15 Garden Pond Ideas That Will Turn Your Backyard Into A Mini-Eden

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If you are thinking of installing a garden pond, we say, “great choice”.It will add so much value to your garden, taking it to the next level. It will add aesthetic value and attract wildlife that can improve plant health and garden biodiversity. 

Plus, garden ponds make sweet relaxation spots. You can just sit around the area, enjoying the soothing sight and sound of moving water. 

The best part is that installation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There is a pond for every budget, style, theme and garden size. There are garden pond ideas that only require a bit of creativity and recycled materials. And there are those that look like the statement piece of a royal palace. The point of this article is to share them with you.

So, if you are looking for garden pond ideas, we say “welcome” and “read on”. 

Build a garden pond into or near your patio

If you want to get the most out of a garden pond, build it near your seating area. Any sort of seating area will do, be it a patio, decking or even ordinary chairs. Just build the pond in the part of your garden where you usually sit to relax and hang out with loved ones. You can build it beside or into the patio.

The pond will improve the atmosphere of that seating area, making it more enchanting and relaxing. It will introduce the sound of moving waters, water reflections, beautiful pond plants and visiting wildlife. Therefore, the result is more powerful than if you had the patio and garden pond in different areas of the garden. Try this garden pond idea and watch everything fall into place. 

Build seats into your garden pond

This is a reversal of the previous garden pond idea. There, we talked about installing a garden pond for your seating area. This time, we are talking about installing seating for the garden pond. However, the intentions are the same. The point is to allow you to sit and relax by your new garden pond.

Add a fountain to your garden pond

This garden pond idea may seem cliché but allow us to explain. Fountains are not just design elements. They keep pond water healthy through movement and oxygenation. Stagnant water turns bad too soon, which is not good for your pond and its occupants. Plus, moving water has a powerful and beautiful effect on the eyes and ears.

You can go with a grand stone fountain with intricate designs. It’s undeniably elegant and classy. It may even have integrated lighting to keep your garden pond lit at night. However, this will be expensive. So, you may want to consider cost-effective options like sheet fountains. Finally, you can try multiple small ones instead of one large fountain. They are perfect for small garden pond ideas.

Turn an old zinc tub into a garden pond

This is just one of many small garden pond ideas you will find on this list. It is a cheap one too. If you have an old zinc tub, use it to build a garden pond. A raised basin will also work. If you don’t have any of these lying around, consider buying either for this reason. New or recycled, they are cost- and space-efficient options for building a garden pond.

You can simply sit the tub or raised basin at a desired spot (for the pond). No need to dig, although that is also an option. Fill with water, and then add some stones and pond plants. The stones will serve as landing spots for insects and birds. You can also add ramps for mammals to climb in and out.

Build a mini pond

Here is a small garden pond idea that is even more cost- and space-efficient. Mini ponds cost next to nothing and are very easy to relocate. It is not often that you get to say this about a pond. 

You can make them with saucers, stone basins, fish tanks, pots, butler sinks and plastic containers. In fact, any container will work. Just add the usual accessories, water, stones, pond plants etc. Then refill the pond (with water) occasionally. 

For the best effect, create multiple mini pods and position them strategically. For example, you can position the pond near plants that need cross-pollination. Therefore, visiting wildlife can help to pollinate those plants.

Build a raised pond

Here are some reasons to consider this garden pond idea. A raised pond is stylish, unique, and safer for children and pets. You can also build seats on the edges. Just know that you may need to add ramps to make the pond accessible to some mammals. But that is not a big deal.

As for the choice of building material for this garden pond idea, options include concrete, railroad sleepers, brick, natural stone etc.

Add pond plants

Every garden pond needs pond plants. They oxygenate the water and serve as landing spots and shade for visiting wildlife and pond fishes. They also add aesthetic value and aid the transition from garden greenery.

Here are some tips for getting the best out of this garden pond idea. Start by adding floating plants like lily pads inside the pond. Then, plant border plants along the edges to add aesthetics and mark the pond’s boundary. Border plant options include rushes, sweet flag, yellow flash iris, purple Japanese iris and marsh marigolds. Ensure the pond’s border has a mixture of foliage-producing, flowering and tall plants.

Create a naturalistic pond

With this garden pond idea, we don’t exactly mean “create a natural pond”, although that is an option. A naturalist pond is about minimalism, not necessarily naturalism. So, you don’t have to make the pond 100% natural. You just need to hide the human-made aspects to create an illusion of naturalism. 

Therefore, you can use plants and other elements to hide the building materials. You can also reduce artificial accessories like pumps and water filters.

Build a koi pond

Beautiful pond fishes are one of the best things about garden ponds. There are lots of them, but we have decided to pick koi for this garden pond idea. Koi is a trendy ornamental fish for garden ponds. You can get them in colours like white, yellow, red, blue and black. 

