How to Make a Decorative Pond

Overview

Whether a garden is large or small, learning how to make a decorative pond can lead to the incorporation of an attractive garden addition that adds restfulness to the selected spot. Since dimensions, elaborate or simpler designs, and decorative touches are largely up to the homeowner, adding a pond to a yard is an excellent method of personalizing a garden space. After some initial planning, excavating and decorating, this garden feature can be in place within a weekend.

Planning

Step 1

Consider the purpose of the decorative pond. It may serve as an area where you can place a garden bench for reading, or it may provide a bit of background noise via water features to drown out a noisy street. In this way, the purpose of the pond influences the size and also narrows down possible location choices.

Step 2

Survey the landscape for available locations. In some cases, there may already be that perfect spot for a decorative pond. In other situations, landscape features--flower beds, decorations, a shed or flora--may need to be moved to make room for it. Remember that setting up the pond may also involve planting new flowers that thrive in its vicinity, as well as introducing new decorative features to the yard. This adds to the space requirements.

Step 3

Plan for water and electricity access; this may require the services of an electrician. Unless the exterior of the home is already equipped with outdoor-rated electrical outlets, it may take a professional to route the wiring according to municipal code requirements. The outlets allow for the installation of a pump that regulates water aeration. They also provide the power for light features and fountains.

Setup

Step 1

Purchase an attractively pre-molded pond liner that is in keeping with the size requirements of the landscape. These liners are for sale at major home improvement stores and come in varying diameters and depths. If fish are one of the decorative features that will go into the completed pond, make sure that it is deep; this helps prevent overheating of the water, which in turn may harm the fish.

Step 2

Pick up a spade and dig a hole that is as deep and wide as the pond liner. Unfold the burlap sack and place the displaced soil on the material. Use it to backfill the area around the pond, once the liner fits snugly into place. Drag the burlap to the location where you will dispose of--or use--the displaced soil. This prevents any soil buildup on the lawn grass surrounding the pond.

Step 3

Insert the pump and slowly fill the pond liner with water from the hose. As the liner weighs down and settles, add more dirt around it to ensure that it will not shift. Once the liner is filled, plug in the pump to ensure that it works properly.

Decorative Touches

Step 1

Add white rocks and assorted aquatic plants to the pond. Also insert a thermometer so that it is easier to regulate the water temperature to the optimum warmth for the plants. The white of the rocks provides a visually appealing contrast to the colors of the plants and helps them stand out more. When also introducing fish, use the rocks to build some hiding spots for them that will allow them to escape the attention of an overly curious cat.

Step 2

Incorporate a fountain in the decorative pond setup. Make sure there is a sufficient water level to feed the fountain or else its motor will overheat. Setting up a fountain also requires running an additional electrical cable; make sure there is another outlet that can accommodate it.

Step 3

Stretch wire mesh across the pond. This keeps out raccoons as well as possums and protects fish and aquatic plants from being harmed. Avoid the use of mesh by not introducing live decorations into the pond but instead relying on a fountain, rocks and statues for decorative touches.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical outlet
  • Pond liner
  • Spade
  • Burlap sack
  • Air pump
  • Garden hose
  • Water
  • White rocks (optional)
  • Aquatic plants (optional)
  • Fish (optional)
  • Thermometer (optional)
  • Fountain (optional)
  • Wire mesh (optional)

References

  • Kathy Wilson: How to Build a Pond
  • Aquatic Community: Pond Fountains

Who Can Help

  • Build Eazy: Construction of a simple garden pond
  • Thrifty Fun: Keeping raccoons out of a pond
Keywords: decorative pond, fountain, decorative features

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.