A water garden construction project requires planning before you even begin to build. The size and shape of the pond, plus the desired materials and finished appearance, should all be decided before construction begins. You must also determine the purpose of the pond, whether it's to grow a few well-loved water plants or if you want to keep fish in the water. Once completed, the water garden can become a backyard oasis for relaxing.
Find a location for your water garden construction project. The best location depends on the layout of your yard and your plans for the completed water garden. You want a place accessible for running water and electricity to the ponds and pumps. Shade in the location also plays a part in your location choice. Many water garden plants require sunlight, but too much sun can cause algae problems in the pond. Overhanging shrubs and trees can pose a cleanup hazard, since they will drop leaves, berries and other debris into the water garden that can clog pumps. Once you determine the location, take note of all the hazards so you can construct the pond to avoid most of them.
Determine the water garden construction method you plan to use. The simplest water garden is created with a preformed plastic liner. These liners require you to dig a hole the exact size and shape of the pond. Usually you must lay a gravel bed in the hole before setting the liner in place so the soil doesn't settle beneath the liner and cause it to warp. You can also create a water garden with poured cement. This will likely require professional help to ensure the cement is poured and cured correctly to hold water. A third water garden construction method uses stones or bricks mortared in place. While this method is possible for the do-it-yourselfer, it does require skill and knowledge of the best types of mortar and the proper installation methods.
Make a list of materials before you begin water garden construction. Some parts of the building process are time sensitive, especially if you use mortar or concrete, so you can't run to the hardware store at the last minute for a forgotten item. Some standard items needed for pond construction include liner or liner materials, a shovel or backhoe, gravel, pond pumps, filters and hoses, water plants, pond border materials, and landscape rocks.
You may need to hire skilled tradesmen for some parts of the water garden construction, such as running electricity or waterlines out to the water garden area. Make appointments with these tradesmen in advance. Take bids on the project so you get the best deal but also interview the tradesmen so you only get qualified workers with a good background in building water features.
Make a list of plants for your water garden after construction. You will need some floating plants, such as lilies or lotus, in sunny locations because the large floating leaves shade the water and prevent algae growth. You will also need plants that float beneath the surface since these help add oxygen to the water. If you are placing fish in the pond, you must select plants that the fish won't kill but that still provide food and shelter.
Water garden construction companies exist that can handle all aspects of the pond installation. If you prefer simplicity over building it yourself, these companies provide a stress-free alternative.
Check with your local building code enforcement office before you begin your water garden construction project. You may need a permit before you begin installation. Certain plants may also be illegal to grow in your pond due to invasive plant issues in your area. Failure to comply can result in fines or other penalties.