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How to make a raised pond

Raised ponds can create a lovely focal point in a garden, especially when surrounded with stacked stones and crevice plants. Raised ponds are also safer than sunken pools because visitors and small children are less likely to fall into the water. Making a raised pond is a project you can tackle in a weekend.

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Clear the site of grass and debris and place the pond shell on the ground. Scratch the shell's outline in the soil with a stick. Remove the shell and use sand or flour to more clearly define the shell's outline.

Dig deep enough in the shell outline to fit 10 cm (4 inches) of the bottom of the shell into the ground. This will help secure the shell in place. Remove any roots and rocks from the dug-out area, and use a carpenter's level to make sure the bottom of the hole is flat. Pour a 5 cm (2 inch) layer of sand into the hole and set the shell into it.

Surround the exposed shell with dry-stacked stones, such as flat flagstones. Start by placing stones a 10 cm (4 inches) away from the shell, adding soil between the stones and the shell for support. Stack each layer of stone closer and closer to the shell. During this process, slowly fill the pond with water from a hose. The weight of the water will further secure the pond shell in place. Lay the top layer of stone over the lip of the shell by a 5 cm (2 inches). Mortar this top layer of stone in place for extra support.

Add crevice plants in the pockets of soil between the stones. This will offer a lush, charming look to your new raised pond. You can also add water plants, like water lilies, lotuses and Japanese irises, in the pond for even more visual interest.


A fibreglass shell is ideal for a raised pond because of its thickness. Fibreglass will also last much longer than a thinner, plastic model.


Raised ponds should not be higher than 45 cm (18 inches) for safety reasons. Keep this in mind when selecting your preformed shell.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fiberglass or plastic pond shell
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Carpenter's level
  • Flat flagstones
  • Soil
  • Plants

About the Author

Carrie Dodson Davis has been writing and editing since 1999. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her work has appeared in the “Santa Clara Review,” Sunset’s “Living 101,” and numerous websites including eHow and SpendOnLife. She has edited dozens of home design and landscaping books, including the “Western Garden Book” and the "Design Idea Book.”

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