How To Build A Small Garden Pond: Construction,Decoration & Maintenance

Small Garden PondIf you are a lover of water, then you should not miss to create a pond in your garden.

Pond does not always mean a water feature that cover huge acres of areas, a small and cute pond will deliver no less enticing touches to your space then its big counterpart.

If you love spending your time near water, a small garden pond will help you enjoy all the benefits that come with water sources without having to leave your home.

Here are the steps to follow to build a small garden pond.

1. Choose The Location For The Garden Pond

When selecting the location of the small garden pond, you will have to decide where you want to see the pond from inside your home.

That might sound simple or irrelevant, but the view of the pond from your house matters in the composition of the house and yard.

If you can imagine of a pond built pleasingly, then you can count on the particular space.

The sunshine is another important consideration during construction.

Some people construct their small ponds in heavily shaded places, such as the place under dense trees.

But the falling debris and leaves mean that you will have to do more maintenance work.

If you are planning to include fish and aquatic plants in the pond, adequate amount of gentle sunshine is quite necessary.

While some other people will locate the garden pond in a bare land without any coverage.

Well, it all depends on the layout of the garden and your personal tastes, but generally a small pond without any shelter tended to be dried up by the scorching sunlight during the hot summer.

And the burning sun would threaten the aquatic life by heating the water that they stay in.

Small Garden Pond

So the best location for the small pond would be the place that is partially shaded while can enjoy some gentle sunlight as well.

And it is advisable to avoid the low-lying areas when building the pond, as the garden pond will give off more water reflections.

Before you start the construction work, take your large mirror and place it on all potential areas to see how it will look after construction.

If it sends reflections into your house, go for another space.

Last but not least, when it comes to power source and maintenance, you will have to ensure that the pond is closer to a power and water source. That way, the maintenance work will also be much easier for you.

2. Choose And Install The Garden Pond Liner

A pond begins with a liner.

Outline the shape and depth of the garden pond that you prefer and dig on the ground accordingly before laying the pond liner onto it.

Pre cut pond liners are available in many sizes. And the manufacturers of pond liners use various materials to make the holding of water more convenient and versatile.

Small Garden Pond Built With Liner

When buying the pond liner, you have to keep in mind that they are not made the same. So, you have to select one matches your needs.

Just as you do when buying other items, you have to consider several features and things. The important features include the size and material.

  • Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) is a cheap option that offers more flexibility.

It has a rubber-like consistency, which means that it holds its shape according to the surrounding.

Unfortunately, it is more prone to breaking, cracking and leaking.

  • High-density polyethene (HDPE)

High-density polyethene (HDPE) pond liner is a bit more expensive then its LDPE counterpart.

It is quite popular mainly for its durable quality and excellent chemical resistance.

And the strong UV-resistance that it features as well will allow many years of outstanding services.

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) pond skin is a rubber liner that is highly flexible, UV stable, non-toxic to plants and fish, oxidation resistant and cold-weather resistant.

It is probably the best lining material in the market. It can ensure peace-of-mind and long-lasting enjoyment.

  • PVC

Lastly, PVC is another material to consider.

Some PVC pond liners are reinforced with polyester weaves between the PVC layers, thus making them both durable and flexible. They are environmental friendly, UV and even puncture resistant, ensuring many years of continued use.

The installation of preformed pond liners is simple and straightforward but some models require extra attention when it comes to shelves, shape, position of drainage plug and material. Thick materials will make the installation hard.

If you would like to save your brainpower for outlining and designing the shape of the garden pond, there are also some cute preformed plastic pond liners available on the market.

They are produced by mould and come in one complete piece and shaped to be a small pond that can hold water and also with shelves to place pump or aquatic plants.

Small Garden Pond Built With Plastic Preformed Pond Liner

One of the reasons people build small garden ponds is to give their homes a better look. So, you have to select a pond liner with natural color in beautiful shape.

