Last Modified: April 3, 2024

Slate Water Feature

9 Serene Types for Your Sacred Spaces

Lily pads in a slate pond

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Water features are a special kind of attraction, indoors or out. They naturally take the role of the focal point, whether as a humble wall fountain feature or an exquisite, surging, stacked stone waterfall. When they are designed with decorative aggregates like natural slate, they become transformative for any landscape design seeking to add tranquillity and natural grace to the surrounding environment.

Slate features breathe life into gardens, patios, and even indoor spaces by offering a blend of nature and symmetry that few other stones can match. This article covers nine types of slate water features, from stacked designs to solar-powered options and more. So let's get ready to explore the symbolism and serene magic behind slate water features - are you feeling relaxed yet?

Oh, one last thing - have you noticed our new 'Pebble Picker' feature, located in the sidebar or menu? This tool allows you to select and browse every decorative aggregate, by colour and material, with ease.

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Why Choose Natural Slate?

Water feature slate is not just a stone; it's a statement. As the water trickles down its rugged surface, the beauty is amplified by the rarefied air, or sound, as it tickles your ear. It reflects the perfect harmony between the rawness of such a beautiful stone and the pure transitional fluidity of water. Perhaps it's part of why natural slate water features have become the centrepiece in many homeowner's gardens.

Exploring the Types

The use of slate in water features is increasingly popular thanks to its unique beauty and the innate connection humans have with slate stone. In this article, we'll explore nine different types of slate water features, from stacked designs to solar-powered options and more.

  1. 1
    Stacked Slate - A stacked slate water feature is a popular choice for those who want a natural and minimalist look. The stones are stacked on top of each other, and the water flows down in a smooth and calming motion.
  2. 2
    Slate Sphere Water Feature - A slate sphere water feature is a decorative item used to enhance the appearance of a garden or outdoor area. It typically consists of a sphere-shaped structure made of slate or other materials, with water flowing through it to create a soothing sound and visual effect.
  3. 3
    Slate Waterfall Feature - A slate waterfall feature is perfect for those who want to create a dramatic and impressive effect in their outdoor space. The water flows down in a cascading motion, creating a soothing sound and a stunning visual display.
  4. 4
    Slate Fountain Feature - A slate fountain feature is a classic and elegant option that adds a touch of sophistication to any outdoor space. The water cycles up and out of the fountain, creating a beautiful and calming effect.
  5. 5
    Slate Pond Feature - A slate pond feature is a great way to add a natural and tranquil element to your outdoor space. The pond can be designed in various shapes and sizes and filled with fish, aquatic plants, or even a small fountain.
  6. 6
    Slate Wall Fountain Feature - A space-saving option perfect for those who want to add a water feature to a small outdoor space. The water flows down the wall in a soothing motion, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
  7. 7
    Solar-Powered Slate Feature - A slate solar water feature is an eco-friendly and cost-effective option that uses the power of the sun to pump water through the feature. This type is perfect where there isn't a handy power supply to plug into. It's also good for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their electricity bill.
  8. 8
    Slate Birdbath Feature - A slate birdbath feature is a charming and functional addition to any outdoor space. The birds will love to splash around in the water, and you'll love watching them.
  9. 9
    Slate Water Bowl Feature - A slate water bowl feature is a simple and elegant option perfect for those who want a low-maintenance water feature. The bowl can be filled with water and stones, and the water will flow gently over the stones, creating a serene atmosphere.

Whether it's a slate monolith water feature, a cascading waterfall, or a bubbling fountain, there's likely to be a slate water feature to fit your taste. Whether a large slate water feature or small, they come as self-contained or permanent installations in cascading designs, tiered arrangements, and minimalist options.

The Self-Contained Advantage

These plug-and-play setups eliminate the need for external water sources, providing a convenient solution and a notable edge in the water feature sector. These self-sustaining systems have integrated water reservoirs, which not only simplifies the installation but makes positioning less of a headache. That makes it easier to find the ideal spot.

Water features often work beautifully within rock gardens with plants.

