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Stupendous rockery waterfall landscaping designs

Stupendous rockery waterfall landscaping designs

Show me the person who doesn’t enjoy the look and sound of a waterfall? The water crushing on the rocks and streaming away with calm or roaring noise. Anyone?

Of course we all love waterfalls. And here is some good news for you – even if you have a tiny backyard, you can always landscape a small rocky waterfall for your pleasure.

Let’s see what you have to do for this project.



How to make a rockery waterfall? First of all, you need to figure out the good place for the rockery waterfall. Ideally, you have a natural slope on your land which you can use.

If you’re not blessed with one, then you need to build it yourself. Simple way is to dig out a step, but if the soil doesn’t allow the easy excavation you can alternatively build the slope with the rocks and gravel.

Logically, the steeper the slope the louder and faster will be the running water. But you will need at least a 2 inch drop for every 10 feet of stream to be able to call it a rockery waterfall feature.

It might also be easiest to have the waterfall not too far away from the electrical source to avoid the boring process of hiding the extension cords and wires.

More design ideas for your yard

Size of the stream

Small waterfall with pondThe size of your lower basin and upper pool will depend on how much water is passing through the stream. To calculate this, you should know:

  1. The stream of 2-3 feet width and 2-3 inches of depth will hold around 5 gallons per linear foot.
  2. You need to measure how many linear feet are in your stream and calculate the total stream capacity (TSC).
  3. Now, if the TSC is 100 gallons it will be easily accommodated by 50-gallon basin and 200-gallon pool.

Order the rocks

It is the most important stage in creating garden rockery waterfalls. For this rockery project you will need three sizes of rocks:

  • big boulders (as decoration and framing material);
  • medium (to connect everything);
  • gravel (filling the cracks and bottom of the stream).
Learn more information about types of rocks for landscaping: for pool, crushed rock, small, large and flat rocks, white marble, granite, slate stones, glass landscaping rocks, lava rock and it’s pros and cons. Also fake and river rock.

Preparing the pools

Now you going to get to digging part. Outline the future stream and pools to help you. When the digging is done, you need to place the underlayment and rubber liner over the entire distance of the waterfall (find out effective ways of killing unnecessary grass).

Now you have to place the stump basin in the area prepared for it. Drill the holes in it, if there’re none. You have to secure the stump basin in place with medium-sized rocks around it.

Important! Check with local authorities that there’re no gas or water mains underground in the area you plan to dig.

This articles can be useful for you: pool landscaping with river rocks, how to use river rock and basics of it’s installing.

Designing your waterfall

Now it’s time to decorate the face of your pond rockery waterfall. General rules are: start from down up and begin with placement of the larger rocks to create the main dimension.

Advice! The big rocks look the most natural close to the waterfalls, because in nature the smaller stones would be carried away by the water (learn how to move large rocks for landscaping).

When you work on the looks of your waterfall, don’t forget to step back and look at your arrangement from different angles. Take your time, and don’t rush to arrange the whole set up in one go.

Waterfall in the small gardenOnce you know exactly where you want your rocks, don’t hesitate to use some mortar to keep them in place and hold together. Try to use the mortar on the back side, so the face of the waterfall still looks natural.

If you decide to keep you rocks holding by themselves, be prepared that you’ll need to fix the setting quite often, as the water will wash away smaller stones once in a while, making the whole composition shift. When you put the small rocks, gravel and pebbles, make sure they fill all the free space between the larger rocks.

This way you are preventing the water from washing away the soil and cover all the underlining material. To seal all the cracks and prevent the water from leaving the basin, use the dark foam sealant or specially made waterfall sealant.

Make sure its’s not toxic to animals, if you’re planning to have fish in your little pond. Some of the sealants let you use the waterfall as soon as 30 min. after the application.

Last touch

Fill the stream with your garden hose and wait for it to fill up the whole bottom basin. Now it the time to check how your pump runs. Start it and wait for the water to clear, then you can move it to the waterfall start and let the water run on its own, without adding more water with the garden hose.

If everything works fine, think about the way to cover the pump. Maybe using some rocks or covering it with the layer of soil. Let the pump run for some time, this way you’ll see if you left any leak and the water is running away. Fix all the cracks and leaks.

Now, when it’s all done you need to trim the liner if it’s still visible at some place, plant the flowers and introduce the fishes to your pond. Our advice is to look into the possibilities of the lighting of your waterfall.

For more drama you can even use the submersed lights or glowing stones. Like this your small waterfall will be seen even at darkest night.


On the following pictures you can see some inspirational rockery waterfall designs:
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5

Video tutorial

Rock waterfall landscaping is very interesting experience and in this video you can see how to make a rockery with a waterfall:


As you can see there is a strong connection between rockeries and waterfalls, both of them can create a sophisticated atmosphere in the garden. Nobody will deny the fact that, landscaping rock waterfalls might be not the easiest task, but you definitely should give it to try. Good luck!

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