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What are the Different Types of Garden Ponds?

Norma Jean Howland
Norma Jean Howland

Garden ponds may be stocked with exotic fish, plants, frogs, snails and other critters to create a miniature ecosystem. This kind of pond may feature fountains, natural rock settings and cascading waterfalls that add soothing sounds in a backyard setting. Some ponds have goldfish, koi fish and colored lighting with either a preformed pond liner or a flexible one that can conform to whatever shape is needed. For homeowners who want minimal effort, there are even above ground garden ponds. Of course, for those who enjoy digging and designing, a do-it-yourself pond may be the way to go.

Koi ponds tend to be a popular choice when it comes to landscaping with ponds. This kind of pond may fit in perfectly as a garden centerpiece, with its unusual fish and plants. A koi pond does require a bit of maintenance though, including proper filtration of the water in order to keep the large fish healthy and strong. A fish pond with its multicolored fish is often a conversation piece for young and old alike.

A garden pond.
A garden pond.

Some homeowners create ponds that are aesthetically pleasing with cascading waterfalls and shapes that mimic natural streams. A fountain built into a pond tends to be a bit of a showcase, with a large or small display of gushing water. A pond that is lit at dusk may really stand out as well, with either flood lights or floating lights to provide special effects.

Goldfish are hardy fish that do well in most pond temperatures.
Goldfish are hardy fish that do well in most pond temperatures.

Homeowners who have children may prefer garden ponds that are above ground. This type of pond may be very similar to a dug pond, but usually is much easier to install. When children are around, an aboveground pond may be a better choice, so youngsters won’t stumble and fall into the water. An aboveground pond may have the same detailing as a dug pond, but cost a fraction to install. If a dug pond is preferred, a preformed pond may simplify installation to some extent because the shape is already there and all that needs to be done is to add detailing.

Sometimes people just decide to build their own garden ponds, using whatever they have available on their property. They may use rocks to provide barriers, and shop for plants such as red and purple water lilies, water lettuce, and papyrus. When designing a garden pond, some research is required in order to maintain a healthy balance in the pond. Building a pond from scratch in an outdoor space may take a little extra effort, but it may prove to be worthwhile, not to mention easier on the pocketbook.

Discussion Comments


I thought a garden pond would be a good idea and I wanted a koi pond because I have always loved watching fish.

I watched several home and garden shows on TV where they had installed a pond, and thought it wouldn't be too hard.

I just never realized how much work it would be to maintain it and keep it clean and looking nice. There is more to it than digging a hole and putting in some water plants and fish.

After a few years, I ended up getting rid of the pond and filling it back in. It is really pretty to look at a garden pond in pictures, but it was too much work and maintenance for me to keep it up right.


I think garden ponds and waterfalls are the perfect combination for a a place to relax and unwind.

Listening to the sound of the waterfall and watching the fish swim in the pond is a very peaceful feeling. We have one of these in our yard, and spend many summer evenings out by the pond.

After our pond was finished, my first mistake was to put too many plants in the pond. I didn't realize they would continue to grow and some of them can spread quickly.

The key to adding water plants to your pond is start out with a few and add more as you need to. It is also good to have a combination of bog plants, floating water plants and water plants that will add oxygen to the water.


When we decided to install a small garden pond in our backyard, I was surprised at all the choices of garden pond kits there were to choose from.

I didn't want this to be a real expensive or drawn-out process, so we started out with an above ground pond that was easy to install.

Because this isn't a very big space, I don't have room for a lot of plants, but bought a couple of water lilies. I think every garden pond I have ever seen has this water plant in it.

We are enjoying this pond even more than I thought we would. Since we had such good results, we may add on to our existing pond, or put in a larger one somewhere else next year.

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    • A garden pond.
      A garden pond.
    • Goldfish are hardy fish that do well in most pond temperatures.
      By: fivespots
      Goldfish are hardy fish that do well in most pond temperatures.