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How to Build a Garden Pond

Updated on January 23, 2016

A Garden Pond is a Beautiful Idea for your Garden

I simply love garden ponds. They are a beautiful feature in any garden and the soft tinkling sound of running water in the background is really peaceful, soothing and cooling in the summer.

When we bought our house about ten years ago, the garden was in such a bad and neglected state that it was virtually nonexistent. In one sense, this was a good thing because it meant that we could plan it from scratch. I instantly knew that one feature I really had to have was a garden pond. As we are a rather DIY family, there was no question that this would be a DIY project.

So, how do you go about making a small garden pond on your own?

The pictures shown here are of my garden pond, taken by me

How to make a garden pond

There are basically two ways to build your garden pond.

The first is to draw the shape you want for your pond on the ground and then dig a hole in this shape which you will line with a special pond liner before filling it with water.

The second way which is the one I opted for and which I think is easier, faster and more reliable is to buy a plastic garden pond and landscape around it. Here is how to do it:

The first step is to choose your garden pond from the many sizes and shapes available.

This is a great choice for a garden pond

This 60-gallon plastic garden pond is a very good choice for small to medium gardens. It has a nice interesting, natural looking shape and the flat bottom is a nice stable platform to place your filter pump and any plants you may want to have. There is a second, shallower level for more aquatic plants.You can place it either above or below ground and it is safe both for plants and fish.

After you have chosen and bought your plastic pond, the second step is to find the spot in your garden where you would like to place it. There is no general rule on that, but as a garden pond is likely to be a focal point in most gardens, you should try to find a rather central spot, in full view from both the garden and the house. It should also be near a power outlet in order to accommodate the pump and lighting, unless you are using solar power.

Place the plastic pond on the ground and draw a rough outline around it. Dig a hole deep enough and large enough to accomodate the pond, without worrying too much about getting the shape perfect. Just dig an oblong hole a little larger and slightly shallower than the pond. You want the rim of the pond to be just above ground when you put it in.

Place your pond inside the hole and start filling the space around it with earth, making sure that you have the pond level. Now slowly fill the pond with water, packing some more earth around it if needed. Place the pump and lights on the bottom and connect to the power outlet. Add a few aquatic plants and even some fish (e.g. koi or other types of goldfish) if you like.

You can place some rocks or colored pebbles around the rim of the pond to make it look more natural or even build a rock garden around it. Plant the surrounding area with flowers and small shrubs, making sure that you choose plants that won't grow too tall and bushy and hide the pond from view.

Fish are a wonderful idea for a garden pond as well. Some large goldfish species like Koi are perfect for garden ponds, although you should take care to prevent your pond from freezing over in winter.

What else do you need for a lovely pond? - A pump, lights and plants

Placing a pump in your pond not only keeps the water clean but with the various fountain heads provided in the kits, you can have beautiful waterfall patterns in your pond. A submersible light is also a great idea, as it will light up your pond at night and provide you with an extremely beautiful and soothing sight.

© 2013 Aquamarine18

How about building a garden pond? Please leave a comment

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    • ramonabeckbritman profile image


      4 years ago from Arkansas

      I have a small pond in my back yard. It is so calming. My friend inspired me many years ago. I came home from her house and explained it to my husband and that next weekend we were building ours. Your Lens is lovely.

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 

      4 years ago from Burbank, CA

      We had one before our fire. I miss it!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very nice, I have a pond as well and love it! I have moved this over to the FB Weekend Gardeners page, stop by and like it too!

    • jeskasight profile image


      5 years ago

      Awesome idea! We currently have home made table of sorts filled with different plants. There is a big space under the table where I was thinking of putting fake grass...but an above ground pond would be way nicer and more unique:)

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm just now filling in a swimming pool and making a garden. I think you've talked me into adding a small pond as an accent. Love the idea. Running water is such a nice and soothing sound.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very nice small pond. I have one and I want to make some changes, your articles comes to help me.

    • leifgustafson profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful article! Garden ponds are excellent additions to any property, presenting aesthetic pleasure as well as functionality by creating a habitat for fish, frogs and various plants.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I have been wanting to put in a small garden pond since I moved here 25 years ago. Maybe this summer.


    • Aquamarine18 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Dusty2 LM: Yes, I watch bird baths all day long in Spring and Summer! Thank you!

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 

      5 years ago

      Have had a big in-ground water feature with waterfall since the early 80s. It has been sheer joy and pleasure since adding it to the backyard landscape. All of the fish, frogs, birds and wildlife enjoy it as well. I appreciate you sharing this lens and your pond looks really nice. I can imagine the birds enjoy your pond as well. Have a Great Day!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Awesome ! Ponds are perfect for de-stressing ! Great lens !


    • Frischy profile image


      5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      This looks so lovely! I will think about where to put one.

    • ismeedee profile image


      5 years ago

      I would love a big garden with a pond!


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