Ideas For Garden Water Features

Do you want to make a big impact with your garden this year? One of the best ways to bring nature into your garden is by installing a water feature. A waterfall, stream or beautiful Koi pond is the perfect way to bring the sights and sounds of water into your garden landscape. Plus, when done right, a water feature will improve your property value as well as become an enjoyable, long-lasting focal point in your garden.

When thinking about a garden water feature, some people naturally consider installing a prefabricated fountain or DIY pond. Yet, while there are many styles of ready-made fountains and ponds on the market, they can sometimes look odd or out of place in a natural environment.

Water Features That Enhance The Natural Surroundings

We believe that the best option for designing a water feature in your garden is to actually construct the water feature right into the garden landscape. This means that the waterfall, stream or pond is carved into the landscape in a way that enhances your garden while living in harmony with the surrounding landscape.

Water Feature Design Examples

From gushing waterfalls to trickling streams and beautiful koi ponds, here are some great ideas for garden water features.

Pool and Patio Water Features

Another technique for bringing water into your garden landscape is to consider integrating a water feature into an existing swimming pool, patio or home architecture element. In this way, the natural beauty of water flows seamlessly into the man-made components of the outdoor space. The goal is to integrate the water feature in a way that feels completely natural and harmonious with the surrounding garden elements.

Pool Water Feature

Risk-Free Water Feature Consultations

We know that you will be astounded at the difference that a water feature can bring but we also know that it can be challenging to envision the end result. That’s why we offer completely risk-free consultations where we learn more about your environment and provide you with ideas for bringing the beauty of water into your garden landscape.

A Custom Water Feature Costs Less Than You Think

Contact us today at (310) 915-6600 to learn how water can transform your garden landscape into a tranquil and beautiful oasis.

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 and receive $200.00 worth of free plants with any pond or waterfall installation.
  • 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 water features 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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Create a Garden Oasis with Outdoor Water Features

Introduce the sight, sound, and beauty of flowing water into your garden landscape with outdoor water features. Whether it is a rambling stream leading to a gushing waterfall, a tranquil fish pond with water plants or a custom water feature, introducing flowing water into a garden can truly transform your landscape in ways that you cannot imagine. With an outdoor water feature, the gentle sounds of running water have an instant soothing effect on the mind, body, and spirit.

Natural Water Features That Enhance Your Garden Landscape

When building our water features we strive to integrate the beauty of water into your garden as naturally as possible. The result is always a pleasing transformation that provides a focal point in your garden landscape that does not necessarily stand out by looking artificial or unnatural. We also design custom wall water features and pool water features that integrate the element of water into man-made garden elements.

Risk-Free Water Feature Design Consultations

We know that you will be amazed at the difference that water brings to a garden environment, but we also know that it can be challenging to imagine exactly how a water feature will look in your garden landscape. That’s why we offer risk-free consultations so that you can get ideas and learn more about how water can transform your landscape into a beautiful garden oasis.

Building Perfect Outdoor Water Features

Your project will start with a complimentary consultation with Los Angeles’ #1 Aquascape Pond, Jamie Schevers, who will discuss your vision and provide different water feature ideas for your consideration. Jamie will show you examples of past projects and plot out the proposed water features in your garden landscape so that you will be able to envision how the finished water feature will look.

Jamie will even design underwater lights and above ground lighting so that your water feature becomes a brilliant garden focal point after dark. Finally, as a certified Aquascape waterfall and pond builder, we only use high quality, durable Aquascape products so that you can rest assured that your outdoor water feature will stand the test of time.

What types of water features do you envision for your garden?

We want to hear from you! Contact us today at (310) 915-6600 to talk with one of our water feature landscaping professionals.

tips-for-building-garden-ponds-and-waterfalls



About Sierra Pacific Design

We are proud to offer our clients unique and artistic water features 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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The Beautiful Ponds and Waterfalls in LA at the Huntington Library

Japanese Garden PondThere are many beautiful ponds and waterfalls in LA, but if you want to see some of the prettiest Koi ponds and waterfalls all in one place then look no further than the gorgeous botanical gardens at the Huntington Library. The Huntington Library gardens include approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical gardens including a “Japanese Garden”, a “Jungle Garden,” a “Desert Garden”, a “Rose Garden” and a “Chinese Garden.”

