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How to Create Your Own Water Garden

Water Garden

There are 7 steps to creating your own water garden:

  1. Site Selection

  2. Shape

  3. Depth

  4. Excavation of the Site

  5. Site Preparation

  6. Coping or Edging the Pond

  7. Deciding on what type of liner.

When choosing the site keep in mind experts suggest 6-10 hours of sunlight per day with shade during the hottest part. Also, try to follow the slope or flow of the land; a pond will look more natural at the bottom of a hill than at the top. When you choose your site you’ll want to keep in mind the type of liner you are going to use. Creating a pond might give you the chance to utilize a boggy area in your yard. For those of you within city limits check with you city for ordinances or laws about water gardens.

The next step is to decide the shape and size of your water garden. You can lay out a hose to determine the specific shape and you can be as creative as you want. When deciding on the size remember bigger is better.

Step three is depth. Most ponds and water gardens should be 18 to 36 inches deep. If you would like fish in your water garden it has to be at least 20 inches deep and 36 if you live in areas with hard freezes.

After all this planning it is now time to get to work! Excavate the earth to the proper depth keeping the edges of the area level. If you plan to periodically drain the water garden have a deep-water area on the downhill side.

When you excavate you will have a lot of left over dirt so think about where you are going to put it before you begin digging. You could make a mound so you have a higher section in your water garden and create a waterfall.

Now you have to choose the type of liner you want for your garden. There are many types of liners to choose from including clay lined, concrete, rubber, and preformed fiber glass. This is where you’ll have to consider cost and maintenance (some liners tend to leak more than others). You will also have to decide if you want to have a waterfall and install the pipes necessary for this.

Finally comes the edging and coping of your pond or water garden. This means naturalizing the edge of the liner into the landscape and disguising it so it won’t be seen. After that all you have to do is add your plants and water!






Woy, Joann. "Planting and stocking the water garden." Country Journal 24.3 (1997): 42. EBSCO MegaFILE. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.

Woy, Joann. "Getting started: Creating your water garden." Country Journal 24.3 (1997): 34. EBSCO MegaFILE. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.