How to Edge a Fish Pond

Written by benna crawford
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How to Edge a Fish Pond
Frame a fish pond with edges to encourage more wildlife. (Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

A backyard fish pond can turn your suburban lot into waterfront property and provide a peaceful retreat for wildlife and people. The edge of the pond will determine what happens in and around your pond, so plan it as carefully as you select the fish. Be creative and employ a number of strategies to build a natural look so the area doesn't appear overly designed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pond liner
  • Flat pavers
  • Flat stones
  • Small boulders
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pebbles, gravel and small stones
  • Hand trowel
  • Marginal plants and ground cover

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  1. 1

    Dig the hole for the pond and use some of the dirt to build up the edge slightly into a slope. A gentle slope away from the pond will direct runoff and prevent lawn fertilisers, soil and yard debris from washing into the pond.

  2. 2

    Stretch the pond liner over the edge of the pond and anchor it with flat stones or pavers. Double the excess liner back over itself and the pavers.

  3. 3

    Lay another row of flat stones over the folded liner to anchor the liner all the way around the edge. Vary this row to make it appear natural. Overlap some stones and add small boulders here and there. Set a large flat basking rock on an angle half into the pond. This flat, angled rock allows creatures to climb in and out of the pond easily. As your pond is deep enough for fish and will have plenty of plant cover and some ledges for fish to hide under, you won't be providing a fast-food drive-through for raccoons. The access rock is for turtles and frogs.

  4. 4

    Create a pond edge ringed with stones that looks somewhat random and not too designed, then trim the excess liner with sharp scissors. Fill in the edging stones and boulders with pebbles, small stones and ground cover.

  5. 5

    Plant marsh reeds, marginal plants, ornamental grasses and low-flowering vines. Moss grows well in shady spots. Reeds and grasses should seem like extensions of the ones planted in the pond. Good marginal plants are Japanese iris, cannas and flowering rush, all of which do well in boggy areas. Include some butterfly bushes in a sunny section next to the pond edge. Butterflies will feed and use the basking stone to sun. If the basking stone has a few shallow depressions to hold rainwater, you have created a rain sip for insects and birds.

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