If you are looking for inspiration for a backyard garden pond and waterfall design, you will find this and much more at the Huntington Library gardens.

Huntington Library Garden Pond and Waterfall Highlights

The tropical Jungle Garden features a high forest canopy of trees, shrubs, climbing vines as well as ferns, palms and bamboos. The highlight of the Jungle Garden is a beautiful waterfall which adds the tranquil sounds of water to complete the tropical setting.

The Japanese Garden was opened to the public in 1928 and features a gigantic drum or moon bridge that sits astride a beautiful Japanese Koi pond and waterfall. There is also a tranquil zen garden and an authentic ceremonial teahouse to explore. The Japanese Garden covers over 9 acres and is one of America’s oldest and most elaborate Japanese Gardens.

The Chinese Garden is a relatively new addition and development was dedicated in 2008. The garden is the largest Chinese Garden outside of China and features unique rock and stone formations brought to the US directly from China. The Chinese Garden features lakes, ponds, waterfalls, a tea house and beautiful gardens to explore. It is sometimes said that a Chinese Garden is like a scrolling painting which presents a selection of carefully composed scenes. As you wander down the various paths of this garden you will truly be amazed at the beautiful scenery and vistas that abound.

The Huntington Library is also home to a variety of fine art which is displayed in the Huntington Art Gallery and Virginia Steele Scott Gallery of American Art. The galleries feature a combination of European art and American art as well as a collection of stained glass, textiles, embroidery ceramics, woodblock prints and much more.

With so many things to see and do, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to wander the art galleries and beautiful gardens. Visit the Huntington Library website for more information on planning your trip.

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Happy Holidays! Pond Maintenance Winter Special

frozen-winter-waterfallHappy Holidays from everyone a Sierra Pacific Design. We hope your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter through the New Year.

Jamie and the team,
Sierra Pacific Design Ponds and Waterfalls

Winter Specials


Pond Maintenance Special

Our complete pond maintenance service includes:

  • 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
  • Replace skimmer bolts and biological filter bolts with stainless steel bolts
  • 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 (310) 915-6600 for more details


Pond Renovation Winter Pricing

Pond renovations and makeovers can include:

  • Landscape design consultation
  • Waterfall rebuilds and new waterfall designs
  • Accent rock adjustments, 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 (310) 915-6600 for more details

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6 Tips for Fall Pond Maintenance

pond-maintenanceThe leaves start to change colors, the weather gets colder and before we know it Fall is here. And while we typically have mild winters in Southern California compared to the rest of the nation, it’s important that we take some steps to ensure that we will have a healthy fish pond come springtime.

Here are 6 tips for fall pond maintenance:

1.  Install Netting to Catch Falling Leaves

If your pond is underneath a tree or located near trees you can make your cleaning efforts easier by installing netting over your pond in order to catch falling leaves. Make sure the netting is above your pond surface.

2. Clean Out Your Skimmer

If you decide not to use netting then make sure that you clean your skimmer basket and empty it out daily. You will need to clean your skimmer basket more often at this time of year anyway.

3. Remove Debris

An increase in decaying leaves and shrubs can produce toxic gases and change the water balance in your fish pond over time so it’s important to remove as much leaves and debris as possible.

4. Clean the Pond Bottom

Use a long handled pond net to clean the pond bottom of debris. Be gentle as you do not want to puncture your pond lining.

5. Check the Water Balance

A higher level of leaves and debris at this time of the year can affect your water balance. Make sure to test your oxygen, ammonia and nitrite levels. Doing a partial water change will also give your fish a cleaner environment over the winter. Don’t forget to use a water conditioner if your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines.

