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The best water features are the ones that look like they’ve been there forever. That’s why Good Earth Water Gardens designs and installs natural-looking ponds, waterfalls and pondless waterfalls.

But there’s a secret. Native-looking water features don’t just happen. They’re actually the result of careful planning and specific installation techniques. And that’s not even getting into the ecosystem that makes water features low hassle and high enjoyment.

At Good Earth Water Gardens, we’re always learning and developing new techniques. Here are some of the basic methods we use to create those water features that appear effortless.


How to Install Pond Liner Properly

The first step to a natural-looking water feature is covering the pond liner. This rubber layer is necessary but not that attractive – and it popping through is usually why a water feature looks manufactured. The liner is the least natural-looking thing about a pond or pondless waterfall. We cover the pond liner and all filtration components with rocks and gravel.


Framing Your Waterfall Properly to Create a Natural Waterfall Design

In nature, waterfalls require specific environments to happen. With our waterfalls, we mimic those environments, typically with two framing boulders on each side with a smaller boulder – called a weir stone – in the middle where water flows over. The end result is an effect that water has carved a channel through rock over time.


We often see water features where the largest boulders are used in the center and smaller boulders are on the edges, like this:


However, this isn’t what you see in nature. In the wild, water carves rock over thousands of years. We keep this in mind as we design water features.

How to Stack Rocks for Waterfalls: Find the Right-Sized Boulders

Big isn’t always better. Boulders need to be the same scale as a waterfall drop. When you see multiple boulders stacked on top of each other, that generally means the rocks are too small.


Instead, Good Earth Water Gardens uses the boulders to enhance the natural feel of the water feature. For instance, when we have a waterfall drop that’s 20 inches, we’ll use frame rocks that are at least 24 inches tall and a weir stone that’s around 20 inches. This ratio means we don’t have to stack boulders on top of each other and creates a more seamless effect.


Water Feature Edge Treatments

The boundaries of a water feature can make or break how it fits into the overall landscape. The goal is to use a variety of materials to blend into the larger environment.

Too often, we see a feature that just has gravel around it, like this:


But water features already have plenty of rock incorporated into their design, so adding more can appear harsh. Instead, we use materials like mulch, driftwood, and even varied sizes of boulders. This helps soften the look and blend into the landscape.


Water Feature Landscaping

Plants play a key role in making a water feature look natural. Aquatic plants are captivating and help keep the pond ecosystem healthy. But adding trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials around the water feature is important, too. This vegetation adds visual interest. A water feature without plants feels unfinished. A water feature with a verdant landscape feels lush.


Creating Your Ideal Water Feature

The most natural-looking water feature is the one that’s designed specifically for your space, taste, and needs. Good Earth Water Gardens can make it happen.

We’re a premier water feature installer serving the entire Kansas City metro area. We are proud to have met the rigid standards of excellence of being a Certified Aquascape Contractor. Contact us at (816) 720-7577 for more information.