by William Murphy
There are many ways to incorporate a pond into your backyard, regardless of space. A pond does not have to be a large, expansive, overwhelming project: you can have a pond that is either two by two feet or twenty by twenty feet!
You also don’t have to dig into the ground: you can fill an old bathtub! Do keep in mind that the larger the pond, the easier the water will circulate, and the healthier your pond will actually be.
Ponds look best when their elements match the existing surroundings. For example, try to use boulders or rocks that match the natural landscape or the hues in the walls of your house. If you live in an arid landscape, you may want to use natural stone from the area.
A pond provides relief and inspiration as a place of refuge or relaxing enjoyment. We have compiled a list of some options and ideas for varying budgets and available space.
Build the pond into your patio by laying brick walls. This pond is great for housing water plants and for adding a cool spot for entertaining on hot summer nights. Plan before you lay your patio, and you can dig deep enough into the ground to house fish, too. Flagstone tops the walls, providing optional seating for guests to dip their feet or face outward.
Make use of the corner by the shed by adding a water feature. Rocks will hold the pond liner in place while creating a natural landscape. Sprouts of green come up through cedar mulch while maintaining the colour scheme of browns and greens throughout. A small waterfall is built against the fence, creating a focal point that is visible from all points in the yard.
A dirt path meanders along a kidney-shaped pond, which has a gradual dip from a shallow end with gravel to a deep end where koi fish swim beneath floating lily pads and reeds. Allow plants and weeds to grow wildly around the pond. This will attract all kinds of wildlife, which can provide endless entertainment for you and your guests!
Your backyard pond can be your own piece of heaven. Set up your pond next to a fence, and include a covered seating area. This intimate atmosphere invites you to sit for private enjoyment and relaxation.
There are specific kinds of plants you can grow in your pond: submerged, such as water lilies that grow beneath the surface of the water and provide oxygen for fish; marginal plants, whose roots are underwater; and floating plants, which sit upon the surface of the water to create shade and prevent algae overgrowth.
Make use of an old bathtub by filling it with water and live plants to enhance its beauty. Tubs are an ideal basin for a pond, as they have hookups for both water inlet and drainage. Simply attach a hose to a pump, and channel the water through the open faucet.
It is best to use a pump with a pond this small, to prevent any excess algae build-up. Bathtub ponds give a nice rustic feel and fit well into gardens. Best of all, it is an eco-friendly solution when you recycle an old tub.
Your pond can be a work of art to be admired, by including interesting architectural elements such as floating objects or water that spurts out of the middle. A pond without much growth around it can prove to be a meditative, calming place to gaze upon the serene surface and enjoy the reflection of the surroundings.
A fountain stands in the middle of the pond and gives a soft ripple, which can mesmerize for hours. The continuous, symmetrical, concentric motion is almost hypnotizing and will refresh you immediately. Hidden by evergreens, Echinacea, and a bank of small boulders, this koi pond is a sweet little hidden spot that will take you miles away.
Build a bank of rock to create a barrier that prevents children or pets from entering the water. If you have the space, try adding a little stream that pours into the larger pond.
You can place a walkway along this path, or cover it with a small bridge for a romantic setting. Spots of colour and little statues line the perimeter, making this spot perfect for poetic musing or conversation.
Brighten up a shadowy corner of the yard with bright green plants and a water feature. Here the pond is divided into two sections: one with greenery and one with statues and a birdbath to further encourage wild visitors. Irregular ledgestone creates organic shapes around the outside of the pond.
A backyard water feature adds an element of life and movement that is relaxing, inspiring, and meditative. Nothing compares to the soothing sound of running water. Ponds will also attract birds and other wild visitors that will bring enjoyment to the yard.
About William Murphy
William has worked as a general contractor in the city of Fremont, CA for over three decades. During that time, he's written articles about architecture, construction, and environmental protection for various publications. He is an expert on green building and sustainable design. When he's not writing or working, William enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.