6. Trim Back Plants

Fall is a great time to divide and re-pot plants. Hardy plants can be pruned and you can trim back your aquatic plants, water lilies and stems to 2-3” above the base of the plant to keep dead foliage from decomposing into your pond.

Need some help with your pond maintenance?

With our complete cleaning service we will remove your fish to holding tanks, drain and power wash your pond, remove all sticks, leaves and debris, clean the filters, check the lighting, cut back plants and start the filling process.  When there is enough water in the pond we will acclimate and reintroduce your fish back into their brand new clean home.

Contact us for pond maintenance service:

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Fall Fish Pond Clean-out Checklist

Fish Pond Cleanout

Fall is here and it’s a good time to think about doing a fish pond clean-out to prepare you fish for the winter months ahead. The process is fairly simple and can usually be done in one day but be prepared because it’s a messy and smelly job.

If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, just let us know and we will come out and do it for you. Call us at: 310-915-6600 or email ginger@sierrapacificdesign.com to schedule a Fall pond clean-out today.

Fall Fish Pond Clean-out Checklist

Fall represents a unique time of year when your pond can undergo dramatic changes in water temperature and water balance due to the change in weather and falling leaves and decaying plants.  Our Fall pond clean-out checklist will help you through the steps and if you need any assistance just give us a call.

Items you will need:

  • Buckets or containers to hold your fish
  • 26 feet of 1 ½” to 2” discharge hose
  • A high pressure nozzle for your garden hose or a pressure washer with 1500-2500 psi
  • Garden shears for trimming plants around the pond
  • Trash bin to collect leaves and debris
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wading boots

Pond Clean-out Steps

  • Drain the pond
    • Drain 1/3 to ½ of the pond water to remove contaminants and improve water conditions. Use the drained pond water to fill up your fish holding buckets
  • Catch and remove your fish
    • Transfer your fish into your temporary holding buckets
  • Remove debris
    • Remove leaves and debris and twigs from the pond basin by hand in order to protect your pond liner from tears
  • Prune plants
    • Trim back your water plants and prune dead stems to prevent decay. Water lily leaves and blooms should be clipped at the container and discarded. If your pond is near large trees you can consider hanging netting over your pond to catch the falling leaves.
  • Wash the pond basin
    • Wash the pond basin and rinse down and remove debris from rocks and gravel.
  • Clean the filters
    • Clean out the skimmer box and filters per the pump manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Refill the pond
    • Add in fresh water from your garden hose
  • De-chlorinate the water
    • Most city water contains chlorine and chloramines and should be dechlorinated before your fish are adding back into the new water.
  • Acclimate the fish
    • A pond clean-out can be stressful for fish. Slowly acclimate your pond fish to the new water temperature taking the fish holding buckets and floating them in the new pond water for approximately 15 minutes. Now dump some of the water from the holding container and replace it with the new pond water. Do this several times to allow your koi to get used to the new water. Once they are acclimated you can release your fish into their new clean and fresh environment.
  • Add beneficial bacteria
    • Condition your pond with bacterial additives specially formulated to work in cooler water temperatures.

Schedule A Pond Clean-out Today

Want to avoid the hassle of cleaning out your pond yourself? Let us do the work for you.
Call us at 310-915-6600 or use the form below to schedule a pond clean-out.

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Koi Pond Cleanout

Koi Fish and Colder Water

Some additional notes regarding water temperature. When water temperatures drop below 70°F, begin mixing your Koi fish diet with easy to digest wheat germ food.  At below 60°F, you should switch to wheat germ food completely.

Spending a little time now will save you a great deal of time and effort in the Spring and your fish and plants will appreciate it.

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Building a Koi Pond with Water Features

Koi Pond with Water FeaturesBy Julie Ershadi

It is known that water features with flowing water, or water cascading down rocks in a small waterfall, has a calm soothing effect on people. Looking out over a body of water has a similar effect. Sitting in your backyard, looking at a Koi pond with water features and listening to the sound of water, drink in hand—what could be better?

When a close friend of mine moved to Southern California years ago and found a house near the base of some rolling hills, she knew she’d found her castle. Not only was the location cozy, but the home’s backyard contained something she’d thought she’d left behind in her Midwestern hometown: a Koi pond.

