How to Landscape a Garden Waterfall


A waterfall adds extra dimensions to a home landscape. When the waterfall is running, the trickle of water adds sound and masks street noise. The splash of water also attracts wildlife, such as birds and toads, that you can enjoy from the privacy of your deck, porch or window. But there is more to installing a waterfall than just stacking rocks and plugging in a pump. Once your garden waterfall is installed, you still have to landscape around it to give it a natural appearance and help it blend into your garden.

Step 1

Select plants that grow along the banks of rivers for your waterfall landscape. These plants help to transition the borders of your waterfall with the rest of your landscape. Avoid plants such as trailing annual flowers, vines or trees that drop vegetation into your waterfall and require frequent cleaning.

Step 2

Choose rocks and boulders to place inside your waterfall channel and to edge your waterfall. The rocks and boulders should be the same color, texture and shape as the rocks used to fill your waterfall. At least one boulder should extend from the waterfall out into the landscape area, and at least one boulder should sit in the landscape area away from the waterfall. This will help build a pleasing transition from the waterfall to the landscape.

Step 3

Loosen soil around your waterfall to a depth of 6 inches with a garden rake. Cover the loosened soil with plastic weed block to control weeds.

Step 4

Cover plastic with mulch. Arrange rocks in the waterfall channel and around the lip of the waterfall. Arrange a few rocks away from the waterfall over the mulch.

Step 5

Determine where you will put your plants. Pull away mulch and cut a hole for plants through the plastic using a utility knife. Dig a planting hole with a garden trowel. Place the root ball of your plants in the planting holes and cover with dirt. Replace landscaping plastic and mulch.

Step 6

Place accent lights behind rocks and beneath the leaves of plants. Extend the electrical cords of the accent lights to an electrical outlet. Bury the cords in the mulch.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterfall plants
  • Waterfall rocks
  • Garden rake
  • Plastic weed block
  • Mulch
  • Garden trowel
  • Accent lights


  • Reader's Digest: How to Build a Water Garden and Waterfall
  • Great-Landscaping-Ideas: Waterfall Landscapes
  • Lanscape Design Advice:Waterfall Designs - Creating Backyard Waterfalls For Ponds, Pools and Streams

Who Can Help

  • Sunset Magazine: Garden Inspiraton
Keywords: waterfall landscaping, landscape design, decorating a waterfall

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."