How to Build a Waterfall for a Garden Pond


A waterfall flowing into a garden pond brings movement and focus to your landscape. You can build a waterfall for an existing garden pond with natural rocks and stones, layered to create a dramatic or subtle cascade of water. Look for rocks on your property, or purchase them from a local landscape supply. Waterfall pumps, skimmers and filters are available in kits or individually from local and online retailers.

Step 1

Excavate a patch of ground equal to the desired width and base depth of your waterfall structure along one side of your garden pond.

Step 2

Mix the mortar according to the package directions. Place a thin layer of mortar along the excavated ground.

Step 3

Cover the mortar with the largest available rocks. The front edge of the rocks should hang at least 3 inches over the rim of the garden pond.

Step 4

Measure 6 inches from the front edge of the rocks. Add a layer of mortar on top of the rocks from this point to the back edge of the rocks. Stack more rocks on top of the mortar. Always stack the largest stones you have available, gradually decreasing the size as you build your waterfall up.

Step 5

Measure 6 inches from the front edge of the second layer of rocks. Add a layer of mortar on top of the rocks from this point to the back edge. Stack another layer of rocks on the mortar. Repeat this step until your waterfall is as tall as you like. Always set successive rock layers at least 6 inches from the edge of the last layer. You can create a more dramatic drop for your waterfall by double-stacking the layers of rocks before you set a layer back.

Step 6

Design a path for the waterfall flow by filling in-between the gaps of the rocks with smaller stones. You can mortar them in if you like, or wedge them securely. The goal is to have a more solid path for the water to flow. You could also place a sheet of plastic pond liner along the desired path of the water, and then camouflage it with stones.

Step 7

Place the waterfall pump and skimmer inside your garden pond according to the manufacturer's directions. Situate the falls pour-over filter at the top of the waterfall according to the manufacturer's directions. Camouflage the pour-over filter with stones.

Step 8

Run the electrical cord from the over the edge of the garden pond toward the electrical outlet. Bury the electrical cord in a small trench. Select a solar waterfall pump and eliminate the need for electricity.

Step 9

Attach the plastic tubing to the waterfall pump. Run the tubing from the pump along the ground on the side of the rocks to the back of the waterfall. Run the tubing to the falls filter at the top of the waterfall. Connect the tubing to the filter according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 10

Camouflage the tubing alongside the rocks with more stones or plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mortar
  • Rocks
  • Measuring tape
  • Waterfall pump
  • Skimmer
  • Filter (falls pour-over filter)
  • Plastic tubing
  • Stones


  • Building a Waterfall

Who Can Help

  • Building a Waterfall
Keywords: rock waterfall, garden pond waterfall, pond waterfall

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost effective decorating solutions. As a content creator for Demand Studios and private clientele, Kat's work is featured on sites across the web. Kally holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.