Water in a garden can create lots of different feelings. The simplicity of rock, water, and falling can create an incredible feature that you could add to your small garden. Water, stones, and plants are the three elements that can make any water feature stand out.

Water is the most dynamic element you can add to your landscape. Its calming, tranquil and every time changes with the season. The sights and sounds of nature create an outdoor space where you can invite wildlife, relax, and learn about life up close and personal. Waterfalls features in your garden could be started and stopped at your schedule. A pond free waterfall transforms even a modest small yard into a backyard oasis.

Key elements for Waterfalls – where to start?

There are two parts to a disappearing water feature — a hidden element, which contains an underground reservoir pumping. And the visible portion, which provides aesthetic beauty. First, you want to choose the best location for your water feature. Consider the best view from your house where you spend most of your time, such as kitchen, living room or home’s back patio.

Let’s get started:

  • Use a tape measure to determine the total length of your waterfall.
  • Use marking paints to layout watercourse and basin areas. Begin to marking territory for the basin. This low water use systems require only a relatively small basin to contain all the water in the system.
  • Mark your watercourse with your paint in several places between the basin and the top of the waterfall. These marks on the watercourse would indicate the position of cascades. And you can place your cascades anywhere along the waterway.
  • The area that you select for your basin needs to be flat. You can check this to place the builder’s level across the basin area. If you need to, add or remove soil until the bubble on the scale is centered. Repeat this on all sites until you leveled all the basin edges.
  • Next, clear the rest of the rocks and plant materials.


How to create the watercourse?

To create a Waterfall on the flat yard, you can use concrete blocks very effectively. With the concrete blocks, you can create a solid foundation for the watercourse, and it will also reduce the backfill you will need. You can also use the bare blocks as a barrier to protect the fence from moisture and soil. To give the Waterfall some high, place blocks in a stair-step pattern. It will provide an underlying structure and stability for your Waterfall.

Image result for waterfall well pond free

How to place the basin?

Excavate the outlined basin to a depth of 68.5 cm. You can use soil of the basis as fill for your Waterfall. Pack the soil in and around the blocks. You may need to bring an additional ground to build up the Waterfall. At this point, don’t worry about covering the faces of the blocks, square up the level. When the basin has had its correct depth, remove rocks from the bottom that can punch it. Make sure that it is deep enough.

How to line the basin and Waterfall?

Use the underlay and place it in, so it covers the entire watercourse. Start at the bottom of the basin and work your way up, smoothing wrinkles and folds. Unfold the liner and place it over the underlay. Spread it entirely over the entire watercourse, smoothing wrinkles and folds. Leave plenty of liners outside of your watercourse. You will need to trim the access later.

How to place the Waterfall well?

Place the Waterfall well into the basin and recheck the level. Use stones and place them around the Waterfall Well. Be careful when placing stones to prevent tears to the liner. When the basin is mostly filled around with the rocks, remove the lid from the Waterfall well. Cut out on the side of the Waterfall well a little hole (5cm) with a keyhole saw. Slide the king-size hose through the outside hole of the Waterfall Well. Then finish filling the basin with pebble until only the waterfall well lid is exposed. Walk the other end of the hose to the top of the Waterfall. Hide the tube beneath the liner and underlayer.

How to construct waterway?

To build a waterfall that has a natural appeal, we want to give Waterfall at least four out of these five elements:

  • Drops – gives heights and drama to the Waterfall.
  • Cascades – are smaller series of waterfalls that create movements and sound.
  • Pools – provide shallow areas for birds and plants.
  • Bends – make the water feature look more natural and provide opportunity for direction changes.
  • Splits – are closed by obstacles in a watercourse and provide visual interest.

When you begin to place rocks to your Waterfall, start with the bottom and work your way upstream. Place also some rocks beneath the liner to define the edge of the stream bed. These rocks will be uncovered later when we trim the liner. Add some rocks to the interior of the stream at the key locations. Stones need to be carefully placed by hand to avoid damage to the liner.

On the side of the Waterfall, you can create a planting area, where you can plant flowers and bushes to create a more natural look. Build series of the cascades with the large flat rocks. Rocks must be stabilized by using smaller stones.

