The Fascinating History Of Water Features And Their Role In Landscaping

In the past, water features were not just a way to add beauty to your home or garden, but also a way of life. Ancient civilizations used water as part of their everyday life and it was often considered sacred. Water gardens were common throughout history, with many cultures using them for therapeutic reasons.

Landscape Design: Water Features – YouTube
Water features can add a unique focal point to any outdoor space.
Running water can help improve air quality and promote relaxation and stress relief.
There are many different types of water features to choose from, including fountains, ponds, and waterfalls.
Incorporating a water feature into your landscaping can have a positive impact on the environment by creating habitats for wildlife and conserving water.
Working with a professional landscaper or water feature installer can help ensure that your installation and maintenance are done safely and effectively.

Ancient Civilizations

Water features are a natural way to bring nature into your home and garden. They can be used to create a peaceful environment that is conducive for meditation and spiritual reflection, as well as being beautiful additions to any backyard or front yard landscaping.

Ancient civilizations have been using water features for thousands of years; ancient cultures like the Chinese and Egyptians built elaborate fountains in their courtyards and gardens as part of their daily lives. 

These fountains were used for many purposes: as sources of fresh drinking water, as decorative pieces in gardens or courtyards (and sometimes even indoors), and even for religious ceremonies such as baptisms!

A water feature in your home can provide many more benefits than just aesthetic appeal. Did you know that running water can help improve your air quality? Learn more about this and other benefits of having a water feature in your home by checking out our guide on 10 Surprising Benefits of Having a Water Feature.

Water Features Throughout History

Water features have been a part of gardens and landscaping since the dawn of time. In ancient civilizations, they were used for religious purposes and as a way to bring prosperity to the people who lived there. 

In medieval times, they were used as sources of drinking water and power for mills. These days, they’re still popular but more often than not serve as aesthetic additions to your home’s landscape design or garden area.

There are dozens upon dozens of different types of water features available today–from fountains that shoot up high into the air like geysers (like those seen at Disneyland) to simple pools filled with koi fish–and each type comes with its own unique benefits:

Water Gardens In India

India has a long history of water features, from the elaborate fountains and ponds found in temples to the simple but effective use of water in gardens. Here are a few examples:

  • The Taj Mahal’s garden has an intricate system of canals and pools that collect rainwater for reuse, which is typical for Indian gardens today.
  • At Meenakshi Temple in Madurai (a city in southern India), there is an underground reservoir that stores water during monsoon season. It’s said that if you drink this sacred water you’ll experience good luck!
  • At Tirumala Venkateswara Temple–one of the most famous temples in all India–you’ll find these beautiful stone steps leading up into heaven where gods live (and where you will be rewarded with moksha).

There’s nothing quite like the sound of running water to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in your outdoor space. Whether you’re looking for a simple fountain or a more elaborate water feature, our guide on Creating a Peaceful Oasis: Water Feature Ideas can help you find the perfect design to suit your needs.

The Influence Of The Romans

The Romans were the first to introduce fountains to Britain, as well as water features in general. They also brought this trend to the western world and even Europe, where they had a significant impact on Spanish culture. 

These ancient people were great builders and artists who left behind many examples of their work that can still be seen today throughout Europe and North America.

LanguageThe Latin language was the foundation of Western languages, and words and phrases from Latin can still be found in many modern languages, such as English and French.
GovernanceThe Roman Republic and Empire were instrumental in the development of Western governance, with systems such as the Senate, the concept of citizenry, and the idea of elected officials.
ArchitectureRoman architecture is noted for its grandiose buildings, such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon, as well as for innovations like the arch and the dome.
Law and justiceThe Romans introduced the notion of a rule of law, with legal codes such as the Twelve Tables and the Corpus Juris Civilis providing a basis for modern Western law.
ArtRoman art spans a wide range of styles and subjects, from realistic portraiture to intricate mosaics and frescoes. Examples include the sculptures of Augustus and the famous frescoes in Pompeii.

The Influence Of Greece And Rome In Rome

Rome was a world power. It had a strong influence on the rest of Europe, and its culture is still felt today. The Romans were influenced by Greek culture, so they were able to develop their own unique style that made them famous throughout history.

Are you looking to transform your backyard into an oasis of tranquility? Adding a water feature can provide a unique focal point that’s both visually stunning and calming. Check out our guide on The Top 10 Water Features to find out which types of features are most popular and see some examples of beautiful designs.

The Influence Of Medieval Times In Europe

In medieval times, the concept of gardening was very different than it is today. Gardens were designed to show off the wealth and power of the landowner by showcasing ornate fountains, statues and other features that would impress visitors. 

These gardens were also functional: they provided shade from hot summer days as well as food for animals on farms that surrounded them.

