Garden Ponds: One of the least expensive way to create a water/land harmony outside in the viewing range of bedroom or living space is that of a garden pool or pond. One could say a fish pond but some prefer the sounds of amphibians (frogs and creepers) and these cannot coexist in the confined space of a small water enclosure. When building for frogs remember to have a gradual and not an abrupt siding so that animals and enter and leave at will. Whether choosing fish or frogs, some simple designs of exotic shapes can be created using plastic or cement or other materials. If fish are expected to remain through the winter then make it about three foot deep in normal climates -- though these depths are greater than allowed for pools without fences in some municipalities. Check local building codes.
Siting Considerations: Many prefer pools which have good
sunlight (four to six hours a day). This may allow the growth of algae
to assist in water oxygen content. A better approach though is to have
less light and allow for a trickle or drip of water -- or have the pool
as a basin for a waterfalls (much as a fountain effect). Birds are
attracted to the sound of water, as well as the soothing effect on the
nearby residents. They may be made in irregular shapes and with nearby
plant arrangements along with benches and observation places. The pond
may be the home of frogs and other water creatures as well. When shrubs,
herbs and flowers are arranged nearby, the attracted birds and
butterflies add an extra richness to the pond area. A number of wetland
plants may be added to the pond or shoreline. If it gets too hot in the
location during the summer, place a trellis with vines nearby to reduce
the power of the afternoon sun. Some use ponds in summer and tanks in
winter and thus consider the systems as complementary to each other.