Container ponds are extraordinarily clever and versatile, and will fit almost anywhere – so if you have a small deck, rooftop garden, balcony, or even less space, you can still enjoy the serenity created by a pond. We hope you enjoy the container pond ideas in this article and find some inspiration to start your own.
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Why you should consider a container pond.
Even if your garden space is limited (or non-existent!), you can still have a garden pond to complement your home.
Container ponds are extraordinarily clever and versatile and will fit almost anywhere – so if you have a small deck, rooftop garden, balcony, or an even smaller space, you can still enjoy the serenity created by a pond.
Just the sound and look of bubbling water has an instant effect on our stress levels. Add some gorgeous aquatic plants and a colorful fish or two and you will be set.
Let’s look at some of our favorite container pond ideas for small spaces – you are certain to find something perfect for you!
DIY Container Pond Ideas
With urban living spaces needing to become more flexible, fitting gardens into all sorts of spaces is a normal part of life. Here are some cool ideas for container ponds that you can throw together yourself – some with a minimum of tools, skills or know-how.
1. Pond in a Pot
Buy a large tub or container and convert this into a container pond. These look wonderful when you blend them with other pots or tubs in your space – putting plants in some and then a miniature pond in another.
For a handy tutorial on how to do this visit Balconygardenweb.
2. Pond in a Wine Barrel
A DIY garden pond in a half wine or whisky barrel looks gorgeous wherever you pop them and blends well on decks and balconies as well as on grassed areas and between plants.
The wood weathers beautifully and the barrel works very well as either as a pond, water feature or even if you introduce a few fish.
You will need to line the wine barrel with good quality plastic or pond liner as the wood in the wine barrel will leak.
3. Add a Bamboo Fountain
You can buy a bamboo fountain in a range of sizes or styles and add them very simply to any container pond you have in your garden. This takes the flat and serene surface of any pond and makes it into a bubbling fountain.
4. Add a Quirky Water Feature
Any simple container pond can be elevated with a more unique or involved water feature or fountain effect. These look amazing when surrounded by lush water plants and make your container pond seem even less fabricated and more natural.
5. Repurpose Old Containers
New pots, porcelain or plastic containers work wonderfully for putting together your own pond, but we love it when you repurpose an old container – you could even use an old washtub, wheelbarrow or bath!
Make sure that you don’t use a corrosive metal which may react in combination with any fertilizer you might add to the water, as this will kill the plants. Stay away from containers made of copper, lead or brass. But otherwise, you only need to be limited by your imagination.
6. DIY Terracotta Fountain
Using terracotta pots and plates, you can craft your own DIY fountain. This little piece is stunning and can be made as large or small as you like. Put your own special twist on it, and even add touches to turn it into a miniature world or fairy garden.
7. A Tiny Pond in a Jar
While we look at small water gardens, we love the idea of turning a large jar into a container pond, either to pop on top of a table or, if you have a very large vase or jar, on the floor. The see-through aspect of glass means that it isn’t just the surface of the pond which is entrancing, you can also see your garden from all sides.
8. Above Ground Paved
This is a larger pond which is more involved. You can create an above-ground pond by building a container portion into the corner of your deck, or by building one with pavers leftover from other parts of your home or garden.
9. Convert an unused Hot Tub
If your home has a hot tub that you no longer can be bothered using as a pool you can convert it into a garden pond. You could also buy a second-hand hot tub and create the same effect.
10. Pond with Water Wall
These work best in sheltered areas and on patios or decks. Combine a longer container with a water-wall feature above it for a lovely interactive experience. The constant look and sounds created by flowing water will raise the standard of any outdoor space.
This is probably something you should get custom made, but if you are very handy there is a DIY tutorial here.
11. Upcycled Wooden Stump
This effect can look amazing in all sorts of garden sizes, and has an especially natural feel to it.
There are many different ways you can use an old tree stump to make a water feature in your garden. Some people simply like to use it as a table to sit a pre-made water feature on top. Some people actually carve out the tree stump and make it into a feature. There are many options available to you if you have an old tree stump.
