Garden Pond Creates Total Backyard Transformation!

I’m in love! We now have our long-awaited garden pond that totally transforms our backyard! An amazing pond designer drew up the plan several months ago and we waited patiently. Our installation date on their schedule finally arrived and I’m bursting with joy over the new addition to our household!

Backyard Garden Pond by Aquascape


The super-talented crew turned our hot mess of patchy grass, weeds, and beat-up sidewalk into a beautiful garden pond that’s the focal point of the backyard. That’s Muffy in the lower left corner of the picture below – she’s one of three feral kitties that we feed.

My Yard Before the Pond


Goodbye weeds and grass. Hello beautiful water garden!

My Yard Before the Pond


I work for the company, Aquascape Inc., that installed my pond so I completely trusted them with this project. Brian Helfrich, the guy without a hat in the picture below, is Vice President of Aquascape Construction – our installation division. He’s a creative genius when it comes to working with water and envisioning how a water feature can work into the landscape. He came to our house in April to draw up the design. I told him to do whatever he wanted.

Building the Garden Pond

A few weeks ago, the crew arrived early in the morning and started digging the hole. It took them two hours to completely excavate the pond area and remove the grass.

Excavating the Pond for Backyard Transformation


Shelves are created when excavating the pond and can be used to place aquatic plants at various depths. Adding shelves to the pond also creates more stable walls for the structure.

The biological filter, also known as the BioFalls, is the start of the waterfall and is positioned directly under my bridal wreath bushes. The skimmer, which you see to the right in the photo, isn’t yet placed but it was located across the pond, opposite the BioFalls. This creates a sweeping effect of water across the pond which helps with aeration and filtration. The pump is placed in the skimmer and feeds water through underground flexible pipe that leads to the biological filter. The pumped water pushes up through the biological filter, thereby creating the waterfalls.

Dirt from the pond is used to create a berm on one side of the hole. The berm creates the necessary height for the waterfall.

Excavating the Pond for Backyard Transformation


Once the pond is fully excavated, an underlayment is positioned to hug the shelves and cover the entire bottom of the pond. The underlayment protects the liner from getting punctured by any sharp rocks in the dirt.

Laying the Underliner for a Backyard Garden Pond


With the underlayment in place, the guys can spread the fish-safe EPDM liner.

Laying the Pond Liner for Backyard Transformation


With the liner in place, it’s time to rock in the pond. One and a-half tons of granite rock was used on my pond. This is when the magic happens! Rock placement can make or break the look of the pond. The goal is to use a variety of sizes to create a natural look. Large, medium, and small – along with smaller river rocks for the very bottom.

Rocking in the Pond for Backyard Transformation


Before the guys place the rock, they wash them in a holding tank. My grandson stopped by after his nap to watch the crew finish up. He loves the pond!



After the rock is placed in the pond, the waterfall is constructed. At this point, it’s really hard to wait for the guys to complete the job. Along with the pond, Brian’s landscape plan calls for a deck to be built to the left of the pond so that it covers the sidewalk and looks like it’s hanging over the side of the pond just slightly.

Rocking in the Pond for Backyard Transformation


It took about 8 hours for the Aquascape Construction crew to transform our backyard with an amazing ecosystem pond. Ecosystem – meaning that it’s a naturally balanced, low-maintenance pond with fish and plants.

I made sure I had their favorite beer on hand at the end of the day. They deserved way more than that, though! They’re not just pond builders … they’re truly artists!

Aquascape Construction Crew - Pond Builders


Enjoying the New Pond

After the guys left, I sat with my feet in the pond staring at the waterfall for about an hour. It was hard to fully take in what had just happened. Flower beds and plantings are pretty, but there’s just something so special about a garden pond. The sound of the waterfall is soothing and watching the fish swim about is so relaxing. I felt like I had just been given a wonderful gift.

Waterfall in Garden Pond


Hubby and his friend started installing the deck a week after the pond went in. We still need to stain it and once it’s done, I’ll reveal that part of our backyard transformation.

Backyard Garden Pond with Deck


The south end of the pond has a pebble beach for the kiddos. The water here is about two inches deep and has a tiny waterfall of its own.

