Building A Water Garden

This page is the next in our series about building a water garden.

Hook Up the Systems

Step Eight in building a water garden is to hook up the water exit and water entrance systems to the pond liner. Be very careful in cutting the liner to the exact dimensions of the filters and be very liberal in your use of pond caulking.

Pond Caulking is Important

Pond caulking is another example of never using cheap imitations. You can purchase cheap caulking but proper professional caulking will survive winter ice and summer sun. Cheaper caulking deteriorates outdoors and then your pond leaks. Leaking ponds are a royal pain (click here for leaking pond solutions - sorry, its not operating yet) and saving a few bucks simply isn’t worth the future hassle. Mind you, gardeners do it all the time so what can I say - it is their problem in a year or three.

Adding Rocks

Step Nine: in building a water garden is to add rocks to the pond. Start by laying a single rock in the middle of the pond and then put a circle of other rocks around this central rock. The circle will not be even (that’s OK) and there will be spaces between the rocks (that’s OK too). Add a second and third circle of rocks so that the bottom of the water garden is slowly becoming rock-filled. Continue adding rocks in circles around the pond until the entire bottom and sides of the pond are filled with large rocks.

Stack 'em So They Don't Fall

Sidewalls will take a little creativity as you learn how to stack the rocks in such as way that they will not immediately crash or fall over. Slightly larger rocks belong at the bottom of the wall and progressively smaller rocks go towards the top of the wall. The objective of the sidewalls is to create a natural looking wall and this is your first crack at artistic rockwork in building a water garden.

Once the large rocks are all added by hand ( do not dump them in with a wheelbarrow or mechanized loader - you run the risk of puncturing the liner) you can now add smaller rocks to fill in the spaces. These can be added by wheelbarrow as the larger rocks should be covering the entire liner with no liner showing. The smaller rocks are sized to fill in the spaces and should be added by hand or shovel to fit neatly into the spaces left by the larger boulders.

Lighting System

Step Ten: In building a water garden, now is the time to install the lighting systems. Wires are never cut short but buried and several feet of wiring is left at the end of each underwater fixture. Note that if you don’t leave yourself this extra wire, you’ll eventually wind up changing lightbulbs under water or draining the pond to install new bulbs. With the longer wire, you can lift the fixture from the wire and change bulbs easily.

Laying the lighting cable now is easy as the pond has not been filled with water and there is lots of loose gravel for covering over runs of wire.

Click here for steps 11-12

Click here to return to the beginning.

Do you have a question about Building A Water Garden?

building a water garden
Adding Rocks

Doug's on Youtube

Doug's Facebook Page