Water Gardens

When looking at projects for your backyard, you’ll find many options. From landscaping to water fixtures, all of them offer enjoyable DIY projects that are rewarding and often easy to do. One project to consider is a water garden, which can beautify your backyard and bring life to a patio. Water gardens are water fixtures that combine landscaping, water, plants, and sometimes fish in a beautiful hybrid that is inexpensive to build and looks remarkable. Remember to waterproof your water garden with SANI-TRED.

What Are Water Gardens?

Water gardens are essentially ponds that integrate water-loving plants and sometimes fish and serve as a water fixture that looks beautiful and actually supports plant life. There are three types of water gardens: Container gardens, above ground, and in-ground. Water gardens are usually rather shallow because aquatic plants prefer depths of less than 24 inches, but can be all kinds of different sizes and shapes.

How Much Does a Water Garden Cost?

This depends on what type of garden you want to install, what type of features you want it to include, and what materials you use. A small container garden can cost between $50-$100 while larger in-ground installations can cost upward of thousands of dollars.

What Do I Need?

A successful water garden requires certain key elements for it to accomplish its intended purpose. Here is a list of items you’ll need to install a water garden.

  • A rigid or flexible liner to keep water in your garden. A rigid pre-formed liner will be cheaper to install, but a flexible liner allows for more creative designs.
  • A bottom layer to prevent punctures that lead to leaks.
  • A skimmer pump filter to pull water, aerate the water, and filter debris. Filtration is key for a water garden as it keeps the water clean and healthy for the plants and fish.
  • A GFI outlet to run the pump filter. GFI outlets shut off power to prevent electrical shock if there are problems with the circuit.

What Do I Put In My water Garden?

A water garden is a unique fixture that combines water, plants, and even fish in an amazing hybrid that is both functional and attractive. But what do you put in your water garden? Here are some DIY water garden ideas.


Water gardens include three types of plants.

Floating Plants float on the surface of the water. They shade the water, keeping it cool, absorb nutrients needed by algae, which stops algal growth, and clean the water garden.

Submerged Plants grow beneath the surface of the water. They provide a hiding place for fish, but some kinds can be invasive and you should take care to avoid those types of plants.

Edge Plants grow on the basin shelves up to 10 inches below the water surface.


Fish can be a nice decorative accent to your water garden you might want to consider. Fish, in addition to looking inviting, also control the immediate mosquito population. To have fish, make sure your filtration pump can properly filter and aerate the water. A good rule to follow to prevent overcrowding is 1 fish per 3 sq. ft. of water surface area.

Common fish used in water gardens include Decorative Koi, Comet Goldfish, and Sarrassa Goldfish.

Additional Water Garden Tips

Once you’ve planned out your water garden, keep these tips in mind on how to keep it looking picturesque.

  • Choose a spot away from large trees and shrubs. Falling twigs and leaves can land in you water garden and make it look dirty and unmaintained.
  • Choose a space that gets 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day but also gets partial shade. Sunlight allows your water plants to bloom while shade can help control the growth of algae.
  • Decide early into the planning process what extras (waterfall, fish, etc.) you want because each one will require different plans on how to install them.
  • Remember that filtration is the key to a healthy water garden. All water in the garden should run through the filter every hour. Make sure your pump is powerful enough to do this for the size of pond you’ve installed.


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