DIY Pond Box: How to Create a Mini Water Garden for Your Home

This mini ecosystem brings the pleasure of a water garden to your deck.

reflecting pool
Water lilies are a popular choice for ponds.

Lack room for a spacious in-ground water feature? Don't despair. You can still enjoy your own aquatic haven by crafting this nifty pond in a box that fits on a small balcony, deck, or patio. And it's easy to build. Once constructed, fill the planter section with a mixture of ferns and grasses and surround with rock. In the water, add floating plants such as duckweed, a potted dwarf cattail, and ornamental items such as a gazing ball.

What You'll Need

  • 15 feet of 1×8 cedar boards
  • Handsaw or circular saw
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Scrap wood
  • Water sealant
  • Plastic liner
  • Water plants
  • Potting soil
  • Pea gravel or landscape rocks
  • Gazing ball or other ornaments

Step 1

Cut two 30-inch boards for the sides and two 15-inch boards for the ends.

Step 2

Assemble the outer box frame using wood screws. Measure the interior dimensions and cut boards to fit as a base, then attach using wood screws every 6 inches along the edges of the sides and ends.

Step 3

Cut and secure a piece of wood as a divider inside the box. This will divide the planting space from the pond space. We divided our box to one-third planter and two-thirds pond.

Step 4

detail of corner

Cut four 1×2-inch pieces of scrap wood. Apply sealant to one side of each piece. When dry, nail a piece, sealant side down, to each corner.

Step 5

seal inside

On the inside of the box, install a plastic liner or use a water sealant that is safe for aquatic life. Read the sealant label carefully or check with an expert. Apply one coat more than recommended on both the pond and planter sides. On the planter side, drill three holes in the bottom for drainage.

Step 6

place plants

Fill it! Add water, plants, fish, and ornaments to your planter and pond, then sit back and enjoy.

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