Landscaping Ideas for Ponds

Landscaping Ideas for Ponds

Complement your pond with beautiful plants, rocks, and lights

By Cathy McClellan

Small garden pond and waterfall
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Backyard ponds are beautiful focal points themselves, but when you add landscaping around the pond, it creates a dramatic and stunning effect. Surround your pond with outdoor products that fit the environment and highlight its aesthetic. A landscaped pond is the perfect backdrop for any patio garden.

Determine Your Needs -- and Your Restrictions

Be sure to integrate your pond into the existing landscape. If your pond is in partial shade, purchase plants that do not require full sun or you will end up with plants that are not as pretty as they could be or that will die. The opposite holds true for ponds that are in full sun. Do not choose plants that need partial shade. Plant choices around ponds include cattails, palms, reeds, ferns or crocus. Ideally, a multitude of plants set around the pump and housing of a man-made pond will hide its workings and make the pond look more natural.


No matter what plants you choose, plant them thickly on one end of the pond so that the plants will create the illusion of a forest in the distance. Only plant one or two water lilies in the pond as the lilies multiply quickly and you will end up with too many. Water hyacinths are good choices for landscaping a pond. The pots are set directly into the water or along the edge of the pond with the pot barely sitting in water at the water's edge. As long as the hyacinths do not get too hot or dry out they will bloom for a long time.

Rocks and Lighting

Use different sized rocks around the pond and randomly near the pond. By using rocks and plants, you will make your backyard pond look like the pond has been sitting there for many years. Install a pebble pathway from the pond to the porch so that visitors have a path to walk on. Install solar lights along the pathway and around the perimeter of the pond. When the sun sets, ambient lighting will light the pond and the water will look phosphorescent. Install a small area with pebbles along one side of the pond and place a bench in the middle of the area. This will give a place to sit and relax while enjoying the pond and to create a contemplative area at the pond.

Pond Bridges

If you are looking to add more pond furniture than just a bench, consider adding a bridge where you can stop and enjoy a bird's eye view of your magnificent landscape. Make sure that you have room on both sides of your pond for a bridge to rest. If you have determined that you have enough space, you can shop for bridges in a multitude of designs and styles. Bridges are typically made of metal or wood, and should include sturdy railings.

About the Author

Cathy McClellan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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