5 Tips For Natural Looking Waterfall Construction

The primary focus of any backyard pond and waterfall project is the waterfall, so you will want to take some time while designing and building it and let your creative juices flow.

The first step in waterfall construction is to determine exactly where your main viewing location will be. Whether you will be admiring your waterfall from a patio sitting area or living room window, determining the best viewing locations will help to decide the eventual placement of your waterfall, stream, and pond.

5 Tips For Natural-Looking Waterfall Construction:

  1. Always consider where the main viewing area will be
  2. Use as few stones as possible for the waterfall, the larger the better
  3. Tilt your spillway stone slightly forward for best performance
  4. Use black waterfall foam to fill in the joints between rocks and stones
  5. Bring in topsoil around your stream and pond to level off the berm

Once you have determined the direction of the waterfall then choose an elevated position for your biofalls filter pump and waterfall spillway. Lay down your pond liner and begin adding medium to large sized rocks along your stream and around your pond retaining wall.

Begin building up the waterfall spillway by placing large framing rocks around the spillway. Next, dig a hole for the biofalls filter behind the spillway and place the biofalls filter in position. Add large boulders to each side of the spillway to serve as framing rocks and to cover the edges of the biofalls filter. Fill the waterfall entry point with a large stone with a flat surface. This will be your waterfall spillway stone and it should just cover the top edge of the biofalls filter. Be sure the flat spillway stone is level from side to side and add medium and smaller sized rocks to fill in any voids in the waterfall spillway.

Finally, fill out the surrounding spillway area with rocks and stones. Remember that stacking stones on top of one another will always appear manmade so try to keep the rock placement as natural looking as possible.

Watefall Construction

Once you have built your pond and waterfall, it’s time to turn on the water and see how everything is flowing. Look at how the water moves along its path and move smaller rocks around in order to increase or decrease the water flow. Also, add some small and medium stones throughout the watercourse to create interesting variations and a natural feeling to the flow of water. At this point, it’s easy to get lost in the details so always make sure to step back and look at the entire waterfall construction in order to get it looking just right.

Designing a waterfall for maximum impact is not as easy as it seems but the end results are definitely rewarding and you can expect many compliments from guests as they admire your amazing natural looking backyard waterfall and pond.

You Can Have A Beautiful Waterfall For Less Than You Think

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your backyard waterfall and pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

backyard waterfalls

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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Patio Pond Ideas That Bring Depth to Your Garden Pond Design

One of the best ways to bring depth to your patio garden is to add a fish pond. A patio fish pond is an instant garden focal point and conversation piece which adds the brilliance and shimmer of water to your patio area.

Don’t forget, the most important aspect of patio pond design is to make sure that your fish can be seen from the patio or a nearby window. Fishponds are all about being seen so the patio pond placement should be considered carefully. Always make sure that the seating area has a natural view towards your fish pond.

A small patio fish pond can also provide a beautiful setting when viewed from a living room or dining room window. In fact, with lights installed, your fish pond can shimmer with a magical brilliance that will amaze your dinner party guests.

Patio Pond Designs

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your patio fish pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

The following slideshow contains a variety of patio pond ideas and building techniques for integrating patio pond designs into garden landscapes.

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Take Your Landscaping to the Next Level in 2018. Get a Waterfall and Pond Makeover!

Pond Town ChristmasNothing looks more spectacular than the reflections of light on the surface of water. The photo above is from “Pond Town Christmas” in Salem City, Utah. 

It’s Amazing How Water can Transform an Environment

A cool oasis of waterfalls, babbling brooks and a beautiful pond is the perfect place to melt the stress and cares away. Just adding a new waterfall or some extra pond lights can really make a difference in your garden ambiance. 

You may already have some ideas for taking your landscape to the next level but if you need some just let us know. We have tons of ideas for bringing the brilliance of water into  backyard gardens.

Now is the perfect time for a makeover with New Year Special Pricing on all pond or waterfall makeovers scheduled through January 31, 2018.

