The magic potion in any garden is water. The splash of tiered outdoor fountains—or the gurgle of water over stone—gives the space a voice, while reflecting ponds capture a piece of sky and hold it to the ground. Get inspired by more than three dozen of our most popular garden water features. And for swimming pool inspiration, check out our collection of 15 Gorgeous Pools and Pool Houses.

Garden Pools, Outdoor Fountains, and Other Water Features

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garden fountains, outdoor fountains
A rough-hewn limestone fountain reflects Brooke and Steve Giannetti’s love for patina. Splashing sounds, whether from water features or the ducks that inhabit the pond at the bottom of the property, become nature’s own version of background music. Photo by Lisa Romerein from Patina Farm by Brooke and Steve Giannetti
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The milieu at the Blue Garden evokes Newport’s Gilded Age. Arthur Curtiss James and his wife, Harriet hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to develop a plan for their monochromatic blue garden anchored with outdoor fountains and pools. Photo by Marianne Lee
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Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. designed the Blue Garden in Newport along a central water feature of blue-tiled pools connected by a water runnel, surrounded by formal planting beds. Photo by Marianne Lee
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Edith Wharton's sunken "Italian Garden" at The Mount is planted in greens and whites. It's centerpiece is a simple, stacked stone fountain. Photo by Donna DiMari, Courtesy of the The Mount
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This bougainvillea-laced courtyard fountain at Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs became a wedding focal point when the bride asked her guests to throw lucky pennies into it. Photo by Aaron Delesie
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Headquartered in Albrighton, England, David Austin Roses has two acres of rose gardens on-site. In the Renaissance Garden, rows of roses flank the reflecting pool. Photo Courtesy of David Austin Roses
17 Fragrant Rose Varieties
At Hortulus Farm, the perennial garden borders lead out to the fountain and pool garden, planted in a soft pastel palette of pinks, blues, whites, and grays in the form of Sedum 'Autumn Joy,' Phlox, Lythrum (purple loosestrife), and Fairy rose. Photo by Rob Cardillo
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houses of furlow gatewood
An antique French outdoor fountain, surrounded by Australian tree ferns in clay pots, provides a resting spot for one of Furlow Gatewood’s several peacocks. Photo by Rodney Collins, from Julia Reed's book, One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, Courtesy of Rizzoli
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Photo of a courtyard garden designed by Fernando Wong. It is surrounded on three sides by a two-story white stucco structure with a tile roof. A covered patio with columns wraps around the left and back side. The garden features ferns, palm trees and climbing greener. The limestone path leads to a circular patio with a square fountain at the center, which is surrounded by a low cotoneaster hedge.
In a palm-shaded South Florida courtyard, a cotoneaster hedge encircles a fountain. For the hardscape, garden and landscape designer Fernando Wong took inspiration from a temple floor he saw in Bali. Photo by Nick Sargent
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Limestone slabs create a path over ponds that house the owners’ collection of Asagi and Shusui koi. The urns are from Authentic Provence in West Palm Beach.
In another South Florida garden, limestone slabs create a path over ponds that house the homeowners’ collection of Asagi and Shusui koi. The urns are from Authentic Provence in West Palm Beach. Photo by Nick Sargent
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A wall of ‘Mary Nell’ holly stands tall behind a concrete fountain in the Wakeman family garden. A rich patina gives an aged look to the French reproduction. Photo by Eugenia Uhl

A New Orleans garden pool surrounded by lush leaves of Agapanthus and Dwarf Birds of Paradise foliage creates a tranquil, tropical retreat. Photo by Eugenia Uhl

A restored fountain splashes in the Old English Garden. Jo Malone London teamed up with Thrive, A UK charity, to redesign the garden at London's Battersea Park. Photo Courtesy of Jo Malone London
Modeled after English country estates, Filoli's landscape features formal spaces in the Georgian and English Renaissance style such as the Sunken Garden (seen above with the Santa Cruz mountains in the background). Photo by Still Life Photography/Shutterstock.com
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The pool in the this Louisiana garden takes the form of a meandering bayou. A patch of Equisetum (also known as Horsetail) to its left and a flowering Fringe Tree in the background break up the hardscape. Photo by Eugenia Uhl

Water features with fountains, urns, pools, and spills run through Bellingrath Gardens' spreading live oak trees and coastal landscapes. Photo Courtesy of Bellingrath Gardens and Home
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This pool is framed with Tennessee Crab Orchard stone and Charleston Old Carolina Brick, one of Ben Page’s favorite material combinations. The 19th-century gargoyle, he says, “has just as much personality as this project’s fabulous owner.” Photo by John Chiasson
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insider guide new orleans

