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Pondless Waterfall

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3 Small Water Feature Options

Small Water Features

Water features come in many different shapes and sizes and can fit any budget or location. Here are three ideas for small water features that will provide the peace and tranquility of larger ones, without the space requirement.

Spillway Bowls

A Spillway Bowl and basin can be installed as a standalone disappearing water feature, or several can be linked together for an amazing display. They can also be added to an existing pond or pondless waterfall. Water is stored beneath the lowest bowl in a small underground basin where the pump is housed. Lights and terrestrial plants (as well as some water varieties) can be added to ‘naturalize’ the feature . Spillway Bowls are very popular and have been featured recently on Houzz and Pinterest.

Bubbling RocksSmall Water Feature - Bubbling Rocks

These small water features are similar to the Spillway Bowls in that water is recirculated and stored through the use of an Aquabasin. This natural stone feature looks best when utilizing odd numbers with different heights. Bubbling rocks are very low maintenance and will maintain their beauty throughout the winter, especially as icicles begin to form. Adding lights is a must, as well, as lit bubbling rocks look amazing at night!

Stacked UrnsSmall Water Feature - Stacked Urns

Another small water feature worth exploring is the stacked urn. Stacked urns look great as a single unit, or in odd numbers at different heights (similar to the bubbling rocks). Stacked urns are most commonly set on Aquabasins, as with the two previous features, but can also be used in a pond or set on top of a pondless basin. LED’s (or even a fire fountain add on kit) can be utilized to light up the feature with amazing results.

All of the above small water features are low maintenance, and with the addition of a fill valve can be literally NO maintenance. Any one of these three options is sure to become the focal point of your yard, the envy of your neighbours, and a source of peace, tranquility, and beauty in your life.

5 Reasons to go Pondless!

The waterfall is undoubtedly the most beautiful and favoured feature in a water garden. If you would love a water feature, but space is limited, Pondless Waterfalls are an attractive option.

Pondless Waterfalls are simply a re-circulating waterfall and/or stream without the presence of a pond. They easily fit into any corner of the landscape to add the sight and sound of running water. They’re great for families with small children or for people who don’t want the maintenance of a pond. Here are five reasons why Pondless Waterfalls are awesome:

Aquascape Pondless Waterfall

Very Safe

Because there is no pool of water, a Pondless Waterfall is a great option if you are at all concerned about safety issues associated with a traditional body of water on your property.


In most cases, the price of a Pondless Waterfall is less than a pond, because there is less labor and materials involved. Operating costs are also lower; because you’re not dealing with an established ecosystem pond, it’s not necessary to run the pump 24/7.


The compact nature of the Pondless Waterfall allows you to create a water feature in challenging landscapes. You can enjoy the sight and sound of running water in your yard, regardless of space limitations.

Easy to Maintain

Taking care of your Pondless Waterfall is easy. Filling the reservoir every few weeks to compensate for water loss due to evaporation is all that’s required.


Perhaps the best part of the Pondless Waterfall is the potential for expansion. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with a beautiful water feature from Streamworks Designs, it is easy to add a pond at the base of a Pondless Waterfall.

Create a Natural Looking Waterfall

These useful tips will help you to create a beautiful, natural looking waterfall for your property.


Let nature be your guide

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!

Blend in with your surroundings

If the terrain of your backyard is flat, a waterfall that pops up out of nowhere will not look natural. 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 waterfall seamlessly into your landscape.

“Frame” your waterfall with large stones

Your waterfall will look more natural if you “frame” it with the largest of the rocks that you have chosen. As the water falls, it will hit the larger stones and find its path through the spaces between them – just like in nature.

Keep stones in proportion

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

The fewer stones, the better

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 few smaller ones, with the water running between them.

Add a twist

Be 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 most fun part of building the waterfall.

Soften the edges

The surrounding landscaping will cover most mistakes. 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.

Provide a room with a view

Ensure that you can see the waterfalls from inside different rooms in your house because no matter how much you love the outdoors, you will still spend most of your time inside. People often make the mistake of having their waterfall face the back of their yard. Try a view from the living room or kitchen – wherever your family gathers.

Pond vs. Pondless

Which Water Feature is Right for Me?

Let’s first start this off with some definitions. For our purposes a POND is defined as a natural balance of fish, plants, aeration, filtration, and rocks/gravel. All components work naturally together to help create and maintain a sustainable low-maintenance ecosystem.

A PONDLESS waterfall on the other hand is defined as a recirculating waterfall or stream without the presence of a visible body of water.

There are pros and cons to each style of feature but it basically boils down to this: Do you want fish? Are water lilies and other aquatic plants the focal point for you? If the answer to either of these is YES then a pond is what you’re after. Even a modest sized pond, say 8’x11’ and approximately 2’ deep will allow you to include modest quantities of fish such as koi, sarassas, and shubunkins as well as water plants like lilies, marigolds, and rushes. A true water GARDEN you will have with all the elements of an ecosystem and this can of course also include a waterfall/stream if your space and budget allow.

A pondless waterfall is ideal for someone who is most interested in the sight and sound of a waterfall and stream but maybe doesn’t want to worry about feeding fish or pruning plants. An even lower maintenance option, the pondless is great for families with small children and safety concerns. The other advantage is that it can tuck neatly into smaller spaces and can add curb appeal to the front of a home. You can still utilize some water plants, particularly maginals that don’t need to be fully submersed and floaters like water hyacinth.

Both water features, pond and pondless, can be lit at night with LED lighting and will bring the added dynamics of movement and sound to your garden! No matter which feature you choose it’s sure to be the centerpiece of your yard and it is only a matter of time before fire pits, lounge chairs, patios, BBQ’s, terrestrial plantings and local wildlife all migrate over to surround your new water feature!

Choosing the Right Water Feature

Ok, you’ve decided you want the calming elements of water in your landscape, but you’re having trouble choosing the perfect water feature to suit your needs! Begin by asking yourself, “What made me think to add a water feature to my landscape in the first place?”

Maybe  you loved lounging by the lake on your last holiday.  Maybe flipping through the pages of a magazine where you saw children interacting with fish in a pond captured your attention and made you envision spending time in nature with your own family. Perhaps you were hiking besides a natural stream and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the waterfalls it so beautifully displayed. Or a fountain in a shopping mall caught your attention!

Finding out your intent for adding water to your landscape is the first step in helping you determine what type of water feature is right for you.

If you love nature and spend a considerable amount of time in your garden, then an ecosystem pond complete with fish and aquatic plants is a great choice.

Perhaps you simply want to enjoy the sights and sounds of running water while sitting on your deck or patio, then a pondless waterfall or a meandering stream is your best bet.

Maybe you need some curb appeal near your front entrance, in which case an elegant fountain, bubbling basalt column, or a decorative Urn is ideal.

Reflect on your needs and desires, the reason you wanted a feature in the first place, to help you decide which solution is best for you.