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If you are interested in home improvement and want to try a DIY self build project, you can start in your garden. Almost all of us have played around in a garden as children and are very familiar with the regular features of a garden. Plan your garden design well and you will have an excellent family play area that is good for the environment too.

We might have even built canals and miniature waterways to water the plants in our garden. All these activities are quite common and it is quite easy to get started with a construction project in the garden. You can either self build a new feature like a waterfall or pond in the garden or remodel an existing feature to your liking.

Creating a waterfall will be a fun project for the entire family. Children love to participate in the construction as well as play in the waterfall after it is fully completed.

Since waterfalls in nature do not conform to any specific shape or pattern, it is quite easy to artificially landscape a waterfall. There is no right or wrong way to design a waterfall. As long as there is a stream and a difference in height at some point for the water to fall down, it would certainly be a waterfall.

Creating bends and natural features in the stream would add to the fun of building the waterfall. In fact you can also try to mimic a particular fall on a miniature scale from a photograph or a video footage. Of course this would call for more skill and time, but it would sure make it well worth the effort.

Collecting rocks and pebbles to create the waterfall could itself be a great time of fun. A separate hiking trip can be arranged for this very purpose. Even rocks covered with moss and algae can be collected to make the waterfall look even more natural.

The fall can start as a stream at a higher level from one corner of the garden. The stream can be channeled along a particular route by digging a canal around one or two feet deep and pumping water into it. After the stream flows for a few feet at the higher level, it can then drop down a couple of feet and then proceed again as a stream at the lower level. The entire length of the stream at both levels can be landscaped to make it look truly authentic.

Most of the fun lies in experimenting with different ideas to make your creation look like a real miniature waterfall. To conserve water, you can recycle the water in a loop by using a pump that collects the water from the end of the stream at the lower level and then forces it upwards to the beginning of the stream at the higher level.

Fish on water feature in garden

Above: Fish in a pond, a popular and easy to build water feature

Other simpler projects would include a pond or a small lake surrounded by different varieties of plants. You can fill the pond with decorative fish like the Koi which come in a variety of brilliant colors and are a pleasure to watch.

Studies have shown that pets help relieve stress to a large degree. Having animals around the house truly calms the senses and is also good for the eco system. To make the pond spring to life, you can also rig a pump to make a fountain. In fact there are solar powered fountains readily available which would be an energy saving addition to the garden.


As a measure of safety, you could keep the pond quite shallow so that it is safe for the children to play around.

Also, when small children are around, keep the pool covered when not in use. Only let children get in any water feature, even a plastic bowl, when adults are around - not other children.

See our other article on Water features & fountains >