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A beautiful water feature can bring joy and beauty to any garden. But it also calls for some serious planning. Before you start digging, take some time to think not only about your dreams but also the logistics.

5 Things to consider before building a water feature:


Consider where you’ll be viewing your water feature. You may have a neat hill towards the back of your yard, but the further away from your home, the less likely you’ll use and enjoy your water feature. We suggest finding an area where you regularly spend time that’s close to your house. Areas near a patio, a deck, or even a hammock can be ideal spots.

You should also think about the views from inside the home. Watching cascading water through a large window can be amazing, even when weather conditions are less than ideal.


Some water features just aren’t good matches for some land. Digging a pond out of bedrock probably isn’t your best option. And a steep incline might be better suited to a waterfall than a large pond. Take an honest look at your outdoor space. Consider what would make the most of the area’s natural beauty. Many folks start out thinking they want one thing but discover the ideal water feature for their yard is something different. Don’t be afraid to adapt your plan.

Sun vs. shade

This can be a tricky one, especially in winter when the trees are bare. But envision your space in summer. How does the sun move across the land? Is the area heavily shaded or in full sun? It makes a difference.

A water feature amidst a shade garden can be beautiful, but consider the amount of leaf debris coming down in autumn. Excess leaf buildup in your water feature can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy ecosystem. We highly recommend installing a net structure during the fall.

A water feature in full sun may be less susceptible to leaf debris, but algae can thrive in these conditions even with adequate filtration. Adding an ionizer and/or an auto doser can help. Remember, too, that your fish will want a break from the summer sun’s heat. Incorporate aquatic plants to cover some of the surface or install a fish cave to provide respite from the sun. A balance of sun and shade is a good thing, and you probably want to create your feature where it will get at least a little bit of both.


A healthy pond ecosystem strikes a delicate balance, and filtration is an important part of the cycle. Mechanical and biological filtration components remove suspended debris and excess algae that cause toxic gases like ammonia. A skimmer will protect the pond pump, which helps keep the water circulating. Beneficial bacteria will cultivate in areas of your filtration like in the media mats. Rocks and gravel in the pond provide places for beneficial bacteria to live, too. In turn, these bacteria help keep the water clear of fish waste and organic debris. Finally, aquatic plants will absorb nutrients that algae feed on and will release oxygen into the water. This keeps fish happy.


When you’re planning what you want to spend, look at the big picture. Sure, building a water feature requires manpower and tools and water. But you also want to consider materials like liner, rock, and your filtration system. Then there’s landscaping around the pond, too. A little budgetary preparation can help you avoid painful surprises later.


No matter what your water feature plans entail, Good Earth Water Gardens can help. We can design, build, and maintain the water feature that’s right for you. Let’s brainstorm together to make your pond the best it can be. Call us at (913) 749-8090 or connect online.