Anatomy of a Pond

charles in Canada

A step by step description of how to make two ponds with the smaller one cascading into a larger one.

Back Yard Pond Step by Step Project Water Feature

1 of 30: Staked out 13' X 8'. Cut design using garden hose within the rectangle.

2 of 30: Bottom part slopes down by about a foot. This will help the top pond flowing down but I will have to raise the other end of the large pond.

3 of 30: Starting the shovelling. Leaving narrow ledge all around for plants.

4 of 30: Top soil is only 4 inches deep. Sandy soil makes it easier to dig.

5 of 30: Bottom slants down from 2 ft at the top to 3 ft at the bottom for easier drainage. A 2x 4 board and level are used to make sure the sides are level.

6 of 30: Sod has been piled at the top end in a circular shape to make the higher pond (5'L x 3'W x 1.5D). Bottom Pond: 1944 gals. Top: 168 gals.

7 of 30: Bottom pond finished. Nice smooth sandy bottom. Removed larger sharp stones.

8 of 30: Bottom pond has an extra 1 ft. hole at deep end for pump and easier cleaning. This would increase the liner size.

9 of 30: To make the sides level I had to pile sod (better than loose earth) on two sides.

10 of 30: My old living room carpet makes a nice cushion for liner. Anything really would do that's soft but avoid newspapers or cardboard.

11 of 30: EPDM liner 16 X 20 ft. for an 8' X 13' X 3 hole. The added 1 foot for the pump made the liner barely overlap sufficiently at the corner.

12 of 30: The heavy liner makes you lose all the graceful curves you made in the pond. Separate top liner

13 of 30: Side view of liner with about 2' overlap. I used the carpet underlay for the sides of the pond under the liner.

14 of 30: Both liners in place. Top liner (8'x10') overlaps the bottom one. Held in place by rocks. A nice flat rock is used just under where the water comes out.

15 of 30: A foot long fold is made in the middle front of the top liner, about 6 inches lower than the rest of the ledge so that the water may flow out.

16 of 30: Rocks in Place. Ponds filled. Top Pond has a lower front edge to allow overflow into bottom pond. Sides of top pond is inverted sod (soil up)