Building a Garden Pond

September 14, 2006
Decorative pond with lots of frog statuary.

This was our summer project. We had collected various sizes of rocks from vacation spots, my late sister's home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, Europe, and other places. I sketched out the layout and we worked all summer on it; we put the finishing touches on it this weekend.


It has a sense of whimsy in it with the frogs, the gazing ball turtle, the floating ceramic starfish in the small pond; the water fall is refreshing to listen to when you sit on the bench in the front yard; there is a blue ceramic frog sitting on a rock near the water fall; a resin frog under the water fall; a frog resting in a hammock, a large lizard perched on a rock looking at the frogs (yum, yum!), a large fern grows behind the rock garden and it will be beautiful next year as it frames the rocks and the water. At night the water shimmers with the lights around it. There are two large wrought iron candleholders behind the water fall that will be lit up for celebrations and holiday seasons.

There is an old washtub with spring/summer flowers; I will replace the flowers as the seasons change; there is a window flower box on the house near the water garden and it will hold seasonal flowers as well.


This feature is an inviting entrance to our front door and we will enjoy it for years to come.

This was a challenge to my husband and I; my husband has many skills (he is very handy around the house and is able to repair and build anything I ask him).

It might not look like a professional job - but we accomplished it and we are proud of it.

By WandaJo from TN

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16 More Solutions

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June 22, 2010

We had designed and constructed a rock garden pond in one of our flower beds in the front yard a few years ago; the liner got a hole in it and the pond began to lose water.

Decorative Rock Pond


July 9, 2007

We had to cut down a dead tree a few years ago but could not remove the stump for several reasons. To cover up the stump and some raised roots we decided to put in a pond and garden.

Pond and Birdbath at Site of Cut Down Tree


June 8, 2006

If possible it is a better idea to locate a garden pond closer to your home rather than far away. Ponds are like swimming pools - they attract wild critters, pets, and also the neighborhood children.


January 29, 2003

Below are some tips for building a cheap gardening bond.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

May 30, 2008

We have a plastic turtle-shaped sandbox that my children no longer use. Can I fill that with water and water plants to make a pond? If so, is it okay to put a couple of goldfish in it, too? Thanks!

Hardiness Zone: 7a



By Ellie (Guest Post)
June 3, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Well, I'm going to say a little bit differently. I live in an 2nd floor apartment, so no pond. However I did have a cold water fish tank and a few goldfish, and NO FILTER. I just cleaned it out regularly, and my fish lived for over 5 years.


I really can't see why your turtle swimming pool couldn't be a pond. Gardening magazines are always showing pics of 'balcony ponds' for those who have no gardens. All sorts of thing are used, half barrels, big bowls etc. At one stage I did have a very large plastic bowl out on my (uncovered) balcony with some goldfish in it. That worked too, though be sure to have some shade for them in very hot weather. Good luck!

By Marna (Guest Post)
June 5, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

That'll work but you need a small pump to keep the water moving through a spitter (frog, turtle, etc.) and the goldfish will prevent mosquito infestation which you'd get with standing water. To keep the water clear, you can wrap the filter with a couple of layers of old panty hose with a rubber band.


When it gets dirty, just replace it. You also want to have plants that oxygenate the water. There's lots of water garden web sites to get you going. I have a big antique galvanized metal tub that has my water garden in it and has for a number of years.

Answer this Question


Check out these photos.

January 11, 2010

Hi to all you pond lovers. Here is a picture of my back yard. I built my pond by hand and went out every evening to add rocks. It was a lot of hard work, but the end of it all it was well worth it. Hope you like this picture.

A backyard garden pond, with rockery and decorations.


August 10, 2009

We had a garden beside the kids playground that had to be moved because the wild blackberries were killing the plants. My 10 year old son came up with this plan. We worked hard for 5 days digging the pond and transplanting the garden.

Transplanted Garden and Pond


September 5, 2017

This is my pond. My Hubby built it because we live on a hill and I was retiring. He dug it all out by hand. It's very relaxing.


Even inside our bedroom, you can hear the waterfall and the bullfrog while you are falling asleep.

A garden rock pond with lots of plants and a small waterfall.


April 28, 2010

I thought I would share this thrifty idea as I only have a small garden and wanted a pond.

Making a Small Garden Pond


July 7, 2010

My hubby created this beautiful pond for me to enjoy. It is situated right outside of our doorway so we enjoy it all day long.


In the evening it is illuminated with colorful lights and it's so cool to see the fish cruising around in the dark.

Garden Pond


April 24, 2013

Our deck and fish pond was made out of items that were free. The rocks around the pond are from all over. Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Summer Garden with Fish Pond


May 7, 2017

This is an interesting way to reuse an old tub and make a large water feature and bird bath for your yard. This is a page about making a bathtub water pond.

clawfoot bathtub pond

May 4, 2016

This is a page about installing a preformed garden pond. A pond can be a beautiful focal point in your garden.

garden pond

August 2, 2013

This is a page about keeping ponds safe for fish and wildlife. With thoughtful planning you can create a pond that is safe for your fish and visiting wildlife.

A chaffinch sitting on a rock by a garden pond.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 7, 2010

I would like to put a small pond and waterfall in my yard. I would love to hear of your tips, ideas, success or defeats. Thrifty ideas are so welcome!


June 22, 2010

This my pond in my front yard that my husband and I made this spring. Hope you like!

Garden: Decorative Pond

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