It is summer. It is hot. You wish you were drifting down a river in an inner tube, but you aren’t. Even if the season’s got you stuck working your normal city routine, it is still possible to come home to a little riverfront R & R with the help of a water feature. Imagine enjoying all of the relaxing and cooling properties you love about a river, without those pesky mosquitoes.

WA Design Architects

Tall and Statuesque

Architect Chris Parlette of WA Design attracted that vacation feeling home with this custom three-tower structure.

How it works: It is made of concrete that has been poured onsite. Pipes are embedded within each of the 3 towers and join to their respective aluminum spouts. Water drains right into a 11/2-inch pile of river stones, creating a gentle splash. A copper pan beneath collects the water for recirculation by way of the feature’s single pump, located from the Cor-Ten steel box in the bottom. An indoor wall switch controls the fountain.

Price: Though it’s difficult to set an specific price tag on this project as it was a part of a bigger yard remodel, Parlette quotes a replica could be made for approximately $1,000 to $2,000.

The Todd Group

Japanese Design

The landscape design-build group of Statile & Todd gave this courtyard a tranquil feel by way of a kit fountain out of Stone Forest.

How it works: Similar to a custom made fountain, a kit fountain has its accompanying water basin reserve hidden under the stones.

Price: A fountain of the size can run about $400 to $500.

California Waterscapes

Dogs Love Water, Too

No dog can withstand a day in the river. This attribute from California Waterscapes comes as a kit that includes a selection of stones.

Price: The entire package costs about $650.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

On the lookout for more river-like water characteristics to inspire you?

Water falleth out of it. The backyard water experience doesn’t need to stop with one water feature. Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture married a waterfall with a hot tub. Water liberally flows to a thick pile of pebbles to delight the eyes and ears when the hot tub is not being used.

Bianchi Design

A water feature runs through it. Water runs on the Cor-Ten-steel-edged, rock-filled pool practice created by Bianchi Design. The water flows down to a small channel full of pebbles for a delightfully cooling effect in the desert atmosphere.

Alderwood Landscape Architecture and Construction

A meditative stone. This natural-stone fountain, installed by Alderwood Landscaping, provides a quiet spot in the backyard for believing or zoning out.

Next: Read thousands of outdoor water feature layouts

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