Enhance Your Garden with 15 Expert Tips for Building a Stunning Pond

A garden pond can add beauty, elegance and interest to your yard. A garden pond can be a fish-pond, a basin to receive a waterfall or a calm body of water that is perfect for reflection and meditation.

It is important to follow some basic guidelines when building a garden pond to ensure that the process goes smoothly and to ease the maintenance of the pond.


The Garden Pond Perimeter should be leveled to close tolerances
Remember that the water level of a garden pond is only as high at the lowest point on the perimeter. The entire garden pond perimeter should be the same height.

It may seem obvious, but it is easy to overlook when digging a pond. As an exact level cannot be achieved, you should think about deviations and tolerances.

If your pond is 24 inches deep, then the deviation of the perimeter from this depth should be as small as possible, just an inch or so.


Choose if the pond will be shallow or deep
The cost of the pond and its appearance will be affected by the depth of the garden pond.

The bottom of the pond becomes more opaque and the rock is no longer visible as the depth increases. Fish may hide themselves. Pond liners are also needed for deeper ponds.

Fish are more visible in shallow ponds, and decorative rocks are easier to display. Shallow ponds can build up more algae because they are lit with greater intensity.


Protect the Pond Bottom from Burrowing Animals
Groundhogs, moles and other burrowing pests can create holes in your lawn or garden. If you have a burrowing creature in your yard, you may find yourself filling in the holes.

The problem is not just annoying. It’s a serious issue when the burrowing animals chew through the pond lining.

It is possible to use a metal mesh, called hardware cloth, as the base of your pond’s bottom. Then you can add a few inches more dirt on top. Underlayment and lining are then placed on top of this dirt layer. You should also lay hardware cloth along the sides if your sides are not retaining walls but dirt.


Converting the eventual pond size to the pond liner size
The size of a garden pond is determined by the pond liner. Before you even start digging, you will need to determine the size of the pond, as well as the price and size of the pond lining.

EPDM liners are expensive. EPDM is more expensive than PVC.

Spending hundreds of dollars on a sheet of liner for a project that uses free or low-cost items such as water, rock, concrete blocks, or retaining wall block can be a big purchase.

The size of your pond will be determined by the price of the pond lining if you are on a tight budget. You might also find it worthwhile to invest a little more money in a project that will have a lot of visibility and curb appeal.


Early shape nuances are often lost
You may add special curves or inlets to the pond when you first create it. This will give your garden pond an unique appearance.

These early subtleties are often wiped out and softened with subsequent stages of the pond building process. This softening is achieved by adding underlayment, a liner to the bottom of your pond and rocks on the banks. Consider the basic shapes.


Add a top spillover drain to the design
If you don’t live in an arid, parched climate, it is inevitable that your pond overflows. Even in arid areas, this may happen if you fill the pond with the hose but let time pass. Create a spillover point to divert water away from your foundation.


Avoid Tall, Vertical Garden Pond Walls
You will find it more difficult to apply stone to a garden pond if the walls are tall and vertical. Natural stones that are loose and uncut can be difficult to stack vertically. The rock will tend to fall and you’ll need to use more rocks, or bigger rocks to cover the area.

Small rocks are cheaper but difficult to stack. Large rocks are easier to stack but more expensive and hard to move. If possible, keep the garden pond bank at 45 degrees or less.


Installing a Permanent External Skimmer and Filter
If you don’t install a permanent filter in the wall of your pond, your only option for filtration is manual skimming and floating filtration devices.

The constant task of hand-skimming the water is tedious, while floating filters occupy a large surface area and are unsightly. The permanent water filter can be mounted to the side of the pond.

It will automatically turn on and off at predetermined intervals. A permanent filter may be more expensive and difficult to install initially, but it will make pond maintenance easier in the long run.


Terrace the Pond Bottom
If the sloped garden pond bank is angled too sharply, it will result in rocks sliding down the sides and bottom of the pond. Terrace the sides and bottom of your garden pond, similar to stair treads or farming terraces.

Avoid stacking rocks higher than 6 inches on each riser. You can create terraces by chopping them into the dirt directly with the shovel.


Covering the Pond Liner
It is important to cover every square inch of the pond liner. Even the most expensive, best pond liners will eventually break down due to UV rays.

Protect against deterioration by covering the entire liner in something permanent. This could be rocks on the sides, river stones, or gravel. You should plan ahead to decide how to cover the pond liner. In retrospect, this can lead to overloading of the pond liner.

If you maintain the pond terraces at a low level, you can use smaller stones. For high terraces, you will need larger and more visible fill materials.


You Can Be Creative When Choosing Your Rocks
To cover the lining, garden ponds need a lot more rocks at the bottom and on the sides. The cost of the pond will increase if you buy all the rocks.

Look for rocks you can carry with you. If you are on a road trip and come across a good source of rocks, throw a few into your car. The rivers are a great source of river stones.

The beaches are also a great source of round stones, pebbles and sand. Make sure you are allowed to take the stones.


Plan ahead for cleaning
Cleaning your garden pond can be one of the most difficult tasks. Garden ponds accumulate leaves, dust and dirt. You will need to clean and empty the pond at some point.

A smoother, easier-to-clean pond bottom can make the cleaning process easier. It is more difficult to clean ponds with heavily rocked bottoms or those that have a lot of texture. Only use as much rock to cover the pond lining.


Use EPDM Liners If Available
EPDM liners can be purchased for a lot less than PVC liners. However, they are worth it if you have the money. EPDM liners tend to be thicker and more durable than PVC ones.

EPDM liners are resistant to UV rays and chemicals like chlorine. EPDM liners are also pliable when heated by the sun and will fit into the pond well.


Terracing can be done in a variety of ways
The most popular method of giving the garden pond its shape is to terraform the earth around and below the pond. Earth can be sculpted in a number of different shapes.

For yards with sandy soil, or earth that does not form well, you can use other methods of shaping. For a more curved look, you can use a similar type of foam insulation to add shape to the curves.

You can cut and stack large sheets of insulation to create the basic shape of a garden pond.


Take a Look at the Effects of Sunlight on a Pond
Sunlight creates algae in garden ponds. By angling or moving the garden pond, you can reduce the algae growth.

You’ll need to use natural algaecides and inhibitors if you want your garden pond to receive sunlight. Some pond owners drain their ponds at the times of year when the light is most intense to prevent algae.