The kind of pond that will fit your landscaping is determined by the size of your yard, whether you want fish or just water plants, the climate and your budget. Ponds may be sunken or raised, large or small, natural or man-made. No matter the constraints, there is a pond that's perfect for your landscape.
Formal ponds are geometric in shape--usually square, round or rectangular. Define the edges with a border of bricks, cement or repetitive plantings. A formal pond often has no plants to mar the surface. Place a fountain in the center of the pond, or put a piece of sculpture that trickles water back into the pond at one side. Grace the pond's edges with plantings that echo the shape of the fountain, such as ornamental grasses.
Curve the boundaries of the pond so they're irregular and appear natural. Surround the pond with rocks, boulders and bog plants, such as Mellon swords. These plants have olive-green leaves edged in red, and grow to 3 feet tall. Dwarf parrot feather softens the edges of the pond with its leaves and has maroon flowers in the fall. Water lilies lazily floating on the pond surface provide shade for the fish below, and add color with cup-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, pink and blue.
A hidden pond that's seen only from one area of the landscape is a nice surprise. Make sure that the edging of the pond prevents people from falling in. The edging could be composed of wood posts, natural stone or even bricks. Placing a hidden pond in a corner of the yard backed by a wall or bushes prevents an accident as well. Water hyacinth has purple flowers and floats on the surface of the pond. It is a restricted plant in some areas, because it reproduces so prolifically. Floating fern has leaves with a wavy edge in groups of three to five. The roots hang down and provide a place for baby fish to hide. Use bog plants like water iris on the edges of the pond.
If you live in an apartment with a balcony or a townhouse with a tiny patio, you can still have a pond. Make your pond in a waterproof container. Most pond plants that flower require direct sunlight for a minimum of six hours. If your pond won't get that much light, or that much direct sunlight heats up the water, place your pond in the shade. Choose small water plants, such as snowflakes, which look like tiny water lilies with white flowers; salvina with tiny clusters of leaves; and water lettuce with rosettes of leaves.