Waterfall and Pond Makeover Special

  • Landscape design consultation
  • Waterfall rebuilds and new waterfall designs
  • Accent rock adjustments, landscape restorations and redesigns
  • Check and fix leaks in the pond liner
  • Concrete pond repair
  • Pond expansions
  • Water feature upgrades
  • Filtration system and pump upgrades
  • Pond plant maintenance and transplanting
  • Submersible lighting system redesign and installation

Call us at 310-915-6600 to schedule a pond makeover today.

Posted in Offers and Specials, Ponds and Waterfalls | Comments Off on Take Your Landscaping to the Next Level in 2018. Get a Waterfall and Pond Makeover!

Watch An Epic Koi Pond Build for Celebrity YouTuber Logan Paul

We recently spent the day with Greg Wittstock, The Aquascape Pond Guy where we learned more about his custom Koi Pond Build for popular video blogger and YouTube celebrity Logan Paul. Logan Paul is a celebrity vlogger and social media star, and you can visit Logan’s YouTube channel here.

Greg’s Koi pond build for Logan includes an Aquascape ecosystem pond design which is set in the back near the office where Logan works. From the side yard, an elaborate series of waterfalls all drop into a stream which meanders and flows under a garden bridge and then down into the Koi pond below.

The pond is 24” in depth and is completely covered in rocks and gravel to give the pond a very natural look and feel. Finally, at the end of the pond are a dramatic set of three large fountain urns resting in the water near the patio. This fountain focal point is a great example of mixing man-made water features into a natural water environment.

“Nothing transforms an environment the way water does. A water garden can now be an affordable, low-maintenance water feature that provides an enormous return in enjoyment,” says Greg. “Water gardens and ponds today are all about beauty, plants, fish and a relaxing natural lifestyle.”

We are your source for pond and waterfall landscaping in Southern California.
Call us at 310-915-6600 to schedule a design consultation today.

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Have Recent Winds Made a Mess of Your Pond? Our Pond Clean-out Will Have it Looking Like New Again.

Is your pond dirty and full of leaves after the recent storms?  After our comprehensive pond clean-out, your pond will look sparkling new just in time for the holidays!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of our Winter Clean-out Special Pricing through December 31, 2017 on all pond clean-outs.

Pond Clean-Out Winter Special:

  • Remove your fish to holding tanks
  • Flush and power wash your pond
  • Remove all sticks, leaves and debris
  • Check for leaks in the pond liner
  • Clean the filters
  • Check the lights and light fixtures
  • Cut back plants
  • Refill the pond
  • Acclimate and reintroduce your fish back into their brand new clean home.

Call us at 310-915-6600 to schedule a clean-out today.

Posted in Offers and Specials, Ponds and Waterfalls | Comments Off on Have Recent Winds Made a Mess of Your Pond? Our Pond Clean-out Will Have it Looking Like New Again.

Adding Waterfall and Pond Lights to Illuminate Your Garden

Waterfall Pond Lighting

People may not know it, but landscape lighting technology has come a long way since the old days of bulky energy-hogging fixtures and is now very energy efficient using LED systems. Adding new LED pond lights and waterfall lights will bring beauty to your garden landscape at night and is simple to install and easy to operate.Remember Less is More

Remember Less is More

When adding waterfall and pond lights remember the saying “less is more,” and that the eye is naturally drawn to the contrast between light and dark. It does not take many lights to create a stunning effect in illuminating your pond and waterfall.

Identifying Your Focal Points

The first step in adding outdoor lighting to your pond and waterfall is to identify the focal points. These focal points will typically be the main waterfalls and perhaps some of the pond and surrounding plants. Other focal points can include a spot light on a tree, a piece of garden art or the garden walkways and planters.

Add Secondary Lighting

Once you have decided on your primary focal points you will want to connect them together with secondary lighting. We use secondary lighting to illuminate the dark areas between the focal points and create cohesion throughout the garden landscape. Used effectively, it is this secondary lighting that often creates a stunning nighttime garden ambience.

