Lake Landscaping Ideas


Landscaping your lake property might include a beautifully manicured lawn with a cobblestone patio and an outdoor living space adjacent to the water. It could also include a dramatic waterfall flowing from the top of a sloping descent to the lake. Follow the natural contour of your property to add value and practical design to your landscape.

Natural Slope

  • If your lake property has a natural slope to the water, you can landscape it with layers of decorative borders to simulate tiers. Stack landscape timbers to create the tiered appearance, and then add a layer of decorative pavers on top for added beauty. Fill in each of the tiers with potting soil and flowering perennials such as day lilies or ground cover like hostas. You can also include a mix of evergreen shrubs so that your lakeside landscaping will always have color. You can fill in around the plants with river rock or decorative mulch for a naturally beautiful landscape design that will help hold moisture for the plants and that will add dimension to the slope.

Level Green

  • To landscape lake property that's level, add a lawn made from sod that will add a beautiful green contrast to the blue lake water. You could also add a strip of beach between the green grass and the water with white sand or river rock. Include a swing or a gazebo--or both--on the grassy area next to the water so you can entertain and enjoy the view.


  • Another way to enhance your sloping lake property is to build a cascading waterfall that runs from the top of the slope to the lake. A large circulating pump and copper tubing will send the water from the lake to the top of your waterfall. Whether your lake property has a gentle slope or a drastic drop-off, a waterfall will add beauty. Build the waterfall with natural stones such as slate or large river rocks, and accent the descent with flowering plants.

Outdoor Living

  • Landscaping level lake property gives you more options for staging a viewing area from your home and from the water's edge, so take advantage of the space and create a patio with a barbecue, a kitchen, a fireplace and an outdoor living area. Build a cover for the kitchen area, and include a flat-screen television or a built-in stereo.

Winding River

  • Another way to take advantage of a sloped lake landscape is to create a dry river bed that runs the length of the property, from the top of the hill to the lake. Excavate a 2- to 3-foot wide section that meanders along the slope, and fill it with river rock. When it rains, the dry river bed will fill naturally. Alternately, send water from the lake to the top of the river bed via a waterfall pump, and circulate the water for a winding river that's constantly flowing.

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