When the Koi pond was built in 1964, the water features techniques were quite different from those in modern usage. At that time, the standard was to dig a depression, pour concrete over it, and build a tall waterfall. The waterfall would provide circulation, but also the all-important sound of flowing water that all water features must have.

Unfortunately, the concrete, chosen then for its stability, is what spelled the Koi pond’s doom. While it is long lasting, concrete is also very rigid. Over time, roots from my friend’s adjacent banana palms and birds of paradise pressed into the pond’s concrete lining, putting small cracks in it.

These cracks grew into massive fissures and water began to leak, first in a trickle and then in large amounts. When the Koi fish started dying, my friend gave up on the Koi pond because she couldn’t afford to retrofit it. For the next twenty years, the onetime selling point of the property, it’s beautiful water features, sat unused, having become its biggest eyesore.

More recently, her circumstances changed. She decided to see about fixing her Koi pond, which bothered her every time she saw it. She contacted Pro Ponds West in Sun Valley, a distributor of Aquascape pond supplies. Chad Morrill, the owner, referred her to Sierra Pacific Design Ponds and Waterfalls of Los Angeles.

Building a Koi Pond

When Morrill arrived with the Sierra Pacific Design crew, he assessed the Koi pond site. By his judgement, it was a time capsule of do-it-yourself pond design from the 1960s. The previous owners had built the pond using rocks and other natural objects they’d found in their world travels, for a truly unusual look. He reassured his hopeful client that the barren concrete ditch would soon be home once more to Koi fish, frogs and dragonflies.

“This thing is bitchin’,” he said, when he took a look at the old waterfall water feature. It was formed by a redwood tree root placed atop rocks, decorated by seashell fossils and unusual colorations. My friend’s spirits rose with Morrill’s enthusiasm for the project. She told him that she, too, liked the original water feature design; she just wanted it refreshed and revitalized.

They decided to keep the old waterfall as a unique sculpture behind the Koi pond and build a new waterfall water feature tucked between the birds of paradise and banana palms. This waterfall would be shorter than the old one for a more controlled spillway. Water would flow from a polyethylene biological filtering basin. Called the biofall, it keeps algae growth in check by populating the water with beneficial bacteria.

Water Features LA

Morrill and the Sierra Pacific Design team kept the same crescent shape of the original Koi pond, but expanded the dimensions from about five-feet-by-ten to seven-feet-by eleven. He planned to put “Koi fish garages” on the bottom of the pond, large flagstone rocks with crevices. The koi could use them to hide if a predator came sniffing around the surface. Morrill also included a small batch of bog plants to go directly in the water, and planted flowers around the pond’s edge for color.

Once the water feature design was finalized, the crew of three men got to work. Their first task was to take apart the old Koi pond. Using a sledgehammer and an electric jackhammer to demolish the concrete took up a good portion of the first day of work. They then built up the waterfall’s height using excavated soil.

Once the broken concrete was all hauled out, they went back to the open hole and leveled off the base of the pond to 26 inches at its deepest. Around the inside perimeter of the Koi pond, they elevated the depth to 15 inches by compacting soil into a step. Their purpose was to give the pond a natural, varied look, rather than a uniform depth the whole way around. That was all in the first day.

On the second day, the foreman double-checked the levels. When everything looked right, he and his team began putting together the new pond. They installed new plumbing and placed a skimmer box opposite the waterfall. Inside the skimmer box, a rigid debris basket and filtration mat collects solids such as leaves, soil, and twigs that find their way into the Koi pond.

Also in the box, a 1/5 horsepower pump draws the water in at a rate of 3,000 gallons per hour. The water is filtered as it passes through the skimmer and into the underground piping, which in turn carries the water back to the biofall. This way, the water is cleaned and aerated for a clear appearance and a desirable pH balance, and rendered fit for fish and other aquatic life.