For this idea to work, you must rig your garden pond to accommodate this fish. You need to create shelters and hiding spots for them. Plants, stones and sticks will work for these. You will also need to feed them.

Finally, pay attention to how these fishes relate to the other animals (the wildlife) in your garden pond. To avoid a disaster, you can introduce the koi gradually.

Build a wildlife-friendly garden pond

We have already talked about how a garden pond can attract beneficial wildlife to your garden. So, let’s talk about how to attract them. This garden pond idea is pretty easy once you understand the basics. Here it is. Animals want food, water and shelter. The pond already has water. Provide the remaining two and wildlife will come. You can also include ramps and slopes to improve accessibility.

Here are some tips for targeting specific wildlife.  

  • Bees: plant nectar-producing nearby. Options include borage, lavender and purple coneflower.
  • Bugs and insects: Plant border plants to provide shelter and floating plants to provide landing spots. Some tall plants will also invite them to climb and perch.
  • Birds: Add landing spots and a bird bath, bird feeder or bird house.
  • Toads and newts: Provide landing spots, shade and a frog house.
  • Hedgehogs: Provide shade and ramps and stepping stones.

Build a long pond

Long garden ponds are rare. Therefore, they are unique. You can get interesting and captivating pond designs by going with unusual shapes. For example, you can build a pond along the length of your garden. Then you can add a bridge(s) or a stepping-stone pathway for accessibility. It’s that easy to create a unique garden pond.

Build your garden pond into a wall

Whether you decide to dig or build a raised pond, this garden pond idea will save money and space. It will also create an interesting result. You can even build the pond into a corner to further optimise space. Therefore, this is a great small garden pond idea. You just need a strong and non-permeable wall for it to work.

Add illumination to your garden pond

This is an essential garden pond idea. Every garden pond of any size, design and style will benefit from proper lighting. For ponds, that (proper lighting) means dim, beautiful and moody lighting. Bright lights chase away wildlife. It also doesn’t look as good.

You should also pick lights that add some design element. You can hang them over or around the pond. You can even have lights floating on it. Another option is to include water features and pond decorations with integrated lighting. However, this garden pond idea is about pond lights alone. So let’s focus on that. Your options include spotlights, festoon lights, bubble lights and lanterns.

Install a Stepping stone pathway

The aesthetic is a lot more interesting than that of a regular bridge. Therefore, a pond with a stepping stone pathway could be the perfect addition to your garden. You can install the pathway using natural stone, brick and concrete. Just make sure the stepping stones are stable and well-spaced. DIY or pro work, this garden pond idea is a delight.

Build a dyed garden pond

You can get pond dye in pink, green, black and blue. The effect is stunning, and it lasts for a couple of months. Apart from aesthetics, pond dyes also have functional value. They can help keep algae away. However, there are issues to consider before trying this garden pond idea. You must use a pond dye that is safe for fish, wildlife, pets, and humans.


There is no denying that a pond could dramatically increase any garden’s aesthetics and biodiversity. However, garden structures and elements have to work as a unit. The plants, fence, patio etc., have to pair well together. This is the understanding that separates great gardens and gardeners from average ones.

Therefore, your priority should be to find the right garden pond idea for your garden. There are many methods and systems that you can use to make your conclusion. You can consider size, utility, budget, aesthetics, style, theme, mood etc. Be intentional. You can even come up with your own garden pond ideas.


Do garden ponds prefer sunny or shaded areas?

A sunny area is best. Pond water, plants, fish and wildlife need sunlight. Therefore, ponds need enough sunlight to stay healthy. As a rule of thumb, under six hours of daily sunlight is enough to keep a pond healthy. 

Too much sunlight will create an entirely different set of problems. That is why we mentioned shade several times among these garden pond ideas. You need plants and trees around to provide some protection from the sun.

How deep should I make my garden pond?

There is no definite way to answer this because it depends on the occupants of your pood. For example, you will need a depth of at least 60cm (2 feet) for pond fish. However, floating plants do alright in shallow waters. Wildlife also prefers the shallows. So, if you don’t need pond fishes, you can get away with a much shallower garden pond. 

Is rainwater better for garden ponds?

Yes, rainwater is better for the fish, plants, wildlife and overall health of a garden pond. It is safer than tap water. It can also help dilute harmful accumulates within the pond.

How do I care for my garden pond?

The obvious one is to ensure that the pond has enough water. You may have to refill occasionally, especially with some of the small garden pond ideas we discussed. You will also need oxygenating plants, pumps and filters. They will keep the pond water oxygenated, clean and moving. Occasionally you can also add some chemicals to treat the water. However, sometimes it is better to replace it entirely. 

Author: Eleanor

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