How To Build A Pond Or Water Garden

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How would you describe a water garden? Is it a pond, a fish tank, or something else entirely?

If you’ve ever thought about building a water feature, then you might want to consider adding a pond to your backyard.

A pond or water garden is a great way to add beauty and value to your home.

They also provide a relaxing environment where you can enjoy nature.

Water gardens are becoming increasingly popular around the world. In fact, they are now considered a luxury item.

The benefits include providing a beautiful focal point for your yard, improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and creating a natural habitat for wildlife.

Water Gardens: Benefits And Design Considerations

How To Build A Pond Or Water Garden (1)

Most people think of ponds as being small in size, but that’s not necessarily true.

You don’t have to build a large pond (see also ‘Pond Retaining Walls: Ideas And How To Build One’) to get the same benefits. Smaller ponds can be just as attractive as larger ones.

The most important thing to remember when designing a pond or water garden (see also our article on the best garden pond spitters) is to keep things simple.

This will help ensure that your design works well with its surroundings.

It should blend in seamlessly so that it doesn’t detract from the rest of the landscape.

Ponds come in many shapes and sizes. Some are designed for fishing while others are simply decorative pieces.

Whatever type of pond you choose, there are some basic considerations that must be taken into account before construction begins.

Size And Shape

When choosing a pond, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is how big you’d like it to be.

Do you plan on having a large pond or a smaller one? What shape do you prefer?

Rectangular ponds work best if you’re looking to create an area for swimming or entertaining guests.

Round ponds are more suitable if you’re planning on keeping fish inside.

You may also want to consider the location of your pond.

Is it going to be placed near trees or other plants? Will it be visible from the street or hidden behind landscaping?

If you decide to go with a rectangular pond, you’ll probably want to place it at least 10 feet away from any existing structures such as fences, sheds, or garages.

This will allow room for children or pets to play safely without getting too close to the edge.

If you opt for a round pond, you’ll need to take extra care when placing it.

Make sure that it won’t interfere with nearby power lines or underground pipes.

Also, avoid putting it next to tall buildings or trees because this could cause problems down the road.

Surrounding Landscape

Another consideration when designing a pond is what kind of surrounding landscape you’d like to see.

For example, if you live in a rural area, you may want to plant grasses and shrubs along the perimeter of your pond.

These will help soften the look of the concrete and give your pond a more natural appearance

(see sealer).

If you live in an urban setting, however, you may find that planting anything outside your pond would be impractical.

Instead, try adding rocks, pebbles, or gravel to the bottom of your pond. This will help break up the hard surface and add visual appeal.


As mentioned earlier, ponds come in all shapes and sizes. They can range anywhere from a few inches deep to several feet deep.

Most ponds are made out of either concrete or plastic. If you’re building a small pond, you might want to use concrete.

This material is easy to install and inexpensive.

However, if you’re making a large pond, you’ll likely want to use plastic instead. Plastic is much easier to transport and handle than concrete.

There are two types of plastic available: fiberglass and vinyl. Fiberglass is less expensive but has a rough texture that’s not ideal for ponds.

Vinyl, on the other hand, is smooth and flexible. It’s great for creating ponds that have a soft, flowing design.

Pond Depth 

The size of your pond depends largely on the amount of water you expect to put in it.

If you’re only planning on filling it once every couple of years, a small pond should suffice.

On the other hand, if you plan on using your pond year-round, you’ll need something larger.

The depth of your pond (see also ‘Backyard Pond Depth Guide’) is another important factor to consider.

You’ll want to make sure that the bottom of your pond isn’t too steep so that it doesn’t become difficult to maintain.

If you choose a deeper pond, you’ll need a pump to keep the water moving around.

When deciding on the type of pond you’d like to build, remember that there are many designs and styles.

Some people prefer to create their own unique pond while others prefer to buy one already built.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll still need to follow the same basic steps outlined above.

How To Build A Pond Or Water Garden

How To Build A Pond Or Water Garden

Building a pond is a fun project for both kids and adults alike.

Whether you’re looking for a backyard oasis or just a place to fish, you can easily build a pond yourself.

In addition to being a relaxing spot to spend time outdoors, a pond also provides valuable environmental benefits such as reducing runoff into local waterways.

In the section below, we’ll walk through each step of the process involved with building a pond.

We’ll discuss how to select the right materials, how to prepare the site, and how to build the actual structure itself.

As always, we’ll provide tips throughout the guide to ensure you get the most out of your new pond.


You don’t need any special tools to build a pond. The main thing you’ll need is some sturdy work gloves.

These will protect your hands from getting scratched by sharp objects.

Other than that, you’ll probably want a shovel, trowel, level, tape measure, and maybe even a ladder.

Site Preparation

Before beginning construction, you’ll first need to determine where your pond will go.

This decision will depend on a number of factors including the size of your property, what kind of soil you have, and whether you’d like to build an island in the middle of your pond.

If you’re going to be digging trenches, you’ll need to dig down at least 2 feet (0.6 m) below ground level.

This will allow you to avoid damaging underground utilities and prevent flooding during heavy rainstorms.

Once you know where you’d like your pond to be located, you’ll need to decide which direction you’d like it to face.

This choice will depend on what you’d like the finished product to look like.

For example, if you’d like a circular pond, you’ll want to orient your excavation toward the center of your property.

However, if you’re more interested in having a rectangular shape, then you’ll want your pond to face east or west.

Install The Pond Liner

A liner is a waterproof barrier that surrounds the interior of your pond.

It keeps debris from entering the water, prevents algae growth, and helps reduce evaporation rates.

There are two types of liners available: flexible and rigid. Flexible liners are typically made of polyethylene plastic, but they can sometimes leak.

Rigid liners are usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl and are less likely to leak.

The best way to install a liner is to use a hole saw to cut a circle around the perimeter of your pond.

You should make sure to leave enough room so that you can add additional layers of material later.

Once you’ve created the hole, you’ll simply pour the liner inside.

If you’re using a rigid liner, you may need to let it set overnight before filling in the rest of the space.

Fill Your Pond With Dirt

After installing your liner, you’ll now need to fill the area with dirt. Ideally, you’ll use topsoil or pea gravel to create a smooth surface.

If you’d prefer to use sand instead, then you’re free to do so.

Sand tends to hold moisture better than other materials, so this might be a good option for areas near your house.

Install The Pump And Filtration System

Now that you’ve filled your pond with dirt, you’ll also need to install a pump and filtration system. This will help keep your pond clean and clear.

Pumps come in many sizes, depending on the amount of water you’d like pumped out each day.

Small ponds only require small pumps, while larger ponds often require large pumps (see also ‘What Size Pond Pump Do I Need: A Guide To Pond Pump Sizes‘).

In either case, you’ll most likely need a submersible motor as well.

Submersible motors are designed to operate underwater without needing any electrical power.

You’ll also need filters to remove solid particles from the water.

These can range in price from $20-$100 per year. They can also be purchased separately and installed after the installation of your pond.

Add Plants And Fish

You’ll want to plant some aquatic plants in your pond. These include duckweed, water hyacinths, sword ferns, lotus leaves, and cattails.

Each one has its own unique benefits, so you’ll want to choose the ones that work best for your specific needs.

Fish are another important part of a healthy pond.

Some fish species are known for their ability to eat waste products, while others enjoy eating insects.

You’ll want to select fish that fit into these categories.

Once you have all of these components installed, you’ll be ready to start enjoying your new pond!


Water features such as ponds, lakes, water gardens, and waterfalls are an excellent addition to your home.

Not only does having them improve the overall look of your property, but they also provide numerous environmental benefits.

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