12. Convert a Boat
This becomes a bit more involved – but doesn’t it look breathtaking? The waterproof sides of a boat are as perfect for keeping water in as they are for keeping it out. You can choose any size or shape of boat and create a truly unique effect in your space.
Pre-Made Container Ponds
If you have a bit less time on your hands or your DIY skills are lacking, these pond container options involve less work. They either come as all-in-one kits that anyone can manage or are more on the involved side and you should probably call in some professionals.
13. Whisky Barrel Pond and Water Feature
These look lovely and are easy to put together from an all-in-one kit. Simply connect it to a mains outlet and you’re up and running. Not big enough to hold fish but a lovely water feature perfect for any backyard or patio.
14. Galvanised Metal Stock Tub
Stockfeed tubs come in all shapes and sizes (some are massive) and are generally either plastic or galvanized metal. The metal ones are considerably more expensive, but they look stunning, so could be well worth the investment. You shouldn’t need to line or alter the tub, it will be perfect and all ready for use as a pond.
You can then use these on patios or decks, above ground, or partially submerge them into the landscape of your garden.
15. Premade Pond Form
This is one of the easiest ways to create a backyard pond – buy a premade container from a home and garden store, or online. These come on their own and also in kits with pumps, lighting and more.
These ponds come in all shapes and sizes and are the simplest way to create a sunken pond from scratch.
16. Pond Form converted into a raised garden bed
This takes the convenience of a premade pond form but allows you to use it above ground or on a patio or deck. Build a wooden raised garden bed frame around the pond form to improve the look of the edging.
17. Pond in a Fountain or Birdbath
Buy a new or second-hand traditional-look fountain and then turn this into a water garden or fish pond in a tiny space. Fountains and birdbaths of any shape or size will do the trick, and they are obviously already set up to be waterproof. You made need to locate it near a source of power.
18. Orb Feature
These orb features are lovely and again can come in all sorts of sizes and styles. They create a very unique and striking effect.
19. Rock fountain waterfall
These come in a range of sizes and styles as well as a range of materials. While they may look like rock or stone, they can be reasonably lightweight (at least until you add the water) and made of fiberglass.
Buy one to place on a tabletop, on your patio or out in a garden space.
20. Miniature Koi Pond
A lovely blend of garden pond and serene fish tank – these koi ponds contain everything you need to have the perfect patio water feature. They only require a minimum of upkeep as well.
21. Garden Pop Up Aquarium
This is an incredibly unique pond or water feature – which separates the plants from the fish. This is less of a pond but more of a backyard aquarium or fish tank. Simply stunning – right?
Considerations With A Container Pond
When popping plants into the water, you do need to do a little bit of background research to make sure that you are using the right kinds of plants and planting them the right way.
Some plants are free-floating in water, while others you see will need to be planted in contained soil (such as in baskets) below the water. Deep-rooted plants like lotus and water-lily need at least 10 inches of water depth to grow while floating plants can be placed in much shallower ponds.
Ponds with darker painted interiors create the illusion of depth making them seem much more expensive than they are.
You will probably need to fill around three-quarters of the container with the substrate or base – this could be from sand, gravel, pebbles, marbles, beads or florist foam.
You should use a mix of water and water-soluble fertilizer that is perfect for plants.
You will need to decide where to put your container pond, taking into consideration the amount of light and shade it will get as well as where your water will come from. If you have a pump or fountain you may also need a source of power.
You will need to replace a portion of the water every week to keep it clean and clear – around 10% should be enough.
Considerations if you want to add Fish
Fish will help to maintain bugs and algae in your pond, as well as generally just swimming around looking wonderful. If you wish to add fish to your pond, make sure that the water is filtered and also dechlorinated. Your pond needs to be big enough and deep enough for the breeds of fish you are adding.
Don’t overcrowd your pond – make sure that you give your fish plenty of personal space to be happy and live safely.
If you have seen any gorgeous patio container pond ideas that we haven’t included, be sure to comment and let us know.
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I have been working in the tropical fish industry for over 30 years now and I’m still learning. Everyday is a school day in this hobby. In my spare time I play golf very badly!