How to build your own DIY garden pond

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Could there be anything more relaxing than sitting next to a beautiful DIY, do it yourself, garden pond that you've built yourself, watching the water babble and fish flit about? If there is, you have to let us in on it because, right now, we think this is the height of glorious garden gallivanting!

If you don't have a green thumb, or perhaps you do and you're looking to start a new challenge in your outdoor space, why not consider planning and building your very own garden pond? It isn't as complicated as you might think and with some careful consideration, you could end up with an absolutely spectacular garden centrepiece.

Take a look at our tips for creating the perfect outdoor water feature and see if you could be tempted to have a go!

Choose your location well

Naturally, the first part of the self-built garden pond process will be choosing where you want to install it, as this will have an impact on the size, shape and style of pond that you ultimately end up with. 

Look for somewhere flat, with plenty of space around it, like this example from Biotop and draw up your design. Once you've done this, mark out a grid in your garden, using string and remove a top layer of soil, in the shape that you want to produce. Once this is done, you can begin to dig in earnest, a grid at a time, to ensure even depth and adherence to your design. Don't forget to plan where to put all the soil though or your new pond may have a neighbouring mountain you didn't plan for!

Add your liner

There are a number of ways to line a garden pond, with the most popular being to buy a ready made, off the shelf liner, but this all depends on you designing a pond to a prescribed shape. We know you like more of a challenge than that, so get your sand and polythene sheeting at the ready!

Once your hole is dug, you need to get a good coating of sand all over the raw soil. From here, lay your extra thick (you don't want any leaks!) polythene sheeting in the hole and weigh it down with some large, temporary stones. Press the sheeting into every corner and then stand back and admire your efforts so far!

Weigh the liner down properly

When you're sure you like the size, shape and style of your new garden pond, you can start to really commit to it, starting with the stones that will lay in the bottom.

Choose pretty pebbles that you like the look of and think about what kind of fish you will be getting, if any. Some like hidey holes, so bigger stones might be a good idea! Take out your temporary weights and use them to batten down the lip of the sheeting, up and out of the hole. Fill the bottom with your chosen pebbles, making sure that you get a good even coverage and that you like the arrangement.

Add the water

Now for the fun bit! Add your water and think about how you plan to circulate and aerate it. A water feature is a great way to keep the status quo of your garden pond bubbling away, so we recommend that you install a pump!

Whether you choose to go understated or grand is up to you, but don't forget to bed your pump in with the same stones as you have weighed the inner down with, just so everything looks good and cohesive. Wildlife favour ponds with fountains, so if you want to encourage frogs, newts and other visitors, be sure to include one in your grand design!

Think about safety and aesthetics

 Garden  by Centrum ogrodnicze Ogrody ResGal
Centrum ogrodnicze Ogrody ResGal

Strumyk przepływający przez wrzosowisko

Centrum ogrodnicze Ogrody ResGal

With your water in, your pump working and everything looking as you hoped, you can start to think about finishing your project off. Safety has to be a concern, so we recommend placing flat rocks around the edge of your new garden pond to not only hide the liner overhang, but also to prevent any unfortunate tripping incidents.

If you have children, you might also want to consider erecting some kind of fence or deterrent, just to set your mind totally at ease that there will be no accidents.

Finishing touches

By now, we hope you are congratulating yourself on a job exceptionally well done, but you've not quite finished yet! One last finishing touch to make to your brand new, expertly completed garden pond is to add some beautiful water-loving foliage.

Adding some well-placed flora helps to really seat and ground your pond, making it feel like a natural extension of your space, rather than a brand new addition. We particularly like creepers that like growing onto rock formations, so keep an eye out for some of those!

For more garden inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: This Is How To Create Your Own Holistic Garden.

Are you feeling inspired to try to build your own garden pond? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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