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The advantages of adding a simple reflecting pool to your garden

July 6, 2023

reflective water garden feature
A reflecting pool is a tranquil water feature designed to create a mirror-like reflection. It is commonly found in gardens and parks, adding a sense of serenity and beauty to the surroundings. The stillness of the water and the reflection of the surrounding landscape make it a popular choice for both relaxation and aesthetic purposes. Circular stones create a horizontal garden mirror that will reflect plants, light and sky.

Do you ever want to just feel like a princess?  

When I have those princess-y feelings I generally want people (namely, my kids) to simply stop talking to me so I can sit quietly (like for just for one freaking second already!).

I immediately thought of princesses when I saw these pictures.  

Specifically, fairy-tale princesses (but am I alone in thinking this woman has a distinct Kate Middleton vibe?).

A circular garden water mirror  a reflective surface of still water that creates a mirror-like effect.
A water mirror is a reflective surface of still water that creates a mirror-like effect. It is often used in architectural designs and urban landscapes to enhance aesthetics.

My own princess moments do not require spa treatments or ginormous poofy dresses and tiaras, but rather a straight-up and dirty martini in a sexy bar made with the best vodka and only fresh, hand-stuffed blue cheese green olives will do. Thank you very much.

But I kind of like the idea of a small but simple reflecting pool in my garden. (Even though I’m a realist – you won’t find me talking to it, hoping that my imaginary gay best friend will appear inside and tell me how fabulous I am).

A water feature is next level garden design and a mirror pool like this is one of the easiest ways to add the elegance of glassy water to your garden. This particular design comes with a bonus – no pumps, no deep digging, or even winterizing are required.

A reflecting pool in a garden offers several advantages, both aesthetic and functional. Here are some reasons you might want to have a reflecting pool in your garden:

The hidden reasons you should build a reflecting pool garden:

It will make your space more comfortable.

  • The reflected light, warmth, and tempered temps that water and stone cause can also create a microclimate that might allow you to stretch your planting zone.
  • Small reflecting pools provide a cooling effect. Water features, including reflecting pools, can help cool the surrounding area through evaporation. The presence of water can create a refreshing and cooling effect, especially during hot summer months. A pool can make your garden a more comfortable place to relax and unwind.

It supports other activities.

  • I think it would especially suit artists’ or photographers’ gardens. A pool like this can and will change and reflect the light in interesting ways.
  • If you are the meditative type – this is a perfect addition to a meditation or yoga garden.
  • Water features attract wildlife. A reflecting pool can serve as a water source, attracting various forms of wildlife, such as birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It helps support the ecosystem in your garden by helping support the life and biodiversity of all the creatures living there.
  • Educational Benefits. (this post about how one designer turned a garden into a beautiful science lab for kids is one of my favorite gardens ever). A reflecting pool can be a great educational tool, especially for children, to learn about aquatic ecosystems and the importance of water conservation.

Design Reasons to Add a Reflection Pool:

  • The overall visual appeal is chic. A reflecting pool adds a sense of tranquility and beauty and creates a visually stunning and serene focal point.
  • A feature like this defines and creates a sense of space. It’s like its own garden room without making a garden room.
  • Water sounds to make a relaxing ambiance. The gentle sound of water trickling or the occasional splash from a small fountain or water feature in the reflecting pool can create a soothing and calming atmosphere. I kinda prefer the simplicity of this particular pool without the movement – but if you wanted to add a pump to make the water flow it can easily be placed beneath the rocks. The peaceful ambiance can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, making your garden a tranquil retreat.
  • A small reflecting pool can make your garden appear larger than it actually is. The reflection of surrounding plants, trees, and the sky in the pool’s surface creates an illusion of depth and expansiveness, adding a feeling of spaciousness to the garden.
  • Reflecting pools gives a different perspective. The pool acts as a mirror, reflecting the surrounding landscape, including plants, flowers, and trees. This reflection brings the beauty of nature closer to you, allowing you to enjoy the garden’s greenery from different perspectives.

So tell me – does this type of feature appeal to your inner princess, artist, yogi, naturalist, or scientist? (or all of the above?)

Or maybe it just appeals?

images from cattisocheira

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  1. Jared says:

    well…not my inner princess….but this is a very neat idea. Thanks.
    how do you keep the critters out??

    • rochelle says:

      not sure if you can keep critters out…or leaves for that matter…would certainly require a little maintaining. It seems it would be lovely to let it also be a rain catch — so sometimes perhaps it could be empty…and the fill occasionally — think this would help with cleaning.

  2. This absolutely appeals to me. I’ve been planning to install a shallow reflecting pool in the spring. I love the gravel edging on this one: it makes the frame more substantial and more detailed. I’m not usually a fan of gravel in the garden (I’m all about bare feet) but I might steal this idea since here it wouldn’t be walked on.

  3. Dianne says:

    i like this a lot. I’m wondering about keeping it clean as well. I have a birdbath that birds get very dirty almost every day an I have to clean it. And a fountain that birds and squirrels drink from. If it’s too deep they drown in it. My experience too as they tried to get water from my rain catcher. So do you not have these issues. Also was wondering how you made this.

  4. Cherie says:

    Where would I find instructions for making this serene gazing pool. Thanks! Cherie

  5. Carol Berwick says:

    I’d also like to know how to make this water feature

  6. Sarah says:

    This looks beautiful! I’ve heard that mosquito lay eggs in standing water. Other than adding a pump, is there anyway to combat this? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I’m not sure what they are called – but I’ve seen people add these floating pucks that presumably have something that deters the mosquitos – I am not however sure what they are made of, what compounds are being used, and what their impact is on other species… but it worth looking into. (they kinda look like the things in urinals). My experience is that movement of the water radically reduces the mosquito population – so I’d see how the pump serves first.

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