Are you considering adding a pond to your landscape? Or does a pond sound like too much work, or simply “too much” for your space?
If you’re holding back because you’re just not sure how a pond could work with your space, you might not be considering the many types, sizes, and styles of ponds that are possible.
So whether you’ve ever imagined owning a pond – or never imagined owning a pond! – and haven’t taken the plunge into an aquatic lifestyle, today we’re sharing some different pond options that can suit your home and your own personal space.
Don’t miss out on one of the most fulfilling, enjoyable features of a landscape. See which of these options sounds like it could be the best fit for you, then start imagining your best outdoor life – pond-side!
Let’s start with the smallest and simplest type of pond – the patio pond. If you’re just starting out in the aquatic world and either aren’t ready to commit or aren’t sure what kind of pond will work for you, a patio pond is a great way to get started enjoying the sights and sounds of water.
Like it’s name suggests, this type of pond sits in a portable container on your patio, porch or other flat surface. Some can even be used indoors on a table or desk! That makes it easy to relocate your pond from outdoors during warm seasons to indoors where you can still enjoy it all winter long.
These mini-ponds are often as small as a backyard grill, taking up little space but affording you all the beauty of a water feature. They can contain all the features of a larger pond, including aquatic plants, mini-waterfalls, small fish, and underwater lighting. And they come in a variety of shapes and styles, from bowls to square shapes, natural stone finishes or metallic styles.
It’s easy to maintain these small water gardens – just add water as needed during hot, dry months, and give it a good cleaning once per year. Since it’s a small area, you may need to trim plants back occasionally, but you’ll consistently be rewarded with fresh greenery and blooms. Using a good balance of fish, plants, gravel and moving water will help keep your tiny pond clean naturally.
Feeling motivated? You can even add more than one of these beauties in multiple locations throughout your yard to see how you feel about the placement!
Ready to think outside the container? If you want something in the ground instead of a portable pot, but still want to stick to something small, a micro pond is a good option.
Micro ponds can come in sizes as small as six feet by eight feet, and only two feet deep. You can still enjoy all the features of a patio pond but on a larger and more permanent scale. This type of pond affords you the opportunity to add plenty of aquatic plants, from marginals like the stately Cardinal flower, to favorite floaters like water lilies. Include a waterfall, underwater lighting, and other types of natural stone to suit your aesthetic.
Micro ponds can even contain larger fish and koi, with fun accessories like underwater fish caves and color changing lights.
Like the patio ponds, they are fairly straightforward to maintain. Some extra equipment like a filter, skimmer or aerator can do most of the heavy lifting, and a twice-yearly cleaning will keep it beautiful, healthy and a source of enjoyment all year long.
Feeling motivated? If you want to skip the professional installation and get your hands dirty, there are micro pond kits available that make pond installation a fun DIY project. Grab the kids, grab some friends, and you’ve got a weekend project that will pay off for years to come.
Ok, it might sound like we’re cheating a bit, but if you’d like to enjoy a more permanent and built-in water feature in a small yard, this can be a good fit. While you are forgoing the actual pond in this case, a waterfall can be a soothing and enjoyable addition to your landscape, and it requires very little space.
They can be as small as two feet, or as many as eight in height. And they don’t need more than about a two-square-foot space to spill into. Pondless waterfalls can be landscaped with beautiful plants, and the addition of natural stone will contribute to their beauty and the wonderful sound of bubbling water.
Pondless waterfalls are an especially nice addition on a slope, where you may not be able to include a pond, and where it can be difficult to get anything to grow. They’re extremely low maintenance and they can attract wildlife including birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
As an added bonus, you can light up your waterfall the same way you’d add lighting to a pond, so you can enjoy your water feature day and night all year long.
Pond or pool, pool or pond? The answer can be both! If you aren’t graced with a huge yard and can only add one water feature, the good news is that you don’t have to choose. You can enjoy all the beauty and features of a pond – including fish! – with all the fun of swimming or floating in a pool.
A swimming pond can be as large or small as you want it to be. A smaller pond can be used for wading, while a larger one can be used for practicing that breaststroke.
Think of a swimming pond as you would any other pond – it should be landscaped beautifully with marginals and floating plants, it should show off lovely natural stone (which can double as seating spots!), it should have a moving component like a waterfall, fountain or bubbler, and it can serve as home for wildlife like frogs, turtles and fish.
The only difference is that you’ll need to consider how it’s built. It needs to be deep enough to accommodate its use, needs ingress and egress spots, and should be filtered properly to keep it healthy for humans and their critter friends.
And of course if you plan to create a habitat for fish and other wildlife, you’ll need to be sure there are safe spaces where they won’t be harmed if the kids (or you!) are out having a splashing good time.
As an added bonus, a pond that is naturally balanced – through proper use of plants, filtration, and aeration – is self-sustaining and won’t require chemicals you might normally add to a pool, like chlorine.
This is probably the kind of pond you imagine when you think of ponds. Larger than a puddle, smaller than a lake, quite possibly full of koi or other fish, and surrounded by the rest of your landscape.
But even within this category, there are plenty of options. Ecosystem ponds can be large or small, have one or more waterfalls, contain additional water features like fountains and bubblers, be full of fish, frogs, snails and other creatures, connect to a stream, be accessorized with garden art or lit up with underwater lighting, and much more.
If space allows, you can even build stepping stones and bridges across it. In short, an ecosystem pond can be as beautiful and unique as you can imagine it.
But what makes it an ecosystem pond? In simplest terms, it is an all-natural, low maintenance and self-sustaining ecosystem that works with Mother Nature to provide food and shelter to the native wildlife around it.
Ecosystem ponds have a few essential components – a circulation system to keep water moving and oxygenated, a filtration system to keep it clean and healthy, and plants and fish, both of which play an essential role in keeping the ecosystem healthy and thriving.
If that all sounds like a lot, don’t worry. Once the pieces are in place, your pond will essentially care for itself. Keep your pond healthy with a twice-yearly cleaning, once in spring and once in fall, and the rest is easy.
One of the best things about this type of pond is that it can be integrated into your landscape just about anywhere – a front yard, back yard, side yard, right up against your house, deck, or patio, or wherever you can get the most enjoyment from it whether you’re spending time outside, or inside gazing at it through a window.
Now that you know a bit more about the types of ponds available, do any of these inspire you to dive into an aquatic lifestyle? If you’d like to explore options for your yard and lifestyle, book a consultation and let’s talk about how we can make your dreams come true.