Natural Installations

Natural slate water feature installations can offer intricate cascading arrangements and minimalist options, carving out clean lines to more elaborate designs featuring cascading tiers. Water features constructed from timeless pieces of slate provide a captivating range of choices that cater to various preferences, allowing individuals to bring to life a perfect composition that harmonizes with their garden's aesthetics.

Stone vs. Man-Made Water Features

Slate water feature
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Natural Stone Features

Slate garden water features typically demand less maintenance than specific other options, and their aesthetic often leans towards the more natural, making it seamless to integrate into most surroundings. However, there are also some man-made alternatives.

Contemporary Man-Made Features

There are the more contemporary water features, which can be made from bronze, copper or alloys. They can offer a striking juxtaposition against the backdrop of well-designed landscapes, infusing a touch of modernity, particularly into minimalist garden designs. However, it's worth noting that these materials might necessitate a slightly higher level of upkeep than natural slate types.

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Faux Rock Water Features

Another common type is artificial fibreglass rock, often termed faux rock. They are primarily fashioned from a lightweight material, Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC), derived from natural rock and coloured to mimic diverse stone textures. They are typically easy to install and prove more cost-effective, with prices approximately half that of stone or concrete water features.

Despite the apparent benefits, they don't come close to natural slate in either the aesthetic or durability departments. Ultimately, though, it all comes down to personal preference and budget.

There are many other varieties of stone chippings available for your project. Check out them out!

Choosing the Right Water Feature: Factors to Consider

Here are some points to consider when deciding, but remember: It's not just about aesthetics; it's about creating a vibe.

  1. 1
    Budget: Set a budget range for your desired feature and consider its long-term investment value.
  2. 2
    Garden or Space Size: Determine the dimensions of your garden or space to select a feature that will fit harmoniously.
  3. 3
    Design Preference: Once you have a budget, choose between cascading, tiered, self-contained, or minimalist designs based on your aesthetic preference, space requirements and the total cost.
  4. 4
    Availability of Supply: Once you have chosen a design, plan ahead to ensure adequate products are in stock, particularly any requisite large slate pieces.
  5. 5
    Sound and Aesthetic Compatibility: Consider how the design will work with your garden's overall look and feel, plus how ideal the sound of the water feature will be when working.
  6. 6
    Installation: If you are planning to install it yourself, choose one that aligns with your DIY capabilities and opt for features offering straightforward information instructions.
  7. 7
    Maintenance: Consider the future work required to keep the feature in optimal condition.
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Maintenance and Care

Water features are going to need cleaning now and then. Water will eventually get slimy and start to smell a bit, especially during the winter, so make sure you get an information page on how to drain, dismantle, and clear out the reservoir. Regular care is essential to ensure your slate water feature remains as stunning as the day you installed it. Keep the pump clean, ensure water levels remain consistent, and occasionally give your slate a gentle clean to maintain its sheen.

If in doubt, it is always better to check with someone from where you bought the stock and find out instead of neglecting critical maintenance tasks or causing any permanent damage.

Slate water feature

Purchasing Tips

The UK offers many slate water features, from affordable options to luxurious designs. No matter what your budget is, there's a piece waiting to find its forever home in your garden.


Slate water features are more than just garden accessories; they're natural poetry in motion. Pieces of art, stylish elegance, and tranquillity all rolled into one. That's what makes them a focal point capable of completely revamping your garden or special space.

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How often should I clean my slate water feature?

Ideally, once a month. However, this can vary depending on its location and the quality of water you use.

Are slate water features suitable for all garden sizes?

Absolutely! From compact designs to sprawling structures, there's a slate water feature for every garden size.

What's the lifespan of a slate water feature?

Depending on the actual type, with proper care and maintenance, they can last for a few years up until indefinitely, with the natural slate only looking better with time.

Do I need a professional to install it?

While many choose DIY, consulting a professional for larger, more challenging features may be worthwhile.

Can I add lights to my slate water feature?

Yes, many features come with built-in lighting options, or you can add them for a mesmerising night-time effect.

There are many other great ideas about using slate for gardens to explore for your project. Check out them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.