Lawn + Garden Projects
Put a Free Form Garden Pond in Your Backyard
BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 125 Projects
If your idea of a water garden is more elaborate than most or the shape you have in mind isn't standard round or kidney, a free-form water garden with a soft, pliable pond liner may be the answer for you.
Building a water garden with a soft liner is not difficult or time consuming, but the finished garden will required on going maintenance and care. Think carefully about your willingness and ability to provide this care before committing yourself to the project. It’s also a good idea to look into local building codes—many municipalities require building permits for ponds over 18 inches deep.
Before selecting a flexible liner, compare and contrast the available types. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) liners are made from a type of synthetic vinyl that’s flexible and stable as long as it does not get direct sunlight exposure. If you choose one, make sure it is not manufactured for swimming pools or roofing.
EDPM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) liners are made from a synthetic rubber that is highly flexible, extremely durable, and fish-friendly. EDPM liners remain flexible at temperatures ranging from -40 to 175° Fahrenheit. These are cost-effective and easy to find at building or garden centers or landscape supply stores. Look for a liner that is 45 mil thick. Some landscape supply centers carry pond liner by the lineal foot.
Free-form ponds blend into the landscape, especially with the addition of coping stones set into the edges. Building one involves heavy labor, but no special skills.