Introduction to Home Water Ponds

This website provides practical advice on the design, installation and maintenance of home water ponds, and home garden water features. We also have videos on how to build and maintain a pond.

How To Maintain A Water Garden

So you’re thinking of installing a home water pond on your property? It’s not as complicated as you might think, and there’s lots of good help available.

It used to be that home ponds were too difficult and expensive for the average homeowner to build themselves.  This is because concrete — expensive and difficult to install — was the main material used in construction.  Most people had little choice but to call professionals for planning and installation, which made it a very expensive undertaking.

But now you can install a home water pond using practical and comparatively inexpensive materials such as PVC and fiberglass.  This brings the cost down dramatically and also makes installation much easier. You no longer have to make forms or mix concrete; all you have to do is dig out the hole and place the premade liner.

Where can I put a home garden pond?

It depends what you want your pond to achieve for you.  If it is just to be a reflecting pond, or a waterfall – and you don’t intend to grow flowering aquatic plants – then you can put your pond just about anywhere.

But if your goal is to grow flowering plants such as water lilies, you need to consider the amount of light that the pond location gets. You see, most water lilies require at least six hours of full sun per day to bloom. So you will need to place your pond in a place that gets that much sun during the growing season. Most other flowering aquatic plants also require abundant light.

Now if you just want to grow green leafy plants (which can be very attractive), you can get away with a less sunny site.  The bottom line is: if you want flowers, select a sunny location.

How much space is required for a pond?

The amount of space you have available in your landscape for a pond must also be taken into consideration.

In my opinion, there’s ALWAYS space for a water feature, as a home garden water feature enthusiast, I’m a little biased!

But really, even the tiniest yards have room for a small water garden. I’ve known people who have raised goldfish and a single dwarf water lily in a ceramic pot on a balcony).  ut if you have plans for a variety of plants and animals then you will need a fair amount of space.

How deep does a home water pond need to be?

If all you want is a simple reflecting pool, you’ll need only a few inches of water.  But keep in mind that shallow ponds are subject to extreme temperature changes (hot in summer, freezing in winter), which can be very hard on living organisms such as plants and fish.

So if you want to include plants and fish in your pond I would recommend at least 18 inches of water for best results.  And to overwinter plants and fish in cold climates, at least part of the pond should drop to three feet so that the plants and fish have an unfrozen place to go.

What else should be considered when installing a pond?

You also need to consider the topography of the site when planning your home water pond. Don’t put your pond in the lowest part of your yard, because all the run-off of rainwater will collect in your pond.  Also, if your pond overflows then you could have a flood in that part of your yard.  Wherever you site your pond, make sure that it has adequate drainage.

If you’re wanting a waterfall effect, it makes sense to site your pond in a place that has a steep slope.  You can always create a slope by building up rocks and soil, but it’s a lot easier and less expensive if you start out with a natural slope.

Before starting any water-related project, be sure to check with your municipality concerning zoning laws and fencing codes. you might be surprised to learn that many cities and towns make no distinction between a water garden and a swimming pool. Therefore, security fencing may be required. Better safe than sorry.

Concluding thoughts…

A home water feature can be as simple as a barrel or ceramic pot – or as grand as you want to make it! Whether you go for a small pond or an elaborate pond, I’m sure that you will enjoy the variety of plant, bird, butterfuly and other animal life that is attracted to a home water pond.

Click on the links in the top right corner of this page to access more information on the design, installation and maintenance of home water ponds.