Designing and Installing a Waterfall

Designing and installing a waterfall is easy, with or without a pond. Val Adolph gives us the 1-2-3.

Credit: Steve Kovacs

A pondless waterfall feature

You don’t need a pond to enjoy a gurgling waterfall.

Designing and installing a waterfall is easy, with or without a pond

The restful, refreshing sound of flowing water is attractive to many gardeners, but some are concerned about the maintenance that comes with a garden pond.

One solution is to create a waterfall flowing down over a rocky streambed, the water sinking into gravel without forming a pond. It’s easy to install. Dig out the soil where the container and pump will go and this mound creates the basis for the elevation that the waterfall needs. The hole, deeper than a normal pond, is lined and filled with rock, gravel and finally water, which is then circulated from beneath the rocks and gravel by a pump.

The water travels through a pipe up to a Biofalls filter, then down the waterfall and stream bed, where it falls back into the reservoir. Design your stream bed and waterfall using rocks and gravel, then plant around it with perennials or alpines. A waterfall without the pond gives vertical interest to even a tiny garden, resolves safety concerns if you have young children around, takes up very little space and attracts birds and other wildlife.

Steve Kovacs has a pondless waterfall outside his Waterscene shop in Ladner. “It’s so simple,” he says. “And the birds love it.”