How To…Create A Container Pond

Making your own container pond can encourage new wildlife to your garden

by Garden News |

There’s no doubt a water feature adds another dimension to your garden. Not only is it a way to expand your collection of plants, trying out a whole new range of water-loving species, it’s a boon to wildlife – you’ll be amazed at what takes up residence there, and your garden birds will always have a drink handy. A garden with a water feature is a healthier garden.

If you haven’t got a large garden, or most of it is taken up with your other plants, container ponds are a great way to experiment with the idea. No matter how small you make it, it acts in the same way as a large pond.

They’re extremely easy to make, too – pick out a watertight container with no holes in at all, and one that is deep enough to perhaps add one or two water lilies and oxygenating plants on the bottom. Lilies’ foliage growing over the surface provides a bit of shade and shelter to any wildlife lurking, while oxygenators keep water healthy. If you choose a barrel type container make sure that all the edges are sealed – if you need to, buy a length of pond liner and fasten it neatly around the inside.

It can be a little expensive to populate a large pond with many plants and aquatic features such as waterfalls and rock formations, but small container ponds keep that cost down, and four or five plants will suffice. Most good garden centres have everything you need right there to help you.

It’s an exciting project, so give it a go. But be careful as creating little mini ponds can be quite addictive! Soon you’ll have a whole collection of pots of beautiful flowering aquatic plants to show off. Follow our easy guide below.

Starting your container pond

What you need:

  • Bricks or stones

  • Aquatic compost

  • Pond baskets

  • Watertight container

  • Pea gravel

  • A mix of pond plants

  • Rain water

Step by Step

Place bricks or stones at the bottom, and place oxygenating plants and waterlilies at the bottom too, planted in pond baskets. Fill your pot with rain water by two thirds.

Take your pond plants out of their pots and pot them up into pond baskets, using aquatic compost to tuck round the edges. Top with pea gravel and place on the stones.

Put a rock that just breaks the surface in so birds and aquatic animals have a ledge to stand on, you could use a similar stone as a ramp on the outside too. Fill up with water.

Making a container pond is an affordable way to introduce aquatic plants to your garden
Making a container pond is an affordable way to introduce aquatic plants to your garden

GN Recommends

Equisetum hyemale (Scouring rush) – an attractive fast-growing bamboo-like marginal plant.

Iris pseudacorus (Yellow flag) – a marginal plant with large beautiful yellow iris flowers.

Nymphaea (water lily) – a floating plant for the bottom of the pond with exquisite flowers

Hippuris vulgaris (mare’s tail) – an underwater oxygenator to keep a healthy pond.

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