Portland's Water Feature Specialists

What do you want from a water feature?

There is no wrong answer. The soothing sound, the cooling effect, fish to feed by hand, a backyard oasis- all yours with a great water feature.

No other landscape element carries the same potential a water feature does. The potential for beauty, for joy- for years to come. 

What type of water feature do you want?

There are many of options for backyard water features. Formal, natural, pondless, bubblers- we have done them all!

We will work with you to design one to fit your life, yard, and budget. All of our water features are built with skill and knowledge that comes from experience. Your finished water feature will be beautiful, reliable, and really work with the rest of your landscaping!

water feature by ross nw watergarden koi pond
tsukubai water feature
SW Alice St Portland Oregon Water Feature
small natural pond portland

Koi Pond Water Features

You can trust Ross NW Watergardens to create a true home for your koi.

We will ensure that your pond is the proper depth and your koi have places to hide. Filtration will keep your pond clean and clear. High efficiency pumps will operate silently and last for years. An autofill valve protects your fish and pumps. And most of all- your koi pond will be beautiful!



This is one of our specialties! These authentic Japanese water features can be a focal point that delights for years. They are generally not large and only produce a trickle of water. This makes them ideal for an entry or small courtyard landscape design.

There are many versions of the tsukubai. For the basin we can use a basalt boulder, granite bowl, or man made pot. The spout can be bamboo, wood, or copper. The surrounding landscaping can be finished many ways.

Have a small area that you want to do something special with? A Japanese hand washing station could be the perfect solution!


Natural Ponds

Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro, Oregon has a large natural pond with a stream and two large falls.

The project was designed by landscape architect Sadafumi Uchiyama. We completely remodeled the water feature and installed all the surrounding landscaping in 2008.

If you have a stream fed pond that needs filtration or isn't as attractive as it could be contact us for a free consultation.


Ross NW Watergardens Builds A Pond (Video)


Water Feature Basics:

Water Feature and Pond Pumps

You shouldn't be able to see your water feature pump- but that doesn't mean any old pump will do. There are two types of pumps that are commonly used in ponds and basins.

The most common is a submersible pump. These pumps sit under the water. The initial cost of a submersible pump is relatively low. Despite this, many contractors will try to save a little money (for themselves) by installing the wrong kind. Pond pumps should always be continuous duty not a sump or garbage pump. A continuous duty pump is designed to run for long stretches of time, they never need to be turned off. A sump pump will not very long running in your pond- though it will probably work long enough to get your landscaper out of his warranty.

The second pump type to consider is an out of pond centrifugal pump. These are similar to pool or hot tub pumps. Centrifugal pumps are very efficient, last a long time, and can move a ton of water. For larger pumps (or large budgets) these are the way to go.


Water Feature Filtration

Some ponds need filtration, others do not. If your pond will be large, have fish, or be maintained without chemicals it needs proper filtration. What is proper filtration?

At a minimum, your water feature should have a skimmer (which has pads/brushes that filter) and a discharge filter. A bottom filter is the next step up and should always be included if you will have fish. Planting pockets in the stream and pond also aid filtration.

All of these offer bio-filtration. That means they provide a home for good bacteria, which filters the water as it passes by. With proper filtration a water feature will stay clear and healthy. What kind of filtration will your contractor install?



Some water features have just one dramatic fall. Others may meander and drop for 20 feet before reaching the pond. Either way, the falls are key to the beauty of your water feature.

Some pond equipment suppliers have promoted a very simple and fast way of building water features. This method calls for using flat pieces of slate to make the falls. This results in a wide, flat, "perfect" fall. Unfortunately, this is extremely unnatural.

The correct way to build a fall is with small boulders- the same stones the rest of the feature is built with. This is the only way to create a gorgeous and natural cascade. Look at examples of a landscaper's work- what kind of stone do they use?


Pond Supplies?

We don't carry them, but do have an Amazon pond supply store that can help you!