Ponds In The Garden

“Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-coloured water   
And the croaking of frogs—
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.”

The Pond by Amy Lowell

(Click any image to zoom)

There is nothing like a water feature to make a big splash in your garden.  Once again, pun intended.  Even a small container of water with a potted papyrus plant or elephant ear adds a special grace note to a flower bed.  We have a large backyard, by urban yard standards.  Slightly less than a double lot, or close to 1/2 acre.  I knew I wanted a pond in the center, set up to be the main focal point.  For a long time, we talked about digging a large, free form pond with a waterfall and stream, but one day, we realized we were never going to have the time or energy to get it done by ourselves, so we needed to go to Plan B.

Galvanized Water Trough for Pond

Visiting a local feed and farm supply store, I purchased a 6′ x 2′ galvanized trough and had it delivered.  I would have been happy to set it up as is, and go with the country look of galvanized metal, but Mark, being the bricklayer of the family, wanted to tie it in with our patio and brick pathways already being established.  Two feet tall is higher than you might think, so we decided to lower the profile a bit and set the trough into the ground about 8″ deep.  Perfect. 

Filling water trough for goldfish pond

After leveling the pond in place, we filled it with well water, and hooked up the pump.  

Mark enclosing galvanized water trough with brick to make goldfish pond

Then Mark stacked bricks around the pond to enclose it…

Brick enclosure around galvanized goldfish pond almost done.

…taking a few breaks, here and there…

Brickwork surrounding galvanized water trough goldfish pond completed.

…and voila.  A beautiful brick pond! 

The entire project, including setting up the pump and the bamboo spitter, only took one weekend.

Finished galvanized water trough goldfish pond with brickwork enclosure.

The pond today, with additional brickwork walkways and seating areas.

Galvanized water trough pond with brickwork surround and friendly dachshund.

As you can tell, many, many more bricks have been laid since the pond was set up a couple of years ago.  Most of our backyard is a courtyard now, with free flowing flower beds here and there.  It’s wonderful.  No mowing or fertilizing a huge lawn, for one thing.  And so many places to pull up a chair and sit.  The pond is home to fat, colorful goldfish, and a few frogs can be heard there on summer nights.  The sound of the water is relaxing and helps disguise the sound of nearby traffic.   It’s the best thing we ever did out back, and I’m so glad we aren’t still waiting to dig a bigger one.  This one is actually perfect for us! 

If you have added a pond to your garden, I’d love to hear about it, and see pictures, too. 

13 thoughts on “Ponds In The Garden

  1. Thank you so much, Gingersister! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, we love the whole pond area. And next to it, we have a “Bali Hut” just big enough to hold two chairs, and some hanging plants. It’s another good place to sit and enjoy the pond. In fact, I was standing in it when I took the last photograph, so you can see what a nice view we have from there. The bricklaying WAS a lot of work, but the pond itself is easy, and anyone could set one up in a weekend.


  2. I painted the outside of mine with metallic paint, I have a solar spitter and placed marginal plants on cinder blocks. The fishies hide in the holes in the blocks.


    • Very pretty, Beth. Ours is in too much shade for a solar spitter, I’m afraid, and at 500 gallons, we sort of need an actual pump and filter system. But if I ever do another one, I’d sure consider both of those things. I also like the size of yours for vegetable gardens. I’ve seen some great ones set up with these troughs. Nice to have you stop by and share your picture. Thanks! 🙂


  3. Wow, I would never guess that yours was that big! Yes, mine is much smaller but I am super happy with it. I filter mine by doing partial water changes twice a week (watering plants with the water I take out). Yours is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. If you click on the pictures and look at the bigger ones, you can tell the size better. It’s 6 feet across (circular) and nearly 3 feet deep. Had to be hauled on a special truck. 🙂 We’ve really been happy with it, though. We were going to do an in-ground pond, and just didn’t have the energy to try to do all that digging ourselves, so went for this one instead. Mark did sink it about a foot down, so it wasn’t quite so tall.

      I like water features, and often have smaller wash tubs and things with water lilies in them. I’d do one the size of yours in a heartbeat if I had the trough. It’s great.


  4. I was wondering what pump & filter do you have to? We want to have a pond like this for our turtles. We just don’t know what type of filter and pump to get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got the pump and filter system at Home Depot. You can also find them in aquarium stores. They are available in various sizes, depending on how big your pond is. We have one with a “bio filter” of sponge, that can be cleaned by rinsing thoroughly with the hose, periodically. It does a great job. Just be sure you know how many gallons your pond is, and you’ll be able to find what you need. Hope this helps, and I’m sorry for the delay in answering you. This blog has been inactive for almost a year, but I do hope to revive in one day, when I’m caught up a bit with my 3 other blogs, and my book writing. Sorry! Good luck finding what you need.


  5. So sorry to just have seen this. I’m afraid with 4 blogs going, and my time filled with writing my novels, this blog has sort of fallen by the wayside for now. But I do hope to revive it one day, and I didn’t mean to ignore your question. This is a stock trough, for watering cows or horses, and you can buy them in many sizes and at least a couple of different shapes, at places that sell farm supplies. Google watering trough for locations near you, and you should be able to find them. Feed stores, even some hardware stores will have them. Hope this helps! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and again, I apologize for my delay in replying.


  6. This is such a great idea with a BEAUTIFUL end design! How fortunate to have a husband with great skills and pride to do the job RIGHT! 🙂 I would love to put one of these in. I’M CURIOUS HOW LONG THE TROUGH WILL LAST BEFORE STARTING TO RUST AND GET HOLES? Anyone know?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry for the delay in seeing this. This blog hasn’t been active for some years (since I started writing actual books, and have much less spare time). So I’m the only person, probably, who can help you here. All I can say is, the pond is still functioning fine after 7 years. No leaks that we know of, though evaporation lowers the water level in the summer. Until the rainy season, that is. We are still very happy with the pond and would recommend this approach to anyone who doesn’t want to dig an enormous hole. Also, you can do the same thing with various sized tanks and tubs, from washtub size up to pretty big ones.

    Hope this has been helpful, and good luck if you decide to try it out! 🙂


    • Actually, the pond has been in the ground closer to 9 years. It was already a couple of years old when this post went up. So, even better. It is holding up great to this point. 🙂


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