37 Backyard Pond Ideas & Designs (Pictures)

A small backyard pond surrounded by stones and ornamental plants.

Welcome to our gallery featuring a selection of residential backyard water features, specifically in the form of ponds. Similar to backyard gardens, they add an extra element of beauty and relaxation to any outdoor space.

All backyard ponds are a type of man-made water feature that have a primary focus on aquatic plants, although many larger ponds may contain ornamental fish, like koi.

Not all plants are suitable for planting near or in a backyard pond, however. You’ll need to grow plants that are best adapted to shallow pools and ponds. The type of plant you add to your pond will depend entirely on how deep and large your pond is.

The types of plants best suited to pond life fall into three distinct categories: submerged plants, marginal plants, and floating plants. Submerged plants are those that live almost completely under the surface. Some of these plants have leaves or flowers that grow to the surface, like a water lily. These plants are also called oxygenators, because they create oxygen for any fish in a pond.

Marginal plants live with only their roots under the water. Examples of these are irises, lotus flowers, cattail reeds, or bulrushes.

The third type, floating plants, are not anchored into the soil at all, and are free-floating at the surface of the water. In a water garden, floating plants are used to reduce algae, as the shade they provide inhibits the growth of algae. Floating plants are usually fast-growing and multiply quickly.

Backyard ponds may contain many different elements that help integrate it into the overall design of the yard’s landscaping, including fountains, statues, waterfalls, and boulders.

You may also see some with underwater lighting, unique edging details, or even watercourses that add visual interest to the design. Natural ponds are often times so inspiring, a home is built around them to take advantage of nature’s beauty.

We hope you’ll enjoy this gallery filled with awesome backyard ponds, and that you’ll be inspired to replicate some of them in your own backyard!

Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

A small two-section pond with a waterfall between the two. Both sections have small umbrella fountains. The entire pond is edged by stacked stones that help hide the black liner. Petunias, hostas, and lilies are planted around the outside of the pond, with a few water lilies on the surface.

A small two-section pond with a waterfall between the two. Both sections have small umbrella fountains. The entire pond is edged by stacked stones that help hide the black liner. Petunias, hostas, and lilies are planted around the outside of the pond, with a few water lilies on the surface.

Buy this backyard kit here.

A large, shallow pond with a stone three-tier waterfall flowing down from a retaining pond further up. Boulders and small reeds sit in the shallow, clear water. Evergreens and daffodils line the sides, just beyond the rock edging.

A large, shallow pond with a stone three-tier waterfall flowing down from a retaining pond further up. Boulders and small reeds sit in the shallow, clear water. Evergreens and daffodils line the sides, just beyond the rock edging.

A somewhat deeper, small pond with a single fountain creating ripples from the center of the water. Round stones are piled around the edges, creating a bank. Grassy plants and hardy daisy flowers are integrated into the landscaping around the pond.

A somewhat deeper, small pond with a single fountain creating ripples from the center of the water. Round stones are piled around the edges, creating a bank. Grassy plants and hardy daisy flowers are integrated into the landscaping around the pond.

A tranquil backyard pond with a few small ornamental fish, lily pads, reeds, and water lettuce. The pond is edged by both large, square boulders and smaller, round stones.

A tranquil backyard pond with a few small ornamental fish, lily pads, reeds, and water lettuce. The pond is edged by both large, square boulders and smaller, round stones.

A large water garden with stacked stones around the edges and thick tufts of plants growing in patches around the outside, wherever they can get a foothold. This pond is quite a bit larger and deeper than other ponds in this collection.

A large water garden with stacked stones around the edges and thick tufts of plants growing in patches around the outside, wherever they can get a foothold. This pond is quite a bit larger and deeper than other ponds in this collection.

A stream-like pond with a small waterfall, edged by small stones and larger boulders. Small mushroom-shaped lights add unique ambiance at night. Small leafy plants, ground cover, and taller bushes surround the water feature.

A stream-like pond with a small waterfall, edged by small stones and larger boulders. Small mushroom-shaped lights add unique ambiance at night. Small leafy plants, ground cover, and taller bushes surround the water feature.

