10 reasons why you should definitely add a water feature to your garden


In my last article, I looked at reasons not to include a water feature in your garden and proposed alternative solutions as to what you could use instead.  

To counterbalance the argument and ensure you are making the right decision for you, here are 10 reasons why you should definitely add a water feature to your garden as well as 10 examples of garden water features PLUS some maintenance and aftercare tips.

why you should & shouldn't buy a water feature - row of fountain cubes. Garden by Bestall & Co.
Why you should & shouldn’t buy a water feature – row of fountain cubes. Garden by Bestall & Co.

Here are 10 reasons you should get a water feature:

1. Enhanced aesthetic

Water features serve as interesting focal points in a garden, adding impact (when using them at scale), fun (if they are interactive) and the sight and sound of water can enhance the atmosphere around it.

2. Promotes relaxation

The soothing sound of running water can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. It provides a calming effect that can be beneficial for mental well-being and its why you’ll often find them in a spa.

3. Attracts wildlife

Depending on the type of feature, water features can attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to your garden, enhancing the natural ecosystem and providing opportunities for birdwatching and nature observation.

4. Improves air quality

Moving water can help humidify the air and is particularly useful in warm climates without a breeze.  Not always important in the UK but here they can also be used to remove impurities, creating a healthier outdoor environment.

5. May add value to property

A well-designed water feature can increase the aesthetic and monetary value of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers.  If well chosen and executed, it can make your home more saleable too.  If you’re renting or only thinking of staying a short while, consider a self-contained feature that you can take with you.

6. Creates a microclimate

Water features can create a cool, damp microclimate in your garden, providing relief from heat during hot weather and the perfect place to grow a more diverse range of plants.

7. Masks noise pollution

The sound of flowing water can mask unpleasant noises from traffic or neighbours, creating a more peaceful and private environment.  Strangely it does this by adding even more noise, but it’s a great distraction technique!

8. Provides recreation

Larger water features like ponds, natural pools or more traditional swimming pools can offer recreational opportunities, such as swimming, fishing, or simply enjoying the view.  How about creating a wooden jetty in a west facing location to catch the last drop of the days sun?

9. Boosts creativity

I’ve found that the presence of water can inspire creativity and so love nothing more than sitting by water to think and reflect (no pun intended).

10. Encourages mindfulness

Spending time near a water feature can encourage mindfulness and present-moment awareness (something I’m not great at), providing a space for meditation and reflection.


why you should & shouldn't buy a water feature - sculpture fountain. Garden by Bestall & Co.
why you should & shouldn’t buy a water feature – sculpture fountain. Garden by Bestall & Co.

Below are some examples of different kinds of water features & a few practical tips I’ve learned:

1. Ponds

A pond can be a habitat for fish, plants, and other aquatic life. To keep it sweet, install a filtration system to maintain water quality and consider adding a pond skimmer to remove debris.

2. Fountains

Fountains come in various designs, from classic tiered structures favoured by the Italianate style, to modern art pieces. Solar-powered pumps can make them more eco-friendly and reduce energy costs (although personally I’d be nervous to rely on them in the UK).

3. Waterfalls

A waterfall can be incorporated into a pond or used as a standalone feature. Use rocks and plants to create a natural look and ensure proper water circulation to prevent stagnation. To make it look natural, you must always use the lay of the land and any pond should be at the lowest part of the garden.

4. Streams

A winding stream can connect different parts of your garden, adding movement and sound. Include small bridges or stepping stones for added functionality and countryside charm.

5. Birdbaths

Birdbaths are simple yet effective features that attract birds. Choose a shallow, easy-to-clean design and place it in a visible, safe location for birds. Don’t forget to fill it regularly.

6. Reflective pools 

These shallow, still water features create beautiful reflections of the surrounding landscape. Use dark materials for the pool lining to enhance the mirror effect. Do consider evaporation here though, so I’d recommend a hidden tank of a sizeable nature!

7. Rain chains

Rain chains guide rainwater from gutters to the ground, creating a visual and auditory delight. Ensure they are securely anchored and direct water to a permeable area to prevent erosion.  Having first seen these in Barbados when on holiday, I’ve used them a couple of times to great effect.

8. Water wells

Vertical water features are perfect for small spaces. They can be mounted on a wall and often require less maintenance than larger water features. Use a recirculating pump for efficiency. Off the shelf or bespoke, these features are available at a huge range of budgets and require very little DIY knowledge to install.

9. Spouting features

These include statues or sculptures that spout water. They add an artistic element and can be placed in ponds or standalone basins. Regularly check for clogs and ensure the pump is functioning well. Personally I love them (especially the ones you see in the market squares of France and Italy).  I also secretly like a Lions head version, but I draw the line at a vomiting tortoise or a ‘weeing child’.

10. Container water gardens

These are small, portable water features made from containers such as pots or barrels. They are ideal for patios or balconies. Use aquatic plants and a small pump to keep the water moving and fresh.  One of my first experiences of a water feature was a half barrel just like this.  It’s an easy and inexpensive way to create the smallest of ponds.

My top maintenance & aftercare tips:

  • Regular cleaning: Remove debris and algae to keep the water clean and prevent blockages in pumps and filters.
  • Check water levels: Maintain appropriate water levels to ensure the pump operates correctly and to prevent damage.  Consider an auto top up like this (insert link).
  • Winter care: In colder climates, take steps to winterize your water feature, such as draining it. In the UK this is really only required for small water features (less than 300mm depth of water.
  • Plant care: Trim and manage aquatic plants to prevent overgrowth and ensure they don’t block the water flow or out compete each other.  Some can be bullies so keep an eye out to encourage a diverse range.
  • Inspect pumps and filters: Regularly inspect and service pumps and filters to ensure they are working efficiently. A blocked pump will have to work harder and therefore be less effective.
  • Avoid chemicals where possible: Use natural treatments for algae control and water conditioning to protect wildlife and plants.


So there we have it.  Over the past two articles we’ve considered why and why not you should or shouldn’t include a water feature in your garden design.  I hope after reading both, you’ve been inspired and educated and are now ready to take your garden one step further!


Article first created in June 2024.