When designing a water feature never forget the elements that add suggestion, even if they are visually subliminal. I enjoy Japanese style water gardening (and landscaping) because it fits in small spaces. You can make your own artistic representation of anything in small scale, Japanese rock gardens will fit in many places.
My Japanese rock garden – I added the new elements (pictured below) to my whiskey barrel water garden theme.
How-to: I made a mountainous region out of various shapes of rock that looks like a volcano with ornamental grass bursting over the top. Below the mountain is a sandier piece of flat rock (I got from a local gravel pit) that represents the lowlands. I added a few rounded rocks (I picked up at a beach) to soften the jagged edges of the landscape to bring balance. All these elements blend into this water feature…making the scenery complete.