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Building a Garden Pond

Building a garden pond helps create a tranquil setting and has the added bonus of attracting wildlife such as birds and frogs. This is a page about building a garden pond.


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June 22, 201012 found this helpful

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.

We took the entire pond apart rock by rock and bought a new liner, dug the pond opening larger and built a dam around the perimeter of the pond to keep the water in the pond. We constructed a small waterfall and a perch for the ceramic frog that "spits." We filled the bottom of the pond with large stones and river rock.


There is a large fern growing behind the pond which gives it color; plus I have a bird feeder with a homemade gazing ball in it; I have 2 miniature spruce trees on each side of the pond in the front with stepping stones in an oval shape going to each tree.

A plastic window box sits on river rock which is filled with bright orange Zinnias; I have whimsical ceramic and resin frogs and turtles around the pond. All the river rock and stones came from my late sister's home in the Ozark mountains which makes it a very special place to visit.


The sound of the water coming from the small waterfall and the "spitting" frog (we put a tube in the ceramic frogs mouth and placed a pump nearby) the frog spits water into the pond; I also have a ceramic green lizard that sits on the other side of the perch where the frog sits like it wants to pounce on the frog and eat it!

It was fun reconstructing this pond and the enjoyment of this area of our yard is beyond measure in our eyes.


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September 14, 20060 found this helpful

This was our summer 2006 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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July 9, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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June 8, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

Below are some tips for building a cheap gardening bond.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
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!

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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.

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By 11 found this helpful
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.

By Karen from Hinton, Alberta

A backyard garden pond, with rockery and decorations.

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January 14, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

Karen, kudos on your pond. They are a lot of hard work and I think you need lots of kudos for doing the work yourself. Anybody can hire someone to do their work but when you do it yourself and so well, that makes me think you should get extra pats on the back! Great job!

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By 5 found this helpful
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. Now this is our family's favourite place to sit and talk. Hope you like it.

By Justin and Mom from Lawrencetown Nova Scotia

Transplanted Garden and Pond

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

Lovely! Your son's plan obviously worked quite well and provided you with a very pleasing view from your verandah. The birds and other wildlife must be quite happy with your garden and pond, too!

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September 5, 20174 found this helpful

Photo Description
If you look closely, you will see the tadpoles and the bullfrog that lives here. He was trying to hide between the lily pads.

Photo Location
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.

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By 3 found this helpful
April 28, 2010

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

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By 9 found this helpful
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.

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By 2 found this helpful
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.

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May 7, 20171 found this helpful

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.

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May 4, 20160 found this helpful

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

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August 2, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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

July 7, 20100 found this helpful

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! Where do you shop in Washington State for pond items? Thanks in advance for replies.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

Lori C. from Ephrata, WA


Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

My MIL put a small pond in her yard and she went to Agway. I don't know if they have any of these near you, but they are a feed store (we buy chicken feed there) and some of the bigger Agway's have a ton of flower garden stuff, including pond forms etc.


By Tracy In NH

Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

You can for your own pond with lumber and cement in a hole that you dig to the shape you want. To make it waterproof, torch on flat roofing is good. It lasts a long time and better than the rubber liners. Visit your library and get some ideas there - there are excellent books on the subject. The need for a ledge for the edge plants --- how to make the pond fit with its environment etc. For instance, a waterfall just doesn't make sense unless the area has a natural slope you can take advantage of. Better then to use a fountain instead. (07/21/2008)

By Barbara

Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

I am currently building a pond in my yard using the shell from an old hot tub. You seal the outlets and it make a great pond. Build it into a deck and surround with rock and you don't have to dig to deep. I am putting the lower part into the ground but this thing should not freeze since the water will be flowing. (07/21/2008)

By travis in ohio.

Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

Hi! I have 3 ponds, liner, pre-formed plastic, and concrete. I have had better luck with the pre-formed because either my dogs or other critters poked holes in the regular rubber liner which calls for repairs, and my water plants grew thru the 4" deep concrete! so now I have a liner over the concrete. So far none of my plants have bothered the pre-formed one. the plant roots just follow the bottom of the pond. All my pond stuff came from Home depot or Lowe's , I hope you have some type of home improvement store near you. the most important tip I can give is to be careful when and if you bring plants across state lines, many no-no's about that with hefty fines! One other thing, use the dirt you dig out along the side top to help you get the depth you want , this will help keep yard debri out of your clean pond. good luck! hope you get as much pleasure from yours as I do. (07/21/2008)

By kay winters

Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

Hello Lori from Ephrata, from Kim in Moses Lake. The new Lowes will surely have them, you might have heard about that building going up at Kittleson road. Home Depot has them. There are probably some water plant things at the nursery between Ephrata and Soap Lake. I didn't see anything except a water-filled half-barrel at Edwards Nursery in Moses Lake, but I didn't see the whole place. Lots of beautiful stone around, of course! Landscapers can refer you to projects they have done so you can go get ideas for free. God Bless! (07/21/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Pond needs safety stepping stones

Make sure to put in large stones or rocks so that wildlife that falls in, like chipmunks, can save themselves from drowning. A friend did not do this and was shocked to find dead chipmunks in his pond. I put rocks in my small pond for spiders, ants, and critters that might fall in and drown.

There is a product called Skamper-Ramp - "a patented water escape device that prevents animals from drowning!

Every year in the U.S. alone tens of thousands of family pets needlessly drown, along with countless millions of other creatures; raccoons, possums, squirrels, frogs, chipmunks, mice, etc. Pets are family members! They rely on their owners to keep them safe.

According to the American Pet Association, the odds of a pet drowning, are approximately one in 1,028 each year in the US alone. And over 53% of pet owners have a pool and/or spa! The problem is very real but equally preventable."

By Jan Yofee

Building a Small Pond and Waterfall

Check out They are my favorite. I have a 1200-1500 gallon pond w/ 6 BIG Kois and two waterfalls. Pond Market sells the least expensive and best chemicals I've ever found. The only problem I've had in 9 years is algae build up on rocks and down the waterfall. But, there are chemicals that control that. I've just kinda lost interest. Mine is NOT the pre formed plastic but the free form that I dug out myself and put in the liner. It is GORGEOUS! (07/24/2008)

By Karen

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

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

By sandra glover from Bluff City, TN


Garden: Decorative Pond

What a unique idea with the little boy fishing in the pond! Thanks for the idea. We are remodeling our pond and we might incorporate that type of idea into our landscape. (08/06/2009)


Garden: Decorative Pond

Very peaceful looking. Good job. (08/06/2009)

By Janet

Garden: Decorative Pond

Love the little boy fishing while sitting on a tree stump! (08/06/2009)

By Deeli

Garden: Decorative Pond

You should be proud! (08/06/2009)


Garden: Decorative Pond

That is almost identical to the one that I've had in the back of my mind for years! The only difference is, I want to put a few bushes around it and some flowers. And the statue that you have, mine is a "Pee Pee Boy". We're just waiting till we move to do it. Don't want to go through all that here just to have to leave it. I love yours though! I'm going to print this out and show my husband! (08/06/2009)

By Cricket

Garden: Decorative Pond

We're also thinking of a pond, but are too tired to do it this year. Perhaps in the spring. I've heard it doesn't take too long if you have a few people to lift the rocks/boulders. I just saw a link on how to build on, haven't tried it, but it makes sense.

By Allison

Garden: Decorative Pond

Thanks for all the nice comments! (08/07/2009)

By sandra glover

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