A personal guide to designing, building and maintaining your garden pond.

Welcome to my site. The links below and on the left all lead to other pages with more details and photographs to show how you can build your garden pond. At the moment, this site is predominantly concerned with what I call natural ponds. I won't be providing any information about so-called "water features" and all the ponds in the pictures are at or below ground level because my brickwork is not yet to a standard that I am prepared to put on display. However, I'm working on that and apart from any above ground brickwork, many of the techniques and the advice will still apply. The content of some of my pages, particularly the top three links, can only be expressed in text and I apologize if those pages seem a bit unexciting to the eye. Where I could and where I thought it appropriate, I have used photographs and / or diagrams to illustrate points. This is particularly important for the construction pages.

All the pictures and diagrams on the site link to page sized versions when you click them with your mouse. I have tried to keep as much detail as possible for the big pictures so I'm afraid that they will take a short time to load. I have tested each page using dial-up in the past to make sure that the load time isn't too excessive. If you are using broadband, you probably won't even notice. In any event, please be patient though because I think they are worth it. I don't like endless scrolling so where a page would be more than a couple of rolls of my mouse wheel, I have split the page into sub pages. Unfortunately, very few of my earlier photos were taken with the intention of putting them onto a web site but I hope that they will give you a good idea of what I'm trying to show. As I get the chance, I will be updating the pictures, so don't forget to come back again.

The paragraphs below are intended to give a quick guide to what you can expect from the other pages on my site. If there is anything that I haven't covered that you would like advice on or you would particularly like to see a better picture of to give you ideas, just e-mail me and I'll see what I can do.

Initial Design

Time taken at this stage is never wasted. It may sound obvious, but it is important that your pond looks as if it is meant to be in your garden. If you have a garden which is quite formal in its layout, a pond with curved or uneven edges won't look right. Equally, a square or rectangular pond will not suit a less formal garden. Creating a pond requires a fair amount of physical effort and expenditure so anything that you can do to ensure that you don't have to re-do any work has got to be worthwhile. See also my pages on location.     Top

Choosing the Location

In this section, we'll look at a number of factors that need to be considered when choosing the location of your pond, including access to all parts of your pond for routine maintenance, noise, sunlight, trees and bushes; all of which will have a bearing on your decision.    Top

Work Preparation

If you have a new garden, the comments on this page are less important, though still worth reading, but if you are putting a pond into a well established garden, you will need to consider carefully your plan for the work. Once you start to create your pond, your garden will rapidly take on the appearance of an uncontrolled building site and unless you are prepared, you can find it practically impossible not to damage existing features.    Top

Choosing the Lining

There are many different ways for you to create your pond. It could be a pre-formed plastic liner, concrete, butyl plastic, fibre-glass. They vary considerably in terms of cost, effort, ease of installation, time etc so I'll try to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.    Top

Construction of my Ponds

This part contains a number of photographs of various stages in the construction of my ponds. Over the years, I've developed from one small pond through a number of changes, to the pond system in the top left picture on this page and then because although the pond looked great, we couldn't see the fish unless we stood right next to it, we changed it all again to the one to to the right of the page. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you that the process is relatively straight forward and that providing you are fit enough to carry out the work, you too can produce a pond system that will give you many years of pleasure and will be the envy of your friends.     Top

Waterfalls and Streams

A well managed pond looks great in any garden, but to really create the right effect, you need the sound of running water. It doesn't have to be Niagara falls, in fact less volume of water falling is often better. Streams are nothing more than very shallow ponds and they can be used to great effect in conjunction with waterfalls to link ponds at different levels.    Top


I think fish bring your pond to life all year round. There are many choices in the types of fish, but you need to have a fair idea of which ones you are likely to want because although they only need a reasonable pond simply to exist, they may have different requirements in terms of ideal conditions in order to thrive.    Top


Plants fulfil many roles in the pond. They provide colour, shape and interest but they also provide a habitat for a huge variety of pond creatures and protection for baby fish. They also remove many of the nutrients in the pond that would otherwise feed algae. Getting the correct balance of types and sizes of plants has a huge impact in the management of your pond.     Top

Pumping and Filtration

Probably the most expensive part of any pond system, the water pump and filtration system you choose will have a dramatic effect on the quality of the water in your pond and hence the health of its fish and plants. The technology being developed by manufacturers simply to keep a pond clean is staggaring and some of the costs of the new ranges of filters will make your eyes water. However, if you enjoy the challenge of making your own filter, I'll show you how I made my filters at a significantly reduced cost compared with the water garden centres.    Top

Regular Maintenance

Once you have created your pond and stocked it with fish and plants, you will need to carry out regular maintenance to keep it looking at its best. Some of these tasks only need to be carried out every couple of months but others need much more regular attention. Hopefully, this section will show just how easy it is to look after your pond and thereby increase the pleasure that you get from it. A friend of mine recently reminded me that we are actually water quality managers because if we get that quality right, then the fish and plants will thrive. Its all about getting the right balance between what we put in and what we take out of the water.    Top

Unwelcome visitors

In this section, I discus the unwelcome visitors I have had to my pond, from herons to rats and ducks to kingfishers, and explain what I have done to try to prevent them from coming back again with varying degrees of success. Sometimes we just have to accept, however reluctantly, that these things will happen from time to time.    Top

Mistakes and Lessons Learnt

Over the years, I have made many mistakes and have often found easier or better ways to do certain things when I have had to do them again. In this section I'll explain what I did wrong and how I corrected my errors. I'll also try to show how not to make the same mistakes that I did. Unfortunately, we are never satisfied and there is always something else to improve upon and I will keep adding to this section as I find better ways to do things.

A Weekend in Yorkshire

All the other picures on this site are from my own garden but this section was added ths year following a weekend trip to Yorkshire to build a pond for my sister. This shows just how much can be done with a relatively small space.