Home & Garden Mimeo # HG17
Construction and Maintenance
Aquatic plants have been an important part of gardens since early
history when they were first used in ancient gardens of the Far East,
Egypt and India. Early herbalists extracted tannin from the roots of
water lilies to calm a variety of nervous and digestive disorders.
Many water lilies also provided some of the earliest fabric dyes
which were extracted from their roots.
Contemporary aquatic gardening has received a lot of attention by
homeowners and commercial landscapers. The development and
increased availability of various types of preformed pools, flexible
liners and other containers has helped to foster the current increased
enthusiasm in aquatic gardening. These new materials are a great
improvement over the old tedious process of building pools out of
The style and size of a water garden can range from a simple above
ground tub garden, a small preformed pond, or to a large pond
constructed with a flexible liner.
The first step in designing a water garden is to consider where it
will be enjoyed the most. Some good locations for a pond are near
a patio, deck or within view from a window. A pond can be either
formal or informal in shape. Informally shaped ponds are the most
popular. Some common shapes are the classic kidney bean and the
In addition to locating the pond for best viewing a pond should be
located where it will receive at least five or six hours of direct sun
if flowering plants are desired. As the hours of direct sunlight
decreases, so do the blooms. The hardy and tropical bog plants
will perform best in semi-shaded sites. It is generally recommended
to avoid locating the pond directly under trees because of the leaves
and other debris that will fall into the pond. Also, avoid locating
the pond in a low spot because surface runoff may wash mud, lawn
fertilizers and pesticides into the pond.
A pond can be made almost any size or shape desired