Design of the Outdoor Area Around the Pond

Design of the Outdoor Area Around the Pond

A garden pond is an ornament in your garden. Therefore, not only does it matter what plants you have in your pond, but the design of the exterior of your pond also plays a role. How you design the outdoor area also depends on whether you want to child-proof your pond or keep out herons, cats, and other fish predators. Perennials and shrubs are ideal. A planting plan can help you with the design.

Preliminary Considerations for the Design

You have many options for designing the exterior of your garden pond. If you like it plain and simple, you can create with gravel and only a few plants. Taller growing plants are optimal if you want to protect your pond from cats, herons, and other fish thieves. Tall plants around the garden pond make it difficult for herons to get to your garden pond. To make the pond difficult for more minor children to access and to protect children from drowning, you can plant thorn-bearing shrubs and roses around the pond. A fence can also be helpful.

The exterior design of your backyard pond should blend well with your garden and with the pond’s creation. If you use perennials and shrubs, you will not have to replant the outdoor area for many years. You only need to take care of regular pruning so that the plants do not grow too much. Ground covers are also well suited. They spread quickly, do little work, and prevent many weeds from growing.

Trees and shrubs provide shade and spoil herons’ appetite for your fish. Shrubs can also offer small biotopes, as they are a shelter for various animals. However, it would help if you remembered that trees and shrubs could cause more leaves to fall into the pond, encouraging algae growth. Therefore, you should regularly remove fallen leaves from the pond.

The Planting Plan as a Help

Before you start designing the exterior of your pond, you should create a planting plan. Draw a scaled floor plan of your pond and determine how you want to plant your pond. You should make several copies of the floor plan right away so you can go over several variations for planting and choose the best one. If you have several copies, you can also use them to plan new planting if at some point, you no longer like the original planting or if you need to replace plants. Record the different areas on the floor plan and note what you want to plant in the appropriate spots.

In your planting plan, you should note the riparian zone and draw it on the floor plan. The riparian zone is still underlain with pond liner, but it is not underwater or only slightly underwater. You can place moisture-loving plants in this zone, such as marsh iris, marsh forget-me-not, marsh marigold, purple loosestrife, or marsh spurge. You should pay attention to planting depth and spacing. Draw which marsh plants you want to arrange in the riparian zone on the planting plan according to the planting distances.

Once you have drawn the marsh plants to design the riparian zone in the planting plan, move on to planning the adjacent area. Ground covers, perennials, and shrubs are good choices here. You need to consider the conditions of the plants to the site and the care. You should also note how wide the plant spacing should be and which plants work well together. Mark these plants on your sketch.

Once you have created your planting plan, you can write a shopping list for your marsh and outdoor plants. It would help if you bought too few plants rather than too many, as many of these plants can spread rapidly.

Observing the Bloom Sequence

If you want it to bloom prettily around your pond continuously and you want to enjoy colorful blossoms as early as early spring, you should pay attention to the bloom sequence. Ground covers like pennywort will ensure that you don’t have a lot of work maintaining the outdoor area. Pennywort displays its small, yellow flowers in June and July. Periwinkle is also a groundcover and delights with its blue-purple flowers as early as April and May. You need to make sure that they do not grow too much with ground covers. Therefore, you should remove the heavily overgrown plants in time.

Early bloomers such as mullein, crocus or checkerboard flower delight early with a colorful splendor. You can leave the bulbs in the ground throughout the year. So that you can already enjoy the early bloomers at the start of the pond season, you should plant the bulbs in the fall of the previous year. You can plant ground covers and marsh plants in the spring.

Swamp iris, swamp forget-me-not, and swamp spurge also delight with their beautiful blooms in May and June. The raspberry red loosestrife shows its flowers in summer.


When choosing plants for the riparian zone and the adjacent area, make sure they are hardy. You will not have to worry about providing the appropriate protection for the winter. Native marsh plants are hardy.

Beautiful Design With Grasses

It does not always have to be flowering. For the outdoor area of your garden pond, various grasses are also excellent. You can use multiple ornamental types of grass solo or together with flowering plants. Ornamental grasses delight with their colorful leaves. Grasses also bloom, but the flowers do not make up the real decorative value. Suitable ornamental grasses for the garden pond are.

  • Stiff golden sedge with narrow, light-colored foliage and brownish flowers
  • Hanging sedge with flowers that can grow more than a meter high
  • Purple sedge with dark green foliage and orange-yellow flowers

Rushes also belong to the grasses. They are typical plants for the riparian zone, stabilize the riparian area, and filter pollutants.

Cottongrass, which prefers a moist location, is also suitable for the riparian zone. Narrow-leaved cottongrass forms runners. Broad-leaved cottongrass is not very demanding, does not grow rampantly, and can also tolerate lime.

Be Careful With Reeds

Reeds are excellent for the riparian zone and provide a biotope for various animals. There are different types of reeds, such as cattails or hedgehogs. However, reeds are only suitable for larger ponds with more extensive outdoor areas. It can quickly multiply and spread where it is not wanted. To avoid this, remove overgrown reeds regularly.

Possibilities With Perennials and Shrubs

You can beautifully landscape the area adjacent to the riparian zone with perennials and shrubs. Perennials are hardy and will delight you with their flowers every year. You should pay attention to the requirements of the perennials to the location. Suitable perennials are Prachtspiere, Iris, daylily, delphinium, or columbine. The various perennials spread more or less. They often bloom throughout the summer, into the fall.

Shrubs also offer many possibilities for a beautiful design. Forsythia already delights in early spring with its yellow flowers. Jasmine blooms in June and delights with somewhat larger, white flowers. Snowball or summer lilac are also popular shrubs. Summer lilac attracts many butterflies and is available in many colors.

Of course, you can also plant roses outdoors. However, they require a little more care. You should remove the faded flowers from time to time. You need to cover the roses in winter, as they are sensitive to frost. You should also regularly cut back the roses.


Before you design the exterior of your garden pond, you should create a planting plan. Draw a scaled floor plan of your garden pond and draw which plants you want to place. You should note the riparian area under which the pond liner will be located. A variety of marsh plants are suitable for the riparian zone. You can make the outdoor area beautiful with ground covers, perennials, shrubs, or grasses. You should pay attention to the planting distances and the requirements of the plants.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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