Garden pond design ideas, inspiration & pictures

What is a garden pond and how do you make one?

A garden pond in a self-contained water feature that isn’t too deep, but can comfortably house plants and wildlife, to create a beautiful and organic focal point in your garden. Both DIY amateurs and enthusiasts frequently undertake pond projects and enjoy spectacular results.

When building your own garden pond, the following steps provide a logical guide as to how you should go about it:

Decide what style of pond you really want, by looking at inspirational pictures, such as those in the homify directory. The wider aesthetic that your landscape architect has created for you should be taken into account, for a cohesive end result.

Think about whether your garden pond will need to serve a function, such as housing wildlife, or if it will be simply decorative. This decision will directly impact everything else, such as if you need rocks in and around the water, what plants will be best and if you need a safe electricity supply included, for pumps or lighting.

With all your decisions made, the building process is pretty simple. Dig your pond hole, lay a liner and get to decorating the area. Garden water features don’t need to be as complicated as you might think.

How do I choose the right location for a pond?

As a general rule, you should find a spot in your back or front garden that gets a mix of sun and shade. This is even more important if you are planning to create a fishpond, as your scaly friends will need to be able to escape the hot glare of the sun. Try to steer clear of trees though, as their leaves will clog your filters and digging the hole for your pond could disrupt their roots.

Once you have settled on a great location that you think will really work for your new backyard pond, you should play it safe and ask your water and electric suppliers to come and check that there are no underground pipes or cables in the way. If you hit one of these by accident, it could be a costly mistake to fix and your home’s utilities will be interrupted as well.

In the case of large or heritage homes, you might like to contact your local council, to find out if there are any planning or building restrictions in place in your land.

Understand your climate. Here in the UK, we have a cooler weather system, which means that a shallow pond shouldn’t evaporate, but always think about having enough depth to your water feature to ensure that it can self-sustain.

To visualise how your pond will look in your chosen spot, use rope to mimic the shape you want to create and the size. Stand back and make sure that it will work, proportionally, with the rest of your garden.

Which are the best plants for a garden pond?

Plants are not simply decorative elements, they actually contribute to a healthy eco system as well, but only if you choose the right varieties for your pond, wildlife and climate. While exotic plants can seem like a great idea, they might not thrive in a tricky climate.

A good tip is to speak to a water plants expert at your local garden centre. Tell them what conditions your pond will be exposed to, as well as if you are hoping to have wildlife and fish. From this information, you will be able to choose a few pretty plants that will complement and support your pond’s eco system.

How do I know which fish will be right for my pond?

There are a number of factors to take into account when thinking about adding fish to a new pond.

Firstly, you need to decide on a variety of fish that will be suitable. While a koi pond is a highly covetable garden addition, koi carp can grow very large, which means that they won’t be suited to a modest pond.

Think about your climate! Standard goldfish do not thrive in very cold conditions, so you will need to think about maintaining an ambient temperature if you decide that this is the fish for you.

In terms of how many fish you buy, the size of your pond should always guide you here. Do not be tempted to have more fish than you, technically, should, as they need plenty of space and will more than likely, multiply anyway.

How do I maintain a garden pond?

Garden pond maintenance is, essentially, a checklist of common sense tasks, but the most important things to stay on top of include:

Changing your filter regularly.

Make sure the water level remains steady.

Remove fallen leaves and other garden debris.

Remove algae build-ups.

Feed fish regularly.

Remove delicate plants in winter and return them to the water in spring.

Divide and replant water plants such as lilies.

Check for holes in your liner and patch, if necessary.