A beautiful tropical pond with a tall waterfall tumbling into the pond surrounded by moss-covered slabs of stone. Just under the surface we can see koi fish.

A beautiful tropical pond with a tall waterfall tumbling into the pond surrounded by moss-covered slabs of stone. Just under the surface we can see koi fish.

A small, shallow pond created by stacking stones. This pond is integrated into the enormous yard by a few ornamental trees, bushes, and a bed of wood chips around it.

A small, shallow pond created by stacking stones. This pond is integrated into the enormous yard by a few ornamental trees, bushes, and a bed of wood chips around it. Click here for even more landscaping ideas!

A garden pond surrounded by large reddish boulders that tapers off into a shallow stream blocked by stones to keep the tiny ornamental fish in. A small crocodile toy is perched on one of the boulders.

A garden pond surrounded by large reddish boulders that tapers off into a shallow stream blocked by stones to keep the tiny ornamental fish in. A small crocodile toy is perched on one of the boulders.

An enormous water feature in a Japanese garden filled with bold Japanese maple trees, flowering bushes, and thick grasses. A stone lantern and a stone statue of an egret can be seen in the background. The pond itself is populated by many large koi fish.

An enormous water feature in a Japanese garden filled with bold Japanese maple trees, flowering bushes, and thick grasses. A stone lantern and a stone statue of an egret can be seen in the background. The pond itself is populated by many large koi fish.

A large backyard pond edged in flagstone that connects to the patio. A curving landscape connects to the dip in the pond.

A large backyard pond edged in flagstone that connects to the patio. A curving landscape connects to the dip in the pond.

A narrow fish pond with water lilies and lots of little red ornamental fish. A purple Japanese maple hangs over the edge.

A narrow fish pond with water lilies and lots of little red ornamental fish. A purple Japanese maple hangs over the edge.  Fish can be wonderful pets!  With any garden, it’s important to keep your pets safe by planting safe plants. Learn more about how to keep your four legged friends safe!

A simple pond edged with stone bricks. At the head of the pond is a small waterfall. Daylilies and other leafy plants surround part of the pond. A metal heron statue stands in the shallows.

A simple pond edged with stone bricks. At the head of the pond is a small waterfall. Daylilies and other leafy plants surround part of the pond. A metal heron statue stands in the shallows.

A shallow pond fed by a cascading fountain tucked into the stone edging. A narrow stone footbridge connects the two sides of the pathway.

A shallow pond fed by a cascading fountain tucked into the stone edging. A narrow stone footbridge connects the two sides of the pathway.

A simple pond with a few small ornamental fish and lilypads. Multiple small cascades run along this water feature.

A simple pond with a few small ornamental fish and lilypads. Multiple small cascades run along this water feature.

A large pond in a Japanese garden with thick plants growing right up to the water's edge. The pond is populated by huge koi fish.

A large pond in a Japanese garden with thick plants growing right up to the water’s edge. The pond is populated by huge koi fish.

Another view of the Japanese garden with a stone lantern and heron from the pathway. The view changes as visitors walk past the tranquil scene.

Another view of the Japanese garden with a stone lantern and heron from the pathway. The view changes as visitors walk past the tranquil scene.

A circular garden pond in the center of a manicured lawn. Planters full of white daffodils are placed equal distances apart around the perimeter of the pond.

A circular garden pond in the center of a manicured lawn. Planters full of white daffodils are placed equal distances apart around the perimeter of the pond.  Interested in how you can design your own container garden? Click here!

A more natural-looking garden pond with a flagstone path leading up to the water's edge. A wide waterfall cascades into the main pool.

A more natural-looking garden pond with a flagstone path leading up to the water’s edge. A wide waterfall cascades into the main pool.

A small, shallow blue pool of water at the bottom of a cascade of stones. Water trickles down through the stones, creating the crystal clear pool at the bottom.

A small, shallow blue pool of water at the bottom of a cascade of stones. Water trickles down through the stones, creating the crystal clear pool at the bottom.

This water feature focuses on the large waterfall tumbling into a small, shallow pool at the bottom. The entire structure is encased by large stones and surrounded by grasses.