Fountain jets with view of the Spanish Court garden and house at Longue Vue were designed for Edgar and Edith Stern by Ellen Biddle Shipman, known as “the dean of American women landscape architects.” Photo courtesy of Longue Vue House and Gardens.
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castor and pollux
Castor and Pollux were re-cast in bronze from an original bronze rescued from an undisclosed City of London building. Charles Nevinson of Architectural Accents turned the piece into an outdoor fountain for this Sea Island, Georgia garden. Photo by Julia Lynn
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pardee newport garden
A central fountain and oval reflecting pool bordered with boxed pear trees, echo the residence’s French demeanor in the winter garden at Parterre. Photo by Mick Hales
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wine country fountain
Birds take in the views from a tiered fountain in the parterre garden at Newton Vineyard. Photo by Eric Wolfinger
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A fountain surrounded by ‘Iceberg’ roses and ‘Green Beauty’ boxwood graces the entrance at designer Jennifer Amodei's home. Photo by Todd Tyler
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The statue in the pond is similar to a design created by Clarisse Grima in the early 1900s. Both are located in a “secret garden” tucked far away from the hustle and bustle of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Photo by Eugenia Uhl

At the home of designer Jennifer Amodei, a pair of charming stone buildings serves as changing cabanas for the pool area, set off by an olive tree and a pretty French-inspired fountain. Photo by Todd Tyler
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outdoor wall fountain
Sculptural branches of a live oak frame a fig ivy–coated wall and stone water feature in this lush, Sea Island garden. Photo by Julia Lynn
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The heron is one of six fountains on the property at Charleston's Gaillard-Bennett House (ca. 1800). Landscape architect Sheila Wertimer designed the historic home's gardens. Photo by Julia Lynn
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rain fountain, garden fountains
Landscape architect Jeffrey Carbo likes to incorporate moving water into projects so that you can hear it trickling or gushing. Here, he incorporates a splashing spill into a rain garden. Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Carbo
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garden fountains, outdoor fountains
A tiered outdoor fountain tucked into a leafy spot in floral designer Sybil Sylvester's Birmingham garden. Photo by Mary Margaret Chambliss
At Skylands, Edsel and Edith Ford's Maine retreat now owned by Martha Stewart, the upper pools, executed by landscape architect Patrick Chassé, were part of the original Jen Jensen design.
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bee cottage pool
Water spouts lining the pool inspired the lighthearted garden design at Frances Schultz's East Hampton cottage.
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Scale-like stainless steel pieces pattern the flow of a David Harber designed Petal water wall.
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P. Allen Smith chose a circular layout for this fountain and “room” of the Terrace Garden, which overlooks the Arkansas River. Photo by Nancy Nolan
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The front of antiquarian Robert E. Smith’s house includes a pea-gravel courtyard with a central fountain. Raised beds at the four corners contain large, early 19th-century vases d’Anduze planted with citrus topiaries. Some small flowering plants have been allowed to come up in the pea gravel. Photo courtesy of Robert E. Smith Au Vieux Paris Antiques

follies
A pool reflects a Doric temple, Greek Revival style folly, nestled in a private English garden. Photo by Marianne Majerus/Marianne Majerus Garden Images
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A hedge opening in the Walled Garden at England's Scampston Hall offers a view of the fountain. The Walled Garden was designed by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, who was catapulted into fame after his radical installation of the High Line park in Manhattan.
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nantucket garden, nantucket cottage, bucktucket
In the lovely Nantucket garden of Bill and Laura Buck, the koi pond is a charming water feature. Photo by Kindra Clineff
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The brick entrance to Castle Howard's 18th-century Walled Garden lies beyond a circular pond surrounded by crisply etched boxwood hedges and velvety lawns. Photo by Marianne Majerus
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Melissa McGrain's Greek Revival home overlooks a lawn and circular pond. The historic Fletcher Steel landscape design features woodlands and a set of terraced stairs on either side of the house and lawn.
Designed by iconic American landscape designer Fletcher Steele, a six-acre garden estate in historic Pittsford, New York, features a central allée with three cascading terraces that sweep down to a reflecting pool of midnight blue.  Photo by Mick Hales
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The Cascade House at Chatsworth
The famous Cascade at Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire, England, was first created in the 1690s. The water feature took on its present wider and longer form in 1708, when Cascade House, designed by Thomas Archer, dominated the scene. Photo courtesy of Chatsworth House
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Photo of a pond filled with lily pads at Author Shackleton's home garden at Fruitlawn in Ireland

At Fruitlawn—the home of renowned garden designer Arthur Shackleton and his wife, artist Carol Booth, in County Laois, Ireland—the pair have created a green haven. The 1-acre walled garden features Shackleton’s favorite features: large perennial borders, a hornbeam tunnel, huge yew hedges, an extensive vegetable garden, and a serene, circular lily pond. Photo by Hugo Shackleton

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This Irish garden illustrates the style of designer Arthur Shackleton.
At the Butler House garden in the town of Kilkenny, Ireland, a low hedge of Sophora japonica and cryptic stone blocks, which serve as seats, ring a circular pool. The stone seating blocks are remnants of an IRA-bombed Dublin monument to England’s Admiral Horatio Nelson. Garden paths radiate from the pool like spokes. Photo by Hugo Shackleton
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