Decide on Pond Lighting Wattage and Transformer Location

When you are deciding on your pond wattage it is important to remember the lower the better. We use a larger number of fixtures with a lower wattage when designing our pond and waterfall waterscape. One thing to keep in mind is the placement of the transformer as it can be a bit of an eyesore. Plan to have about a foot minimum clearance on all sides as this will help keep moisture from the transformer. Also, all wires entering the transformer should be placed into conduit to protect them from damage.

Adding waterfall and pond lights can create a stunning landscape when it is done properly, transforming your nighttime garden into a beautiful landscape of painted lights.

We Can Help You Build The Backyard of Your Dreams

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your backyard waterfall and pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

backyard waterfalls

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any waterfall installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Posted in Building Backyard Waterfalls | Comments Off on Adding Waterfall and Pond Lights to Illuminate Your Garden

Turn Your Garden Pond into a Festival of Lights


If you have ever had guests over and entertained in your backyard at night, you know that patio lighting is an important factor. Decorative lights are important in helping people find walkways and paths to patio areas and a pond light is a beautiful focal point. But don’t stop there.

Your entire garden, including your waterfall and pond, can be illuminated in different colors to showcase your beautiful garden at night. Just remember that illuminating a landscape at night is all about creating a mood and an atmosphere that turns your garden pond into something magical.

Low volt LED lighting systems are very popular for garden and pond lights and have an extremely long life lasting up to 100,000 hours. They are also very durable to weather and moisture and often have the ability to change colors or be dimmed depending upon your taste.

Want some inspiration for your garden pond lighting? Take a look at the TSB Bank Festival of Lights which runs from mid-December to late January every year in Pukekura Park, one of New Zealand’s premier botanical gardens. The garden and pond lighting is truly spectacular and shows you really how magical a garden can become at night.

backyard waterfalls

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any waterfall installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About Sierra Pacific Design

We are proud to offer our clients unique and artistic backyard garden ponds and waterfalls that seamlessly blend into your garden environment. Our services include designing waterfalls, building Koi ponds and fish ponds, installing pondless waterfalls, and building garden ponds and streams. All of our designs are completely unique and utilize natural materials for their creation. We believe that interacting with nature on a daily basis promotes health, happiness and peace in our client’s lives.

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How to Build a Waterfall That Looks Natural

Build a WaterfallIn our last article “The Art of Building Backyard Waterfalls” we discussed important factors you need to think about before you start to build a waterfall. We also talked about the most important factor which is the height, width, and depth of the waterfall design. Make sure to review these important factors before you start to build a waterfall by yourself! Once you are ready, let’s jump and discuss factors that need to be considered when you build a waterfall.

Decide on Your Boulder Size

The size of your boulders is very important. If you use boulders that are too small, your waterfall will look like water flowing over small pebbles. Typically the larger the boulders and spillways, the more dramatic the waterfall looks. For example, a small 2-foot waterfall should incorporate at least two large 2-3 foot sized boulders while a 4-foot waterfall should use at least three boulders of that size or larger.

Decide on Your Water Pump Size

You might not think about it but a waterfall can often have too much water flowing over rocks. A large pump can create excessive water flow, noise, and splashing which can take away from the peaceful aesthetics of a natural waterfall. We always build a waterfall that is pleasant and meanders over rocks and spillways in a calm and peaceful manner. You do not need a mini Niagara Falls in order to make your backyard waterfall more dramatic! Remember, the larger the boulders and the wider your spillways, the higher the volume of water that will be needed in order to create a natural waterfall effect.

Decide on Either a Slope or Retaining Wall

The back of your waterfall will need either a slope or a retaining wall to ground it. Typically you should only use a retaining wall if space is limited or if the wall is part of your landscape design. When you have a slope behind your waterfall you create room for additional garden landscaping opportunities which will make your waterfall look more natural. It’s important to remember to landscape these slopes to in order to prevent erosion and also create water run-off paths to channel and drain rainwater when it is raining.

