How to Landscape a Backyard With Pond


When you install a pond in your backyard, you'll want to highlight it with some greenery, perhaps a gazebo, a bench and a path leading to the area. Your landscaping need not be elaborate: a couple of large, tropical-looking plants like palms and some low-growing flowering plants are all you'll need to create an environment that invites your friends and family to gather and relax in a peaceful setting.

Landscaping a Backyard with a Pond

Step 1

Build a walkway or path that will run from a central entry point of your backyard to your pond. You can make a path out of wood chips, sawdust, gravel, pebbles or you might consider laying cement for a more permanent, weed-free access point.

Step 2

Evaluate your backyard and pond area. Ask yourself if it will receive shade from any neighboring trees or buildings, and then decide if you want to plant trees that will provide shade when they grow large. Some palm trees are tolerant of temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit---check out the Mexican fan palm for its eventual tall height and frost tolerance. Plant trees toward the back and sides of your property, behind your pond.

Step 3

Add a bench or two or a couple of Adirondack chairs so you and your guests can sit by the pond and enjoy the out of doors. A table and chairs are also good additions because they will provide an area where you can enjoy meals. You could set up your barbecue near your pond as well.

Step 4

Grow plenty of flowering plants around your pond. Summer annuals such as petunias, poppies, marigolds, zinnias and others will brighten the area and add a splash of color all summer long. Native perennials, such as penstemons, clarkias, some of the sages and many others are good choices because they will come back year after year. Grow these in garden beds that surround your pond and in nearby areas.

Step 5

Consider using potted plants around your pool. Large, decorative pots with drainage holes and old wine barrels will add to your design and you can move them indoors or under cover in the winter if they contain frost-tender plants. Citrus trees are good looking with their dark green leaves and fragrant blossoms, plus they'll provide you with fruit in season. Ornamental grasses such as pampas grass and fountain grass add movement when they blow in the breeze. Ferns are lacy and delicate looking---many varieties are very easy to care for.

Step 6

Plant a patch of lawn if you would like an area for croquet or a play area for children.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood chips, gravel, sawdust or cement
  • Shade trees (optional)
  • Decorative pots with drainage holes
  • Flowering plants
  • Bench
  • Table and chairs
  • Lawn seed or sod (optional)


  • The Landscape Design site
  • Sunset Magazine
  • Pool Scapes
Keywords: ponds landscaping, backyard ideas, gardening design

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.