Making an Inexpensive Garden Pond

by Judy
Our garden pond is one of the best features of our backyard. We used recycled materials to build it, so it's not an expensive project. Just roll up your sleeves, get the kids to help, and you can build your own garden pond!
Finished garden pond. The pond is kinda kidney shaped and it surrounded by old brick we got from a school that was being torn down.
This is a recent, favorite photo, showing the little stream with three waterfalls that flows into the garden pond.
After digging a hole about 10 x 6 x 3, I lined it with old strips of discarded carpet to keep any rocks from creeping through and tearing the liner. Then we put a piece of rubber roofing down, folding it where necessary.
Next came the RR ties to outline a raised flowerbed that would surround the pond. The kids helped haul in soil, and then I started planting perennials. My blog post lists the plants that are in my pond garden.
Finished pond and garden with water hyacinths and water lettuces that help keep the pond clean. My blog post tells how pond plants and snails preclude a need for any water treatment. I want my dogws to be able to drink out of this.
Taken from another angle, you can see the raised flower bed and the pond-level flower bed, with a corner of the pond showing in this photo - very left of photo.
One of the grandsons, hunting for the snails that are in the pond.
I stacked a couple rocks on one of the plant shelves (see blog post) and occasionally there's a frog on the rock.
Alongside the pond garden stream, we placed rocks that are now moss-covered. I kept enough room between some rocks so that I could place a pocket of soil and plant impatiens and lobelia - both shade plants.
A June photo showing the pond garden, irises, and a pond swing that we enjoy - as long as we can keep the mosquitoes away! We also have string lighting in a couple of the basswood tree branches,to have a lighted area to enjoy at night.
Largo, my fake turtle, whom I help migrate from place to place in the pond garden.
I found the frog photo. Cute little guy, isn't he! BTW, we have a recirculating pump in the bottom of the pond and a hose that runs next to the stream to the top, to create the stream and waterfalls.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • K-Mi K-Mi on Jul 18, 2015
    Did you simply use the bricks to hold the pond liner in place?

  • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Oct 10, 2017
    I bought a large pre formed pond. I edged it with stone and some overhanging. I loved it and worked at it for years trying to keep the algae out. I would drain to a safe level, scrub the sides as I went getting out the gunk and in no time it lost it's sparkle and was a mess again. Personally, I would never attempt one. I suspect intense sun was my problem. I had a recirculating pump and tried to do all the right things. A water lily or two for shade, water hyacinths. And yet I have a friend who has an ancient concrete pond on her property. The water is dark as a dungeon but all who inhabit seem happy. It's cleaned out on rare occasions. Go figure!

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    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Oct 10, 2017
      Bingo, Judy. Your pond has shade. That was the lacking element for mine. I had a recirculating pump and really worked at the whole thing. Even bought some of those small 'carp' type fish that are supposed to be excellent for sucking the gunk off the sides. Mine 'flew' over the sides and I found them dead in the yard. My pond simply got too much heat from the sun and it became an incubator for unwanted green flora. After at least 3 years I lost the battle. Punched holes in the bottom for draining and filled it with dirt. But, yours is beautiful. What a nice place to sit.