Design Landscaping That Looks Natural

Build a WaterfallTo build a natural looking waterfall we often install plants that will grow over the edges of the waterfall and in between the waterfall’s rocks and boulders just like what you see in nature. You can use regular plants around the waterfall and then use aquatic plants within the waterfall catch-pools. If you have a taller waterfall with a retaining wall behind it, then you will absolutely want to use a mixture of large regular and aquatic plants in and around your waterfall which will help hide the retaining wall. Let your plants grow out and get unruly. The wilder the plants look, the more natural your waterfall will look.

Don’t Forget Waterfall Lighting

Lighting is the secret ingredient for building a waterfall. Waterfalls always look great during the day, but at night a well-lit waterfall with lighting effects creates a gorgeous image of dancing reflections of light across the rocks and surrounding landscape. Lighting design requires a little bit of talent as you need to decide on the number of lights and where they will be placed. Think about lighting up every cascade of water over the spillway and make sure that the lighting fixture is completely submerged and has at least three inches of water above it.

Underwater lighting magnifies the effect of dancing light and shadows across the rocks and surrounding plants. When you think about it, we often work during the day and it is only in the evenings that we can appreciate our backyard waterfall, so lighting is a very important aesthetic factor! We recommend LED underwater lights as these lights use less energy and can project a variety of colors depending on your preference.

Building a waterfall is not easy, but the reward of enjoying the sights and sounds of a beautiful well-lit waterfall in the evening is unforgettable.

We Can Build A Waterfall For Less Than You Think

You will be surprised at how affordable it is for us to build a waterfall for you.

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your backyard waterfall and pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

backyard waterfalls

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any waterfall installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Posted in Building Backyard Waterfalls | Comments Off on How to Build a Waterfall That Looks Natural

The Art of Building Backyard Waterfalls

Backyard Waterfalls LAWhen looking at backyard waterfalls built by hand, we have all seen those “WOW” waterfalls that take our breath away with their beauty and we have also seen those “what were they thinking” waterfall designs that look unnatural and just plain ugly. So what exactly are the design and landscaping secrets that we use to make beautiful, natural looking backyard waterfalls?

 

Step 1: Think About the Flow of Water

When building a backyard waterfall and pond it’s important to ask yourself “how will the water flow” at every step in the design process. Boulders and rocks should be placed in a way that you know exactly how the water will cascade off of the upper boulders and down to the rocks below. Going through this process of thinking how the water will flow off of spillways and the path it will take flowing through the rocks below is essential for designing a beautiful backyard waterfall.

Although this all may sound easy, there are some important factors to consider before you start:

  • How tall, wide and deep do you want your waterfall?
  • How many spillways will you have?
  • How big are your boulders?
  • What is your pump size?
  • Do you have a natural slope or retaining wall?
  • Where will your waterfall be placed for easy viewing?
  • How will you place your lights?

Remember, all of these items need to be decided before you start building a backyard waterfall as they all relate to one another. As you can see, designing a waterfall requires some initial planning, but these steps are critical to building a waterfall that looks aesthetically pleasing natural water feature.

Step 2: Consider Your Waterfall Dimensions Carefully

Waterfall dimensions are an important factor to designing a waterfall as the height and flow of water need to be appropriate for the pond and pump. A tall 5-foot waterfall just does not look that great flowing into a small 6 by 8-foot pond. The waterfall must be in proportion to the side slopes on either side of the waterfall. If the waterfall is too high in relationship to the side slopes, your backyard waterfall will look like a pyramid or narrow hill and will end up looking unnatural.

Of course, the size of the waterfall should also be proportional to the pond below. Typically a small waterfall flows into a medium sized pond and a large waterfall should have a larger sized pond. If you are not interested in installing a pond, you can also consider a pondless waterfall which simply recirculates the water back up to the waterfall spillway.

The depth of your backyard waterfall is another important factor. The waterfall depth determines how many cascades of water over spillways and large rocks that you are able to achieve. In general, the greater the distance from the top spillway to the pond or pondless basin, the more cascades, water direction changes and catch-pools can be incorporated into your waterfall design.

