The element of water will infuse any landscape with sparkle as the smooth, mirror-like surface brings images of sky, clouds, overhead branches and even architecture to the ground plane. You don't need a lot of square footage to bring a reflecting pool into your outdoor space. In fact, a shallow saucer filled with water will reflect whatever's around it and conjure the same visual sensation of a large gazing pool. Here are some of my favorite reflecting pools and ponds, plus notes on why these designs are so successful.
Reflecting Pool 1: Dufner Heighes Inc, original photo on Houzz
The breathtaking scenery in the distance comes into sharp view thanks to the reflective qualities of this pool of blue water. Around its edge, a paved band of stone is wide enough to accommodate seating. Dreams are encouraged when you are seated here.
Reflecting Pool 2: Supon Phornirunlit/Naked Decor, original photo on Houzz
After dark, the glow from globes lining the sides and pedestal candles standing in shallow water make this an impactful, romantic, sensory destination.
Reflecting Pool 3: Sutton Suzuki Architects, original photo on Houzz
Privacy, privacy, privacy. This is a joy-inducing interior space. It may be difficult for plants to grow due to the extended roofline or shade cast by the architectural walls. However, the at-grade pool of water brings nature — the sky, clouds, stone — into view in an arresting way.
Reflecting Pool 4: Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc., original photo on Houzz
Amazing use of a narrow space! This lap pool doubles as a water feature surrounded by Mediterranean perennials and native stone. A "floating" footbridge connects the entry walk to the rest of the landscape and creates a magical illusion for anyone crossing the water.
Reflecting Pool 5: Diego Perez, original photo on Houzz
The journey to the garden beyond is all the more enjoyable because of a rhythmic stepping-stone path that traverses the low pool. Note the asymmetry, which creates a dynamic energy and keeps the design modern looking.
Reflecting Pool 6: Birdseye Design, original photo on Houzz
Water is well integrated in this entry garden. It serves as an important design element that connects the home's architecture with its landscape. Having the footings of the wood-wrapped posts installed in the shallow pool magnifies the illusion that the home is emerging from water.