Water Garden Design and Water Conservation

A water garden is an area in the landscape where water is used as a design feature. Water gardens can be any size; however,  it is important that the water garden be integrated into the greater landscape plan.

Location for the Water Garden

  • Have an overall plan and integrate the water garden into the existing landscape
  • Use as an accent or focal point
  • Avoid placing in the middle of a turf area
  • Decide what style will be used  (formal / informal / naturalistic)
  • Determine the size of the water garden
  • Determine the type – will it include plants, fish
  • Choose appropriate materials, construction
  • Consider maintenance: water quality, algae control, fish diseases, temperature, predation
Small water feature surrounded by brightly colored annual flowering plants. Photo credit: Rick Scully Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Natural looking water feature mimics a mountain stream. Photo credit: Quite Adept Flickr CC BY-BC-ND 2.0

Conserving Water in Water Gardens

See Water Features Conserving Water for more information on conserving water in water gardens.

Additional Resources:


Southern Region Aquaculture Center: Water Gardens


Illinois -Successful Container Gardens


Colorado (plants) – Water Gardening: Plant Recommendations