Want your garden to spring to life? Add a pond or water feature. Unless there’s some other water source right nearby, providing fresh water (in addition to nectar plants) is key to encouraging the essential pollinators (birds, bees, butterflies) and their friends (frogs, and other small wildlife) to make your garden their favourite hangout. That’s my kind of party.
If you struggle keeping pond water clear, this trick works within hours and does not require any chemicals.
Choose a Pond that Fits Your Space and Style
The first step is get inspired. There are so many choices to consider:
- Above ground, inground, or partly inground
- Type of materials to contain, surround, and line the pond
- Formal, casual, or naturalized
- Waterfalls, bubblers
- Fish, plants (the other wild things will find it on their own)
I’ve collected ideas, ranging in size from small containers to very large ponds that cover all budgets and styles. I took these snapshots on garden tours and in my own garden, so don’t expect prize winning images, but I think you’ll find lots of ideas for your pond project.
Start collecting ideas by pinning your favourites to a Pinterest board. I’ve got my Pinterest pond idea board here.
Once you know the style you’re after, you can start the real work of planning and building. And attracting frogs.
It’s probably obvious but, the larger the pond, the more likely you are to need professional help with the planning and installation, the greater the cost, and amount of ongoing maintenance work. This said, some of the smaller ponds can be costly too, depending on the choice of materials and whether you buy them new or used.
Some of the product links below go to my affiliate’s account at Amazon.com. I encourage you to try and buy used first, or seek out local end of season sales for the best deals.
1. Container pond with stained-glass water lily
This is as simple and low-maintenance as it gets: a water tight container, a recirculating pond pump, and a stained-glass water lily. See a small, recirculating 40 GPH pump at Amazon.com
2. Formal raised pond with paving stones
I think the secret to how great this pond looks is a) the use of pavers, and 2) having it against the brick wall.
3. Small whiskey barrel water feature
These whiskey barrel ponds with liners can be purchased as kits. You can see one here at Amazon.com: whiskey barrel pond kit. If you can wait until the end of the season, you might be able to find one for a great deal.
4. Old well converted into small garden pond
5. 2-tier wood-framed raised pond with water feature
This one would take some planning to work out the flow of the water from the top tier to the lower tier. Fun idea to add the gargoyle fountain and statues if you dig that kind of thing. See various gargoyle statues at Amazon.com.
6. Hot tub converted into backyard pond
This pond was created by a friend of Empress of Dirt on Facebook. Her husband built the wood frame around their old hot tub to create this little pond.
7. Farm stock tub used as small container pond
Stock tubs come in plastic and galvanized metal. You can find them at farm supply stores. The metal ones are gorgeous but a bit pricey for a little pond. You can see a few types of metal stock tubs here at Amazon.
This pond belongs to Empress of Dirt Facebook friend, Olive:
8. Pond form in wooden raised bed
This one is from the garden at my previous home. We loved having the pond near the house where we could enjoy it.
I took a pond form and built the raised bed to fit. Conveniently, it worked for a 4×8′ structure.
9. Pond form inground garden pond
This was the very first pond I installed in the back garden at my previous home. This was the pond that told the wild things, hey, there’s a great garden here and fresh water! Come enjoy it! And they did. And yes, I concealed the pond form with flat rocks. You can buy pond forms like this one at any home and garden store.
10. Small inground backyard pond with pond liner
This is the pond at my home today. I found a pond liner kit with a pump for 70% off and, because the soil is so sandy (easy to dig), I had it installed within 2 hours. Here’s a 8 X 11 Mini Pond Kit. The branches draped across the pond keep the birds of prey from eating my beloved fish.
11. Pond liner style inground backyard pond with waterfall
12. Midsize inground pond with lilies and small waterfall
13. Midsize oval pond with flat stone surround
It takes some planning to have an inground pond like this more formal one that conceals the edges of the pond liner. This deep, flat stone hides it nicely.
14. Container pond with water wall
I saw this water wall on a garden tour. If you have a sheltered area without much wind, it’s a neat idea (wind would blow too much water away). You can see how it’s made here.
15. Midsize inground garden pond with bridge
16. Midsize inground pond with tall grasses
17. Midsize inground pond with tall waterfall
18. Large double backyard pond
19. Large water lily garden pond
20. Large backyard garden pond with tall waterfall
Waterfalls can look pretty silly (unnatural and out of place) unless you have a natural hill to work with beside your pond area like this one.
21. Large naturalized backyard garden pond with garden art
This was actually the first homemade garden pond I ever saw. It was gorgeous. I went home determined to create my first pond. And I did.
22. The number one fan of backyard ponds
It is a badge of honor when the wild things settle in. If they don’t, your pond is too clean! Frogs are honoured guests in my pond.
I hope you found some ideas you can use in your garden. If you’d like tips on how to set up a small backyard pond, see my how-tos here.
How I Built My Backyard Pond
How to Add Fish to a Garden Pond
More Garden Pond Tips & Ideas
1. 17 Beautiful Backyard Pond Ideas For All Budgets
2. How To Make A Little Pond Waterfall
3. How To Care For A Winter Pond
4. Make A Little Pond – Tips, Tricks, & Ideas
5. Easy Trick For A Sparkling Clean Pond
6. Build A Pond In A Box (Or Raised Bed)
7. Make A Waterwall Pond Feature
8. Advice For Starting A New Garden Pond
9. DIY Claw Foot Garden Pond