Want to learn more about building backyard waterfalls? See part 2 of this article “How to Build a Waterfall”.

A Backyard Waterfall Costs Less Than You Think

You will be surprised at how affordable a backyard waterfall and pond can be.

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your backyard waterfall and pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

backyard waterfalls

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any waterfall installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Posted in Building Backyard Waterfalls | Comments Off on The Art of Building Backyard Waterfalls

How to Build a Waterfall That Looks Natural

Build a WaterfallIn our last article “The Art of Building Backyard Waterfalls” we discussed important factors you need to think about before you start to build a waterfall. We also talked about the most important factor which is the height, width, and depth of the waterfall design. Make sure to review these important factors before you start to build a waterfall by yourself! Once you are ready, let’s jump and discuss more decisions that need to be made when you build a waterfall.

Decide on Your Boulder Size

The size of your boulders is very important. If you use boulders that are too small, your waterfall will look like water flowing over small pebbles. Typically the larger the boulders and spillways, the more dramatic the waterfall looks. For example, a small 2-foot waterfall should incorporate at least two large 2-3 foot sized boulders while a 4-foot waterfall should use at least three boulders of that size or larger.

Decide on Your Water Pump Size

You might not think about it but a waterfall can often have too much water flowing over rocks. A large pump can create excessive water flow, noise, and splashing which can take away from the peaceful aesthetics of a natural waterfall. We always build a waterfall that is pleasant and meanders over rocks and spillways in a calm and peaceful manner. You do not need a mini Niagara Falls in order to make your backyard waterfall more dramatic! Remember, the larger the boulders and the wider your spillways, the higher the volume of water that will be needed in order to create a natural waterfall effect.

Decide on Either a Slope or Retaining Wall

The back of your waterfall will need either a slope or a retaining wall to ground it. Typically you should only use a retaining wall if space is limited or if the wall is part of your landscape design. When you have a slope behind your waterfall you create room for additional garden landscaping opportunities which will make your waterfall look more natural. It’s important to remember to landscape these slopes to in order to prevent erosion and also create water run-off paths to channel and drain rainwater when it is raining.

Using Landscaping to Build a Waterfall That Looks Natural

Build a WaterfallTo build a natural looking waterfall we often install plants that will grow over the edges of the waterfall and in between the waterfall’s rocks and boulders just like what you see in nature. You can use regular plants around the waterfall and then use aquatic plants within the waterfall catch-pools. If you have a taller waterfall with a retaining wall behind it, then you will absolutely want to use a mixture of large regular and aquatic plants in and around your waterfall which will help hide the retaining wall. Let your plants grow out and get unruly. The wilder the plants look, the more natural your waterfall will look.

Don’t Forget Waterfall Lighting

Lighting is the secret ingredient for building a waterfall. Waterfalls always look great during the day, but at night a well-lit waterfall with lighting effects creates a gorgeous image of dancing reflections of light across the rocks and surrounding landscape. Lighting design requires a little bit of talent as you need to decide on the number of lights and where they will be placed. Think about lighting up every cascade of water over the spillway and make sure that the lighting fixture is completely submerged and has at least three inches of water above it.

Underwater lighting magnifies the effect of dancing light and shadows across the rocks and surrounding plants. When you think about it, we often work during the day and it is only in the evenings that we can appreciate our backyard waterfall, so lighting is a very important aesthetic factor! We recommend LED underwater lights as these lights use less energy and can project a variety of colors depending on your preference.

Building a waterfall is not easy, but the reward of enjoying the sights and sounds of a beautiful well-lit waterfall in the evening is unforgettable.

We Can Build A Waterfall For Less Than You Think

You will be surprised at how affordable it is for us to build a waterfall for you.

If you are interested in taking your backyard landscaping to the next level, contact us today at (310) 915-6600 for a complimentary site survey and estimate. We guarantee that your backyard waterfall and pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

backyard waterfalls

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any waterfall installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Posted in Building Backyard Waterfalls | Comments Off on How to Build a Waterfall That Looks Natural