Backyard Garden Pond by Aquascape


I started adding aquatic plants to the pond to assist with filtration of the water. Aquatic Forget-Me-Not is at the top of the photo. If you look carefully you’ll see its tiny flowers. The plant beneath that is a houseplant that craves moist soil so I planted it at the edge of the pond and it’s doing beautifully. Water Lettuce is in the lower right corner. It floats on the surface of the pond with its roots dangling in the water. The fish like to nibble on the roots.

Aquatic Plants in Backyard Garden Pond


I love my new garden pond! I’ve been busy planting around it. The goal is to soften the rocks with greenery and color. I’ll share more about that on another day – along with pictures of the fish.

Backyard Garden Pond with Deck


Here’s the original drawing of the backyard transformation plan. Next on the list is creating a pea gravel patio with a pergola over it. I hope to get that done next month.

Landscape Design Drawing with Backyard Pond


If you’ve considered adding a pond, waterfall, or fountain to your yard – I encourage you not to wait. You deserve to enjoy it now! And if you need a good professional to install it, you can use the Aquascape pond builder locator to find one in your area.

And if you have any questions about the pond, just post it below!

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    1. Thanks, Donna! I’d rather have the pond done right the first time. 🙂 I’ve seen some pretty DIY ponds but knew I could never create what the pros could do! They did an awesome job.

  1. That’s really lovely Jennifer you are so lucky to be able to install the pond. Our local authority would make us fence a pond and thus spoil the effect. We practically have to fence a puddle where I live in Australia, Sadly it would attract snakes too. I will have to live vicariously through you. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Alison. Can you have a fountain where you live without having to fence it? We’re now thinking of adding a fountain to the front yard. 🙂

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, it looks like a resort. So peaceful, may you enjoy many years of joy from it! Wish my yard was conducive to something so tranquil.

  3. YAY! You’ve been waiting for this and such a gorgeous job. Love the little waterfall for the kiddos. Looked just liked I remember when they did ours. We had koi that had babies and more babies. After 15 years they were huge. When we sold the house a garden center bought our fish.

    I’m excited for you. You have been waiting patiently for this oasis to get done. Enjoy every minute.

    Have a super day


  4. If there’s a better word(s) than amazing then insert please! I bet your neighbors are loving and enjoying this piece of paradise also!
    My daughter’s neighbors have a small pond. We were swimming at my daughter’s house last summer when we noticed a huge crane at the pond having DINNER!! He was feasting on the neighbor’s beautiful koi fish! That crane almost became dinner for the neighborhood!
    BTW, we feed a little group of ferels also. We call them “the kids.” We’ve been able to catch a couple and get them neutered/spayed and released back to their ferel community because they are too ferel to adopt out. It’s a program called “Catch and Release.” Since we are moving I am working on finding a neighbor who will continue our “daily feeding program.” Now too find someone to feed the birds, squirrels, keep the plants growing for the monarch butterflies, …

  5. We’ve all been waiting anxiously for this pond, but I’m sure not as anxiously as you. It looks absolutely so amazing, so natural and so appropriate for the location. You are correct, these guys are artists. Can’t wait to see the deck, the patio and the pergola. We are all so jealous. I know you and your family will enjoy this addition for many, many years to come.

  6. How wonderful!! Your pond fits perfectly into your backyard. So nice that you had it done too. We’ve built two ponds at previous homes – the first one was huge! You are going to love having the pond and watching the little critters that will come to it. Lots of birds, raccoons, and sometimes snakes but they are just passing through. Oh and the frogs!! They will serenade you in the spring. 🙂

  7. Oh wow!! You can almost hear the water, it is a beautiful outdoor feature and know you will enjoy it years to come. I just bet i would be out there even in the snow,lol!!

  8. So beautiful and natural looking.
    Warning: The Water Gardening Lifestyle can be addicting, but what an addiction to be afflicted with. Welcome to the club!

  9. Jennifer, you’d pond is absolutely Perfect! I love everything about it. That pebble beach area is such a great idea. I also enjoyed seeing how it was created, you did a good job. Your yard transformation will be enjoyed, I’m sure.

  10. I love your pond! It looks great! And it makes me almost miss the one we had at our former home before we moved and downsized. You will get tons of joy from it. Sounds like you already are! 🙂

  11. Fabulous…You’ve inspired me for a spot in my backyard that could be perfect for a pond as wonderful as yours!
    Wishing you tons of pond enjoyment. Thank you!

  12. The pond looks just beautiful. I can’t wait to see the final reveal! Am I right in thinking this pond replaced one you already had? Enjoy your new space!