Pond, Fountain or Waterfall? 5 Types of Water Features for Your State College, PA, Landscape

Adding a water feature is one of the most delightful and appreciated ways to add tranquility and beauty to your backyard getaway. But there are so many choices! Pond, fountain or waterfall? For some inspiration, here are 5 types of water features for your State College, PA, landscape.


Pond, Fountain or Waterfall? 5 Types of Water Features for Your State College, PA, Landscape

What’s more relaxing than sitting on the patio on a summer afternoon watching the birds splashing in the water? A birdbath is the simplest way to add water to your landscape. More elaborate birdbaths will feature a fountain to keep the water circulating.


Fountains provide a unique and creative way to decorate your outdoor living space, whether your setting is modern, traditional, or rustic. The sound of flowing water splashing on itself makes for a tranquil setting that helps mask environmental noise and makes spaces feel more intimate. Fountains can be grand or small, minimalist or elaborate and come in an endless array of styles. They often include statues and other artistic elements. There are endless ways to add your own personality to a fountain and complement your home’s architectural style. The sound they make depends on the volume of water and the course it takes from the pump to the collection pond.

Related: It's not too late to winterize your pond!


Ponds come in a variety of shapes and styles that complement any decor and invite Nature into your backyard.

  • Natural ponds are organic in shape, and often feature large boulders, lush plantings, and a waterfall.

  • Reflecting pools have geometric shapes with space to walk around the pool, and are typically surrounded by plants that cast reflections on the water.

  • Water gardens and fish ponds are filled with aquatic plant life as well as colorful fish to create a lush setting.  

If you’re considering a pond, add bubblers to keep the water aerated, add vertical interest, and create the sound of moving water.


Streams can meander along paths and provide an instantly accessible source of play for young and old alike. Streams are often designed as a complete ecosystem that includes waterfalls, boulders and lush plantings. You can achieve a babbling brook effect, or create a more dramatic “whitewater” effect by increasing the elevation drop as the water moves from the pump to the collection/recirculation area. Streams have the tendency to turn into design-intensive features but they do offer the most variety, interest, and natural feel.

Related: Pondless Waterfall Supplies in PA


Waterfalls add sound, motion, and vertical interest to your yard. Waterfalls come in a huge array of styles and types that enhance even the tiniest backyard and create the sense that one is at a luxury retreat.

  • Rain curtains provide a beautiful way to define a space and provide visual and acoustic privacy through the continuous sound of falling water.

  • Pondless waterfalls recirculate water and avoid the need for a collection pond

  • Waterwalls are elegant features that can do double duty as dramatic privacy walls. Water flows down a smooth surface (glass, tile, concrete, or masonry) into a collection pool.

  • Sconces and scuppers allow water to cascade outward from a wall into a collection pool (reminiscent of ancient Roman baths). Sconces direct a narrow stream of water, while scuppers create a wider arc of water.

  • Laminar jets are continuous streams of water that give the illusion of a solid arc - especially stunning when illuminated.

  • Natural waterfalls use stacked boulders to recreate the look of a natural spring.

Be sure to add lighting to your water feature to add drama when the sun goes down!