Whether a space is grand or humble, water makes it better. And nothing lends itself more to quiet contemplation than a peaceful reflecting pool. We've found 10 gardens with Serene Pools in our Gardenista Gallery. . . . Aren't you feeling more relaxed already?
Above: We love this shimmering pool created by designer Eva Wagnerová for a garden in Brno, in the Czech Republic. The bottom of the pool is black slate, and the stone slabs that extend into the water are purely ornamental. No cannonballs allowed. For more, see The Dark Mirror: A Backyard Reflecting Pool in Eastern Europe.
Above: Helen Dillon, considered the queen of Irish gardening, is known for the rich colors and "organized chaos" of her Dublin garden. This space was once a lawn, which Helen dispensed with to build a pond and canal set in Irish limestone. Read more in Garden Visit: Helen Dillon's Garden in Dublin.
Above: Reflecting pools don't need to be huge. In Design Sleuth: French Garden Mirrors, we wrote about the small Paris garden of architect Nicolas Soulier and ceramicist Cécile Daladier, where tiny zinc mirror ponds reflect the sky and create the illusion of more space.
Above: The cobalt blue in this pool is the signature color of Morocco's Majorelle Garden, once the home of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The cacti and other exotic plants were collected by French artist Louis Majorelle on his travels around the world. For more, see Rhapsody in Blue: Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.
Above: England's Sezincote estate has unexpected Indian influences. Here, the view beneath what's called the Indian Bridge, where stepping stones lead to a waterfall and a pond beyond. See Garden Visit: Sezincote in Gloucestershire.
Above: At La Noria, a garden in the South of France, landscape designers Arnaud Maurières and Eric Ossart have turned an ancient irrigation system into a modern water feature. Read more in Landscape Architect Visit: La Noria in the South of France.
Above: Water is perhaps the greatest luxury of all in India, and canals and reflecting pools are a coveted feature of Indian gardens. This courtyard pool is at a country house in Awas; read more in 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from India. Photograph via RMA Architects.
Above: Asked to redo the garden at an old family estate in Derbyshire, England, garden designer Arne Maynard created a reflecting pool beside what he calls "an embossed lawn—a subtle watermark—which gives a new lease on life to what is essentially a very traditional space." For more, see A Modern Garden in a Medieval Setting.
Above: Who knew that America's Greatest Forgotten Garden was in the Westchester town of Yonkers, NY? Wealthy Manhattan lawyer Samuel Untermyer bought a baronial mansion, Greystone, here in 1899. A portion of the lavish estate has been restored by the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy and is open to the public. It's worth a visit just for the splendid view of the Hudson River.
Above: Mid-century magic: Read how a Japanese reflecting pool designed by Richard Neutra in LA was brought back to life in Architect Visit: Neutra House Restoration by Tim Campbell.
Trying to figure out how to incorporate a water feature in your garden? If you're thinking big, see images of Perfectly Placid Ponds in our Gardenista Gallery. Did you have something more modest in mind? See our Favorite Fountains.