Garden Pond Design

Size of Pond

In the garden pond design process, space is one of the main issues. If you have a small back or side or even front yard you may consider purchasing a preformed pond, found at most garden stores.

If size and money is no object, then you can excavate the chosen site, and use a flexible liner.

Either way, you certainly do not want the pond tucked into a back corner of your lot or land.

          Pond Placement

One of the first steps is to decide where the garden pond is going to be placed.

From the outset, you will want the design to reflect your own individual lifestyle.

If you spend a lot of time on your deck or patio, then you would naturally want to be where you can hear, see, touch and smell the water.

On the other hand, if you are an indoor person you will want a water garden pond design that appears as though it is a natural extension of your home.

Either way, you will want to be able to enjoy the garden pond regardless of where it is placed.


The next step is to decide if you want to keep Koi fish or gold fish.

In order to keep Koi you will need a deeper pond than the usual and this pond must be filtered 24-7. There will be little vegetation in the pond because Koi will root around in your aquatic plants and disturb them.

You must feed Koi daily and clean the filter only with the pond water; household water has chlorine in it and will kill the beneficial bacteria that live in the filter.

If you want gold fish, then your job will be little easier because goldfish can forage. One thing to keep in mind is that if you feed goldfish they will get very large and reproduce, thus creating a space problem. Let goldfish survive in your water garden pond design with what vegetation exists to promote a healthy balance.


The last, but by no means least, thing that you should consider when designing a garden pond is safety.

If you have small children, do plan on enclosing the pond with a fence or other barrier to prevent a tragic accident. In many municipalities such a barrier is required because children can drown in just a few inches of water, a good deal less than your pond will hold.

Utilities, Insurance, Permits

Before the day of the "big dig", be sure to ask your local town clerk about permits (will your town require a permit) and call your homeowners' insurance company to ask if your project requires additional insurance.

Also call your utility company just to rule out buried wires, water pipes, etc.

Whatever plan is chosen for your garden pond design be sure to "map" it on paper or in a design template first before a shovel is even brought to the site. Do the calculations for width, length, and depth.

Decide on plant locations, location of the waterfall or other exciting elements, such as bridges. Don't forget to "recycle" the dirt that will be leftover. The dirt can be made into a burm, a natural start to creating a waterfall.

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, it really is quite simple and do-able. Most of this information is just plain common sense, and with a bit of planning, can lead to a feature that you will use and enjoy for many years. Who knows, it may even add value to your home.

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