What are Water Gardens?

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Do you have a small hole dug in your backyard which fills up every rainy season? Well, we might have a fix for it which will turn that imperfection of your lawn into a miniature landscape.

The sound of water helps bring tranquility and peace into the atmosphere. This form of gardening dates back to the ancient Mughal era, from where it caught up and spread throughout the world.

Ancient remains of water gardens can still be found in various Mughal architectures in Asia. Tombs and Stupa structures in Japan also implemented this design. So if you dream of owning your own oasis, then you are in the right place. 

What is it?

A water garden is simply a planting avenue underwater that can be formed in a pond, a patio-sized container, or even a watertight container. If made on a bigger scale, it can open up various doors of landscaping possibilities.

Studies have shown that living near water has many health benefits, such as stress reduction and better air quality.

Unlike conventional forms of gardening, you can do plenty in the design department to customize your garden as per your needs. But before you start to ponder about the possibilities, let us know the components of a water garden.

Components of a Water Garden 

There are many functional components involved in a water garden, but they can be broken down into the following different categories: 


A pump for a water garden serves two essential purposes. It circulates the water and provides necessary oxygen to the aquatic life in the system. 

It also filters the wastewater, which helps to keep it clean. Pumps come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on the applications. Small pumps starting at 350 gallons per hour are commonly used in decorative features. 


Filters are the most common way of keeping your water clean and clear. The primary aim of this system is to disinfect the water in the water garden.

The mechanical skimmer filter revolutionized water gardening as we know it today. Borrowed from the pool and spa industry, a skimmer will sweep the pond surface of debris so that the organic matter floating in the water is not allowed to drop to the pond floor.

The decomposition of such materials can have a negative effect on the overall water quality of a system. 

Pond Liners

This aids the development of a human-made water garden. Rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and concrete are among the materials used to make the liners.

The water garden’s basic structure will be created by securing the liners. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.


Underwater lights may not be necessary for the functionality of a pond, but it wouldn’t be the same without them. Many people work during the day and only get to see their ponds in the evenings around the weekends.

With underwater lights, they can expand the enjoyable viewing hours of their water feature. It’s like having two different water gardens, one during the day and one at night.

You can even use lights in more decorative ways to focus on your fountains and statuary. 


No water garden is ever complete without the aquatic life it supports. Fish are the jewels of the pond. Koi Goldfish and Shoe Bunkin are only some of the several varieties of freshwater fish that can be kept.

Not only do they complete the ecosystem, but they also become family pets. Many people even name their fish.  They’re often very friendly and even develop their own personalities. 

Feeding the fish is a favored pastime for many pond owners, and after a while, it can become up close and personal.  

A good rule of thumb is to have no more than an inch of fish per square foot of the pond. Overcrowding can be very stressful for the fish and even affect their longevity. 

Fishkeeping is fun, and a water garden wouldn’t be the same without them. But, proper care of these finned friends is essential to them and to the balance of the ecosystem that they complete.

Aquatic Plants 

The aquatic plants in a water garden are also beneficial and reasonably necessary for that proper balance. But even more importantly, they can be an aesthetic focal point of your water garden.

The variety of aquatic plants is unlike anything else. The colors, the shapes, the textures, and the aroma are all unique. Water lilies, ornamental grasses, floating tropicals, the list goes on and on.

These plants will help soften the edges of a pond and provide shade and shelter for the fish to help maintain water quality, but most importantly, they make it look amazing.

Constructing & Designing your Water Garden

You can easily design a decorative water garden around any number of fountains, spitters, statuary, or even small waterfalls.  

Step 1

The first step in the water garden hobby is the preformed pond. The water garden is simply dug into the ground and will contain either plant fish or both.

A small filtration system like a pressurized filter is standard for the preformed pond and a small waterfall or fountain to circulate the water. 

The key to the preformed pond is to make it look natural. This is done with proper landscaping around the tub to help blend it into its surroundings.

Preformed ponds come in many different shapes and sizes and almost always have some sort of shelving unit built into them. These small ponds are also placed in the ground and are considered the simplest and easiest to install pond features.

Step 2

After the preformed, most water gardeners progress to the do-it-yourself liner pond. This type of water garden is for the serious hobbyist.

If you aren’t anxious to get your hands dirty, then you might enjoy the rewarding challenge of installing a do-it-yourself kit.

A growing number of do-it-yourself ponds now include a low maintenance biological filter and mechanical skimmer that work together with the help of beneficial bacteria

Step 3

Adding a waterfall provides aeration while the fish and plants work together to keep the system functional.

This type of water garden is the final step before a homeowner will take the plunge into a professional installation.  

Professional  Installation 

Most people that love water gardening want nothing more than to build their pond themselves, but not all of them have the time or expertise to take on this challenge.

Fortunately, there are plenty of professional water garden installers throughout the country who can construct a backyard paradise for you. 

There’s absolutely no limit to what they can create! A professional installation will include all of the components of a do-it-yourself kit but on a slightly larger scale.

An 11 by 16 pond is a standard size and usually entails using larger stone to help create a natural appearance. Much more extravagant waterfalls and streams are incorporated. Options like underwater lights and automatic water fill valves are commonly added. 

The professional installation is usually completed in one or two days, giving the homeowner more time to enjoy it and less time working on it.

For the water gardener, who loves to play with plants and water but doesn’t want to go through the time-consuming physical labor of building their own larger pond, hiring a professional installer is the way to go. 

Water gardening is the fastest growing trend in the green industry today. It is a lifestyle that offers something for everyone involved, from beginners to seasoned veterans.

Now that you know the basics, you’re equipped to choose your own style of a water garden. Be prepared to enjoy peace and tranquility in your own backyard oasis. 

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