Once you get the plastic pond liner, all you need to do is dig on the ground according to its shape and locate it in.

The manufacturing technique of the plastic preformed pond liner determines that this kind of product could not be to big, and could only hold dozens of gallons of water.

So both for pond liner and plastic preformed pond liner, they get their pros and cons. Take them into consideration before making your purchase decision.

But whether you choose the pre cut pond liners or the preformed plastic pond liner, one important job need to be done first is adding a protective layer of underlayment, which could be sands, old carpet or any other durable cloth, before you laying the liner onto the hold that you dig on the ground.

And soft while durable underlayment will prevent the potential sharp rocks hidden in the soil from hurting or penetrating the pond liner.

3. Decorate The Garden Pond

To further enhance its beauty and turn in into one destination that we would like to visit daily, it is quite necessary to take steps to decorate in a way that we enjoy.

You could take into consideration the pond decoration elements as below:

  • Edge The Pond

Once you finish installing the pond liner, secure the edge of the liner with river stones, slate, shale or other natural materials.

The rocks around the pond will make the liner less obtrusive and blend the pond landscape well into your delicately designed garden.


  • Pond Pump

A pond with still water will look a bit sterile. It is quite trendy to place pump into the pond.

The intriguing water blossom that the pump creates will surely add vibrancy to your space and will aerate the water as well.

And the motional water will be more attractive to your pets, who are seeking running water to keep them hydrated.

Water Pump For Pond
Water Pump For Pond

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Furthermore, a common conundrum that many gardeners meet is the mosquito infestation during warm seasons.

The standing water, included that in the small pond, tend to be extremely attractive to the mosquitoes, who are seeking still water the safely lay their eggs for future generation breeding.

While the movement created by the pump will be helpful to some extent to daunt away the mosquitoes, thus making your space less appealing to them.

  • Pond Waterfall Spillway

It would look amazing if there is a waterfall going along with the small pool.

This could be made possible by setting one waterfall spillway beside the pond.

Place one powerful pump on the bottom of the pond and connect it to the spillway, you will see a beautiful waterfall cascading from there.

Pond Accessory - Waterfall Spillway
Pond Accessory – Waterfall Spillway  

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The waterfall will add oxygen to the water, creating more favorable living environment for the aquatic life and the magnificent sound that brought by the waterfall will make you lost in nature as well.

  • Fish And Aquatic Plants

Keeping fish is a great way to add vibrant touch to your garden pond.

There are many colorful and beautiful fish that you could choose from to maintain a healthy, successful pond, such as Shubunkin, goldfish etc.

And an astoundingly wide range of aquatic plants are available on the market for your consideration.

Garden Pond Decoration

With delicate forms, nice foliage and even splendid flowers, the aquatic plants definitely will lift the beauty of your pond to a higher level and create a balanced ecosystem for the fish.

4. Maintaining The Garden Pond

The market offers many types of treatment products to help keep your small garden pond clean and safe for animals.

They include algaecides, chlorine removers, sludge removers, limescale removers and pond tints.

For a green pond, you will have to use a UV sterilizer or algaecide. The two will also work when animals are present in the pond.

For string algae, remove them manually before you treat to prevent their decomposing in the pond.

You can use blue dye or pond tint, but it is likely to stain your liner. Test in the inconspicuous spots before using.

With pond tint, algae will not get the sunlight it needs to thrive.

Finally, you have to maintain the pump in the right function. To do that, ensure that the pond has adequate water.

If the pump is not submerged in water, the motor will spin continuously and make your pump to burnout.

Check and clean the pump regularly to clear away the debris or obstructions that collect on the pump’s filter or rotor.

The water – whether still or running – will add a new dimension to your garden.

Find a suitable location to build a small garden pond there and beautifully decorate it in multiple aspects, you will create a soothing, peaceful oasis that both please your family and entertain more wildlife such as birds, frogs etc.

If you have a huge space, go for a large pond.

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