Creating an Oasis with Landscape Design for Ponds and Water Features

Creating an oasis with landscape design for ponds and water features is an elegant way to personalize your outdoor living area, while adding a touch of serenity to your landscape design.

landscape design for ponds

Designs for ponds and water gardens can be incorporated into various garden themes, whether your home boasts an Old World, Tuscan landscape or a charming country garden style design.

Careful planning is the first step of creating your outdoor pond or fountain.



Selecting the Best Location For Your Water Garden

When it come to landscape design for ponds, there are several factors that will influence the location of your pond. It would be best to design an entire landscape with the pond incorporated into the plan, but most homeowners are adding a water garden to a landscape that is already in existence, which is often more difficult.


Consider these factors as you determine the best site for your garden pond:

• The view Your water garden should be a tranquil component of your outdoor area that is visible from your favorite sitting areas. Avoid high ground coverings, shrubbery, and other objects that may interfere with the view.

• The ground condition Select a location that is level and promotes good drainage. Take care not to place the pond in a low area of the yard that may be prone to flooding after a rain.

• Ease of maintenance You will want to place your garden pond in a site that is easy to access with pathways leading around the pond. A nearby storage area is a good idea for convenient access to your pond supplies. Water and electricity connections may also need to be close by.

• The surroundings A pond offers a fabulous mirror image of the beauty of your garden. Select a location that makes use of the reflective nature of water, but take care to avoid overhanging trees that may create debris within the pond.

• Sunlight. Depending on the plant life you choose for your water garden you will need to select a pond site with plenty of direct sunlight. Most flowering water plants require a great deal of natural light.

• Overall landscape Most importantly, you want your garden pond to blend naturally with the rest of your landscape design.

Determining Pond Size and Shape

Once you have decided on the best site for your water garden, the next step in landscape design for ponds will be determining the best size and shape. Small ponds are much more unstable but, in many instances, there is only a small area of your yard available for water features.



For best results, you will want to dedicate at least 50 square feet of space to your water surface. The average garden pond is between 18 and 24 inches deep and can be adjusted to counterbalance the surface area if need be.

Never make your pond deeper than 36 inches to ensure ease of maintaining the pond, unless you are designing a Koi pond that may be as deep as 5 feet. If you plan to create a pond deeper than 18 inches, check with your local ordinances or HOA regulations first. Many areas require that deeper water areas are enclosed by a fence of at least 6 feet.

landscape design for ponds

Another important factor in landscape design for ponds in determining the size of your garden pond is the actual role it plays in your overall landscape design.

Ponds should be proportionate to the surroundings and other garden accessories. A water garden that serves as a central focal point in the yard, for instance, would be much larger than a pond integrated into a planting bed.

The design of your outdoor living area will also influence the shape of your pond. A formal garden design with straight lines and sharp corners, for example, would best be complemented by a rectangular or square pond with defined angles.

A landscape design for ponds featuring curves and rounded edges, however, would be best suited for a circular pond. The type of liner and shell used to create the pond can influence the shape; flexible liners are best for nontraditional shapes.


Defining the Purpose of Your Water Garden

Garden ponds have many different uses, although they are all designed to be an attractive addition to your outdoor living space. You may decide a fish pond is best for your landscape and will need to select the types of fish and other accessories. Koi ponds are quite popular, but require a little understanding about proper maintenance.

The unique colors and patterns of Koi add a magical touch to any outdoor space, but many homeowners have a difficult time keeping their fish healthy and alive. What most people don’t realize is that there are actually dozens of different varieties of Koi, and new hybrid species are introduced on a regular basis.

landscape design for ponds

Garden ponds simply add tranquility to your outdoor environment. Waterfalls offer beauty, as well as the relaxing sound of running water.

Water fountains are an elegant way to incorporate the peacefulness of water into your landscape design.

Streams, plants, and other water features can also be integrated into your water garden for a more custom landscape design that complements your home.


Building Your Own Water Garden

[amazon_image id=”B00267SQWY” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large”]Koolatron KSPK-700G 700-Gallon Pond Kit with Lighting[/amazon_image]

Prefabricated pond shells and liners are readily available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You will also need a skimmer, a filter, and a drain system.

Consider purchasing a [amazon_link id=”B00267SQWY” target=”_blank” ]pond kit like the one pictured here[/amazon_link] where everything’s included.

Excavation should allow for the depth and diameter of the pond, as well as the edging and borders of the pond. Additionally, you will also need to arrange for removal of the soil that is excavated.

The materials used to border your water garden should accent the general theme of your landscape design for ponds. Bricks, stones, wood, or other materials can be used to create the ideal look for your pond.

Plant life in and around your water features should complement your overall outdoor style as well. Landscape design for ponds is simple but there are many details that add up to a successful project.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thomas Freed November 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Pressurized filter systems are commonly used in aquaculture and aquarium applications. As ponds and water gardens continue to gain in popularity, an influx of pressurized filters has been introduced specifically for use in these applications. Benefits of pressurized pond filters include easy installation, a small footprint, and ease of maintenance. Many pressurized filters are designed to connect to standard flexible PVC tubing commonly used in outdoor ponds and water gardens. This makes them easy to install for most pond owners. The relative small size of most pressurized filters also makes it possible for them to be easily concealed behind a waterfall or, in many cases, in the pond itself. Pressurized filters are commonly used in both in Orange County water ponds and water gardens.


2 Allen Quay November 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hey Thomas, thanks for your insightful comment on the benefits of pressurized filter systems for ponds.


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