3 Steps to a DIY Water Garden That Doesn't Take Up Much Space

With our step-by-step guide, you'll have a pretty mini water garden in your own backyard in just minutes.

plants in stone round water garden
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

You don't need grand outdoor garden water fountains and sprawling garden ponds to make a splash in your yard. This water garden project is an easy garden feature idea that will surely make a lasting impression. Whether you're looking for a small water feature or a backyard table centerpiece, this DIY water garden idea will appease your plans. Also called a pond in a pot, this natural garden fountain adds character to any space. Three simple steps teach you how to build a water garden: start by picking your favorite pot or bowl, choose your plants, and the assembly is easy.

What You'll Need


  • 1 Container
  • 1 Water plants
  • 1 Water
  • 1 Liquid fertilizer


  1. Choose Your Container

    variety of 3 water garden containers, glass, stone and ceramic

    For this simple garden water feature, a broad, shallow container works especially well. You can buy something especially for this small garden pond, but it's fun to get resourceful and rummage around the kitchen for a shallow bowl, copper pot, or glass dish. Any old shallow container will work well for this outdoor garden water fountain, and natural wear gives the mini pond container character. Garden ponds don't have to take up tons of ground space—this inventive small garden water feature adds an unexpected contemplative touch to a tight space.

    Editor's Tip: If you want to use a pot that has a drainage hole, simply plug the hole with silicone sealant (like the kind you'd use to seal seams in your shower)

  2. Choose Your Plants

    water garden plants in plastic bag

    Possibly the most fun part of making your modern garden water feature is picking out plants that will create a beautiful water garden design. These days, most garden centers are carrying a wide variety of water garden plants to fill your garden ponds. The best for small garden ponds such as these are the "floater" plants, that is, the plants that simply float on top of the water surface. They include water lettuce, azolla, duckweed, water hyacinth, and frog bit. Add these floating plants to your mini garden pond and admire their effortless beauty.

    Related: The Best Plants for Your Water Garden

  3. Maintain It

    To keep your stunning garden water feature healthy, check water levels daily. Change the water in your garden pond whenever it becomes murky or starts to give off any odor, which usually means about once or twice a week. Fertilize very lightly with a liquid fertilizer each time you change the water. Lastly, watch the plants in your lovely, modern garden water feature flourish!

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