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Ever thought of having a backyard pond?

Have a small corner of your property that is visible but never gets used? Consider turning it into a backyard pond with a little waterfall.

lovely backyard pond

The owners of this property (the image below) contacted me because this is what their deck looked down on and they spent a lot of time on their deck. They needed help and particularly that far right corner needed to be addressed. It needed some focal element there because that is where the eye goes every time you look down.

 great site for a backyard pond with waterfall

 A baren yet prominent place in the garden, often seen
from the much used deck

I proposed a little backyard pond and they liked the idea but had hesitations. Would it require a lot of maintenance? Would it breed mosquitoes? Could they have fish? Did it get enough light for water lilies? Would it be expensive to build and to run?

No, not a lot of maintenance - less than a lawn or perennial bed. No mosquitoes -  with moving water and especially with even only one fish there would be no mosquitoes, ever. Yes they most certainly could raise fish and grow water lilies and a lot of other aquatics. It wouldn't cost much more than any other sort of landscaping that could be done to beautify that area and because it would be a small pond, it wouldn't cost much to run either - a few hundred dollars a year at the outside, with the pump running continuously, all year. Considerably less if they turn the pump off in the winter. So, it was a go.

It was important that the pond be large enough to be easily seen and enjoyed from the deck, but not so large as to overpower the rest of the space, which is quite small. Because of the nature of the rest of the yard, the pond needed to look natural without an overabundance of stone and it needed to be well integrated into the landscape. Following are some general instructions on how to build a backyard pond. If you wouldlike complete instructions, please click here.

 backyard pond marked out on site

 The pond is marked out on the ground before excavating, being sure to make the pond on the ground about a foot bigger all around than the actual size of the body of water you want to see. Stones will take up that extra space.

Once the pond is excavated, with shelves built in, an underliner and liner go in. When these are in place, the pump and filter system are installed and the pond is lined in stones. Some people don't do that, but if you want a natural looking pond, putting in stones is pretty much a must and is the procedure followed by most professional pond builders.

Below you see the nearly completed backyard pond. All that remains is to fix up the waterfall, plant the pond, fill with water and turn it on. Fish are added a day or two later.

 backyard pond with stones inside backyard pond completed

 Stone-lined backyard pond with a waterfall
nearly completed

The completed backyard pond dresses up a poor corner rather nicely.

Stones are used extensively in the pond, in the waterfall and are also incorporated into the rest of the landscape. This is important, both to prevent the pond from looking artificial and in order for the pond and the total garden to remain in balance.

 beautiful backyard pond with waterfall

 releasing fish into the backyard pond

 Allowing the temperature of the fish to match the temperature of the water, before releasing the fish.

Are my clients happy with their decision to have a pond? I received a Christmas card from them this year with this photo, below, they had taken during the summer. They are very happy with their decision to have a backyard pond.

 backyard pond with aquatics, fish and backyard waterfall

 The matured backyard pond with waterfall, fish, water lilies and other aquatics, and no mosquitoes

waterlily in backyard pond

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