Because technology wasn’t advanced enough during this period in history (and because labor was cheap), many water features were built using human-powered pumps instead of modern electric ones or even pumps powered by natural sources like gravity or wind power. It wasn’t uncommon for people to build elaborate systems of channels and pools just so they could watch them fill up with water!

ArchitectureMedieval architecture is characterized by elements such as Gothic arches, stained glass windows, and ornate detailing. Examples include the Notre Dame Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
LiteratureMedieval literature is known for its epic poems, such as Beowulf, and its focus on chivalry and courtly love. Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a famous example.
ArtMedieval art is often religious in nature and features intricate detailing, such as illuminated manuscripts and tapestries. The Book of Kells and the Bayeux Tapestry are well-known examples.
ReligionChristianity played a significant role in medieval Europe, with religious figures holding great political and cultural power. The Crusades and the Inquisition were also major events during this time.
EducationUniversities began to emerge during the medieval period, with institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge in England and the University of Paris in France laying the foundations for modern education.

Key Medieval Influences in Europe

This table highlights some of the key cultural and historical influences of the medieval period in Europe. From architecture to literature, religion to education, the medieval era has left an indelible mark on Western civilization and continues to influence our society and culture to this day.

Victorian Times (1800-1900)

The Victorian era was a time of great social change. It was also a time when many technological innovations took place–such as the invention of the telephone and electric light bulb. 

Artistically, this period saw many new styles develop, including impressionism and post-impressionism. Scientifically speaking, it was during this era that Albert Einstein developed his theories on relativity and quantum physics began to flourish. 

Politically speaking (and yes), there was also much going on: Queen Victoria ruled over England for 63 years before her death in 1901; during her reign she oversaw two wars (the Crimean War & Boer War), created national parks throughout Africa & Asia so they could be preserved forever as wildlife sanctuaries without being destroyed by humans…

Incorporating a water feature into your landscaping can do more than just add visual interest – it can also have a positive impact on your environment. From creating a habitat for local wildlife to conserving water, our guide on The Benefits of Incorporating a Water Feature explains how adding water to your landscape can have numerous benefits.

Modern Day Landscaping With Water Features

Water features are a fantastic way to add interest and beauty to your yard. Waterfalls, ponds and fountains can be an integral part of modern landscaping. 

They’re also great for improving the health of your plants and flowers by adding nutrients through evaporation.

Water features have been used in gardens since ancient times but only recently have they become popular again thanks to their many benefits such as:

  • Improving soil quality by providing moisture while also filtering out pollutants from runoff water
  • Creating habitats for wildlife like birds or frogs who will come visit when they hear the sound of running water

Designing the perfect water feature for your outdoor space can be a daunting task, but with the help of our expert tips, you can create a stunning focal point that will enhance your landscape for years to come. Check out our guide on 16 Expert Tips for Designing the Perfect Water Feature to get started on your project.


As you can see, water features have a long and illustrious history. They’ve been used by cultures around the world for thousands of years, and they continue to be popular today. 

In fact, many people still enjoy adding them to their homes and gardens as a way of bringing nature into an urban environment or making their own backyard look more beautiful.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn even more about the fascinating history of water features in landscaping and the benefits they can provide:

Types of Landscape Water Features: This comprehensive guide covers a wide range of water features, from ponds and fountains to waterfalls and streams, with helpful tips for installation and maintenance.

5 Benefits That Water Features Provide to Your Landscape: Looking for even more reasons to add a water feature to your landscape? Check out this article to discover some unexpected benefits, including improved mental health and increased property value.

Fountain: This informative article takes a deep dive into the history and design of fountains, tracing their origins back to ancient Rome and exploring their many different types and styles.


What are water features in landscaping?

Water features in landscaping refer to any type of water element that is intentionally added to a garden or outdoor space, such as ponds, fountains, waterfalls, or streams.

What are the benefits of incorporating water features into your landscape design?

Water features can provide a wide range of benefits, including improved air quality, enhanced relaxation and stress relief, increased property value, and added visual interest and beauty.

What are some popular types of water features?

Some popular types of water features include pondless waterfalls, fountains, koi ponds, and bubbling rocks. The type of feature that’s right for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and the overall design of your outdoor space.

How do you install a water feature?

The installation process for a water feature will depend on the specific type of feature you’re installing, as well as the size and design of your outdoor space. In general, it’s best to work with a professional landscaper or water feature installer to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely.

How do you maintain a water feature?

Regular maintenance is important to keep your water feature functioning properly and looking its best. This might include things like cleaning out debris, balancing the water chemistry, and checking for leaks or other issues. Again, it may be best to hire a professional to handle this maintenance work if you’re not experienced in this area.