This water feature focuses on the large waterfall tumbling into a small, shallow pool at the bottom. The entire structure is encased by large stones and surrounded by grasses.

A beautiful backyard pond on a secluded lot. A large waterfall tumbles into the pond, which has a greenish-cast from the moss on the rocks covering the bottom. A branch across the top of the waterfall adds another natural element to this pond.

A beautiful backyard pond on a secluded lot. A large waterfall tumbles into the pond, which has a greenish-cast from the moss on the rocks covering the bottom. A branch across the top of the waterfall adds another natural element to this pond.

A well-like garden pond with a small fountain that pours into the deeper well of water. Thick grasses drape over the stone edges. The garden is filled with stone statues and other accents.

A well-like garden pond with a small fountain that pours into the deeper well of water. Thick grasses drape over the stone edges. The garden is filled with stone statues and other accents.

An awe-inspiring stone waterfall pouring into a shallow basin at the bottom. Small figures of ducks sit on either side of the largest cascade.

An awe-inspiring stone waterfall pouring into a shallow basin at the bottom. Small figures of ducks sit on either side of the largest cascade.

A unique pond with two tiers. The top tier has a small rock waterfall. Fields of tulips and other plants surround the rock enclosure.

A unique pond with two tiers. The top tier has a small rock waterfall. Fields of tulips and other plants surround the rock enclosure.

A green garden pond with small maples growing along the widest side. A small stream connects to the pond and can be crossed via a small wooden footbridge.

A green garden pond with small maples growing along the widest side. A small stream connects to the pond and can be crossed via a small wooden footbridge.

An enormous crystal-clear gold-tinted pond with large reeds and bamboo growing on either side of the wide cascade. A bronzed figure of a fairy lays on one of the rocks.

An enormous crystal-clear gold-tinted pond with large reeds and bamboo growing on either side of the wide cascade. A bronzed figure of a fairy lays on one of the rocks.

A view from further back of the above pond, showing the drop off in the center of the bottom pond.

A view from further back of the above pond, showing the drop off in the center of the bottom pond.

A deep pond at the bottom of a hill covered in cedar wood chips. A stone waterfall cascades down the hill into the pool. Stone steps lead up to the right.

A deep pond at the bottom of a hill covered in cedar wood chips. A stone waterfall cascades down the hill into the pool. Stone steps lead up to the right.

A shallow garden pool with a few ornamental rocks and grasses along the pebble edging. A small terra cotta Japanese lantern sits on one edge.

A shallow garden pool with a few ornamental rocks and grasses along the pebble edging. A small terra cotta Japanese lantern sits on one edge.

A more cosmopolitan pool stretching out into the yard from the patio and ending in a white bench and angle statue. Evergreens and other large trees and bushes line either side of the yard.

A more cosmopolitan pool stretching out into the yard from the patio and ending in a white bench and angle statue. Evergreens and other large trees and bushes line either side of the yard.

A simple garden pond with a center fountain. The simple liner is held down solidly by large stones. The pond is surrounded by thick, lush grasses and bushes.

A simple garden pond with a center fountain. The simple liner is held down solidly by large stones. The pond is surrounded by thick, lush grasses and bushes.

A koi pond edged by hedges and maples. This view is from a curving walkway through an expansive Japanese garden.

A koi pond edged by hedges and maples. This view is from a curving walkway through an expansive Japanese garden.

A small garden pool with a stream emptying into the pond. A short wall of stone blocks overlooks the pond.

A small garden pool with a stream emptying into the pond. A short wall of stone blocks overlooks the pond.

A beautiful garden pond surrounded by porous stones and moss. A high stone ledge above the pond has cascading water, creating wonderful ambiance.

A beautiful garden pond surrounded by porous stones and moss. A high stone ledge above the pond has cascading water, creating wonderful ambiance.

A simple bright blue garden pond with a tall center fountain. Small enough to fit nicely in a small section of a larger garden, and as a feature piece in smaller gardens.

A simple bright blue garden pond with a tall center fountain. Small enough to fit nicely in a small section of a larger garden, and as a feature piece in smaller gardens.

Buy this backyard pond kit here.

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