Designing Garden Ponds

The design of ponds, or garden ponds as they are often called, can seem a little bit daunting at first. A myriad of questions can arise that may confuse or discourage a homeowner from even beginning the project. How big should the pond be? Should it be a garden pond, a koi pond or a swimming pond? Can I implement the features I want? Even though the “pros” would like you to think the answers to these and other questions are worth paying them hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, I am here to tell you that life is not that hard. A garden pond is not only one of the simpler things to install within a landscape, it is also one of the most rewarding. If you can answer these questions about your dreams for your pond, you will be well on your way to enjoying the pearl of your outdoor environment!

The first, and most important, question you must ask yourself is “What is the purpose of this garden pond?” Every Pond must be there for a reason. These don’t have to be earth-shattering motivations, but we must understand that the pond exists to fill a need in our lives. What is that need for you? Do you desire the ambience that a garden pond can create, with its bubbling fountains and gentle splashing of cascading water? Or maybe you want to see birds drinking from your garden pond and see the fish swimming around the base of the lily pads. If you’re like me, your pond should be deep enough to give you a place to cool off in the hot summer sun, while also tickling your ears! Whatever your reasons for creating a pond, make sure that they are truly YOUR reasons. You don’t want to go through all the work of building a retreat, only to not take proper pleasure from it!

The second question you need to answer is “What type of pond will fill this need?” There are 3 main types of ponds to choose from. The first (and most popular) pond is called a Water Garden. A water garden is a pond created to support both plant and animal life. It can be fairly small, to accommodate small spaces, and should have fish that do not grow too large. The second type of pond is the Koi Pond. Koi Ponds are much larger than a standard Water Garden simply because Koi fish tend to grow quite large. Koi Ponds can also only sustain certain types of flora because Koi fish love to nibble on plants! The third type of pond to choose from is the Swimming Pond, my favorite! The Swimming Pond’s main defining attribute is its ability to accommodate full immersion, with a depth capable of cooling off even the hottest of homeowners. Some of you may be thinking of combining the Koi Pond with the Swimming Pond into a hybrid of sorts, and just for the record, I don’t recommend it! Koi fish like tranquility and the shock of a swimming buddy may be a bit too much for them. They may also disappear into a depth that makes them difficult to see. Who wants a Koi pond if you can’t see the Koi fish?

The final question is concerning the features of your garden pond. What do you want to see in your landscape? Do you love the look of water spilling over the edge of a fall? Maybe you’re into the gentle sounds of streams feeding into your pond with a soothing steadiness found only in nature! What about the strength and longevity of a properly placed boulder here and there? No matter what features you choose, the most important factor to consider at this stage is cost! What is your overall budget? Try to stick to that as closely as possible. The worst feeling in the world is a pond project that is meant to bring peace and serenity, halted by a lack of funds!

Garden Ponds can be a welcome addition to any outdoor space! With a little time, and some honest answers to simple questions, anyone can create a pond that fills their space with the exact ambiance that they desire. Just remember, the best person to design your garden pond is YOU (because you have to live with it)!