Next, they placed an underlayment to stabilize the area and protect the liner from sharp objects possibly poking out of the soil. Then came the liner itself, a black EPDM rubber sheet that was, if nothing else, a far cry from the thick, grainy concrete that once formed the base of the Koi pond. A layer of gravel over the liner formed the bottom of the pond, while larger rocks covered the vertical walls and piled up above the intended water level, to create a natural-looking border around the pond.

Koi Pond LA

Four spotlights also went in, three under the 15-inch step and one angled to illuminate the waterfall at night. The crew stabilized the edges of the pond with more rocks, soil and gravel and placed plants around that. In two days of hard, fast work, they had transformed an empty eyesore into a vibrant pond and waterfall water feature.

The crew completed construction before my friend’s workday was over. When she came home, the sound of running water coming from the backyard Koi pond reached her in the driveway. She opened the gate and walked up to the pond in awe. At the sight of a beautiful, natural water feature to call her own, she was overwhelmed with emotion.

Before long, hummingbirds and turtle doves became frequent visitors to the pond and water features. She soon acquired four new Koi fish and now dotes on them as pets. My friend says that the enjoyment she’s received from this revitalized miniature ecosystem is worth multitudes more than the money that went into it. Over the gentle splash of her new waterfall, my friend wonders aloud why she didn’t do it sooner.

When you are building a Koi pond, you not only derive benefit and enjoyment from it, you are effectively creating a habitat for small birds and animals. Moreover, a Koi pond uses a finite amount of water to create an attractive, relaxing environment for humans as well. The ecological benefit is appealing to many property owners who are painfully aware of water restrictions and disappearing ecosystems alike.

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Get Free Trees in Los Angeles

Free Trees Los Angeles

Did you know you can get free trees in Los Angeles? That’s right, An organization called City Plants has partnered with the city of Los Angeles and the LADWP to provide free fruit trees and shade trees to help reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

How Many Free Trees Can I Get?

If you live or own property with in Los Angeles the city of Los Angeles you are eligible to receive up to 7 free shade trees from City Plants for business or residential addresses. They will even deliver the trees to your home along with stakes, ties and fertilizer pellets. What a deal!

Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Limit one adopted tree per property address. What are you waiting for? You can apply right here.

Visit the City Plants website for more information.

Plant a Tree!

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Custom Water Features for Los Angeles

Have you ever thought about adding a water feature to your residential landscape? Sierra Pacific Design is the most trusted name for the design and construction of custom water features in Los Angeles. Whether you are looking for a beautiful Koi pond that brings life to your garden, or a custom waterfall that introduces the calming sounds of running water, Sierra Pacific Design will transform your garden into a tranquil garden paradise.

As we like to say, if you can imagine it, we can create it.

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Beautiful Koi Pond Design

Watch as the Aquascape team create a beautiful Koi pond design for homeowners Amber and Larry Payne. The level of beauty in this Koi pond design shows you what can be achieved by a certified Aquascape Koi pond designer who perfectly integrates a Koi pond organically into the existing garden landscape.

In this video you can clearly see how the placement and size of the Koi pond design in relation to the backyard home and patio area are very important. The waterfall flows through a meandering stream directly to the Koi pond which is situated right next to the patio area. This allows the family and guests to enjoy the Koi pond both from the patio area and from the family room. In fact, the family even installed an underwater Koi fish camera so that they can see their Koi fish from the TV in the living room. The television becomes a gigantic aquarium screen showing off their beautiful Koi fish. How cool is that?!

When you work with certified Aquascape specialists, you can rest assured that you are working with true landscape professionals that are dedicated to creating a Koi pond design that truly brings your backyard to life with magical Koi fish, chirping birds and all of the other natural wildlife that a Koi pond attracts. Add a dramatic waterfall feature to your Koi pond and your backyard will be transformed into a paradise beyond your wildest imagination!

Feel free to contacts us for more information on Koi pond design. We are happy to provide a no obligation consultation on your Koi pond design and waterfall installation project.

koi pond design

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any 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 and receive $200.00 worth of free plants with any pond or waterfall installation.
  • 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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