How to install a filter?

Back at the top of the Waterfall, mark the position of the Filter Weir on the liner. Cut the liner so it has the same shape as the opening. Now you can secure the liner to the Filter Weir with a liner bracket by installing four screws in each corner. Install the remaining screws, tightening each evenly by hand.

Trim the kings-size hose to link and connect it to the back of the Filter Weir. Backfill the Filter Weir covering the holes. Use stones along the fence to protect the wood from moisture from the backfill. Camouflage the face of the filter with more rocks.

Now you can cover the top of the basin with the liner. You may want to rinse the waterfall rocks at this point to wash away dust and soil parts. Take the waterfall lid off as you do this and remove the unclean water with an additional pump from the basin.

Next steps – finishing up

Use black foam to fill cracks and little holes between the rocks to create a professional-looking waterfall. Now start at the top of the Waterfall and work your way down in the direction of the water flow. Important is to seal the gaps underneath the stones.

With the pond free system, you can bring exotic plants into your yard. Mix gravel, rocks, and stones to create a beautiful look throughout the watercourse. Connect the pump to the Waterfall Well. Lower the pump assembly to the Waterfall Well and attach the hose.

After the black foam had set up (after 30-45min), remove the lid from the Waterfall Well and fill the reservoir with water. Stop when the water reaches the lower lip of the well. Test the installation to see if everything is flowing. Your stream will quickly come to life as the pump delivers water to the water feature and down the watercourse. When the water is running, check for any leaks. Adjust the liner to prevent splashes. When you satisfied how it looks, you can trim the access of the liner, but leave a bit of extra liner on each side.

Use smaller rocks to adjust sounds and splashes — plant plants around your water feature to provide a magnificent look. Water feature looks breathtaking at night. Therefore I would add a few lightings. Use a UL approved radiance underwater lighting kits to make your Waterfall stand out. Now you have a beautiful water paradise to enjoy years to come.


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10 thoughts on “Pond free Waterfalls for Small Gardens”


This is great advice for small gardens. Waterfalls are awesome and beautiful. I have only seen a few in my life, but now I have no more excuses anymore because I can make my own now. I never thought about how the rocks would effect the sound but it totally would. The stair step pattern is interesting too I am guessing that is a pretty common thing in waterfalls. Thanks for the cool article.


    Hi Jake,

    Many thanks for reading my post and for your comments. Picture I used with one big rock, is an example of what could be done. It is very easy to create if you have big rocks. I am glad that you found it interesting.
    All the best,


Waterfalls are so beautiful, its cool that we can create them in our back yards. I like how detailed your steps are for making one in the back yard. I wonder how much it would cost to finish a simple one yet quality one. Good Job on your post.



    Many thanks for vising my site and for your comment. There are different options available on the market, depending on the size of your pond and your budget. For example, Savio 8 ft’ Pond Free Waterfall Package will cost you around $1000. If you are looking for something smaller around 4ft, the prize will be around $500 or less. In those products everything will be included. If you want to go with a less expensive option, you might build it yourself by buying separate items (such as underlay, liner, pump, waterfall well, filter, etc). Depending on your budget, there will be always something possible to do.

    All the best,


I love this article! I wish you would add some more images for newbies like me. They sound so beautiful! I am hoping to buy a house in the next couple of years and these waterfalls sound perfect! I didn’t realize you could have waterfalls without ponds or moats or something like that. Sounds so very chic! Please keep us updated on the best places to see these wonderful creations! Thank you for sharing. 🙂



    Thank you so much for reading my article and your comments. Thanks a lot for your feedback – I would definitely add more pictures to the article!

    All the best,


I like your content, it is useful and makes me want a waterfall to set up in my home area. I like nature and when I have time, I always go to the waterfall.

Thanks for sharing!



    Many thanks for reading my post and your comment! Glad you found it useful.
    All the best,


I never thought something like this wouldbbe possible to do, but your step by step guide makes it seem far more do-able! Really clear and well explained, thanks Olga!



    Many thanks for your comments! Very much appreciated and I am glad that you found it useful.

    All the best,

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