Introduction to Water Gardening

An Introduction to Water Gardening

Water seems to have a soothing, magically calming effect on the body.  It is beautiful, sparkling, and gentle.  Water gardens can add interest to an otherwise bland backyard.  They can include waterfalls, ponds and fountains.

What is a Water Garden?

Generally, water gardens are ponds or containers of water that house plants, and sometimes also contain fish or other aquatic animals. After you have decided on the type of water feature you would like to install, you will need to carefully choose the right spot for your water garden. It would be extremely difficult to relocate it once it’s been established.

Goldfish and Lotus Flower in Pond

Water Ponds

From here on, I will generally be speaking about water ponds.  However, remember you CAN still do everything below in containers or fountains, just on a much smaller scale.

Picking the Right Location

You need to be sure to pick a spot that gets a lot of sun, because most fish and aquatic plants need full sun.  The best spot is a place to locate a water feature is a spot that gets at least six or eight hours of sun every day.  Be sure to keep the pond away from large trees and shrubs that can shed leaves into your pond and shade it.

Gold Fish in Pond

If you have a small yard, you should probably stick with a smaller pond.  Larger yards can comfortably house larger ponds.  If you have very little space, you could use a container for your water garden.


You don’t need a lot of fancy features in your water garden.  I suggest you start with a standard pond, and then add in other features at a later date.  You can add special lighting, waterfalls, fountains, rocks, and other features whenever you want.  Start small and build onto your garden area over the years.

All About Plants

When you plan the plants for your water garden, you should be sure not to plant too many.  You don’t want to cover more than around 50% of the water surface.  If you add too many plants, the sun won’t be able to reach the fish or other animals in your pond, and you may have more problems with algae and other issues.

Lotus Water Plant

You could also cause overcrowding, and your plants might not survive. Another issue you could run into is having to thin your plants sooner than you’d like, creating additional work.  Interested in the learning more about the 3 different types of water plants for a water garden? Learn them here.

Fish and Other Aquatic Animals

Fish and other aquatic Animals can be a very useful addition to your water garden.

Frog in Pond

They help keep oxygen moving through the water, preventing the water from going stale.  They can also help control mosquito larva, which can be a really bothersome part of water gardening. I suggest waiting a month or two and get your water features set up well before adding another subject to your mix.

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