too plant-heavy.
This John Timberland fountain [Amazon Link] echoes the design shown above, though not as elegantly as the metal sphere in the photo.
13. Water run
We can’t get enough of this slick, strange structure. An interesting way to add height to your garden, this design is unlike any other.
This is ideal for gardeners with space and time to spare!
14. Terracotta tower
By far the easiest waterfall to install of the lot! This small, solar-powered terracotta tower is eco-friendly and a great aesthetic addition to the garden.
The best thing about this one is that you don’t need to have a proper garden to use it! Whether you pop it on a balcony, rooftop or patio, this is a fantastic way to brighten up an outside space.
Try this HarmonyFountains waterfall [Amazon Link] for further inspiration.