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3 Reasons to Attend the Moonlight Pond Tour

1. Inspiration

We promise, if you attend the Moonlight Pond Tour, you will walk away inspired. Whether you’re dreaming about a pond, already have one and want ideas, or you just enjoy beautiful landscapes, the Moonlight Pond Tour is a must-see.

Gazebo Over the Pond

2. It’s a Family-Friendly Event

We love it when people bring their friends and family, let the kids splash in the water, and roast s’mores around the campfire.

Roasting S’mores around the Campfire

3. Mark The Pond Guy

The Moonlight Pond Tour is a great time to ask Mark The Pond Guy’s questions about your pond project. Bring photos of your yard or project and he can give you ideas and direction.

Mark The Pond Guy Speaking at the Tour

Moonlight Pond Tour Gallery


Aquatic Plants Inspiration Gallery

© 2012 Heather Harp

Four Before and After Projects

Nothing inspires a water garden lover like great before-and-after pictures! These are some of our favorites, as they show how a water garden can transform your space.

Want to see your water feature on our blog? Just email your photos and story to heather@markthepondguy.com.

Customer Photo Story

Thanks to our customers Rex & Marietta for sharing some photos of their fabulous pond!

“Whether walking, wading, or swimming, I forget about everything else…..my senses are overcome by it’s tranquility.  There’s something hypnotic about it, like staring into a bonfire”. – Rex

“It’s impossible to mention just one favorite thing about our pond…the peaceful sound of the waterfalls, the beauty that blends our garden into nature, the sound of the frogs that have made it home singing in the summer evenings, the multiple varieties of song birds that have decided it’s the best bird bath in the neighborhood or having the fish follow me as I walk the pond edges like puppies waiting for a treat.  I guess I can sum it up by saying that I can’t imagine our yard without it!” – Marietta

If you would like your pond featured on our blog, email, or Facebook, email your favorite photos and a testimonial to heather@markthepondguy.com.

Plants for Your Pond – Elephant Ears



Violet Stemmed Taro

Habit: marginal aquatic or pondside perennial

Height: 20″-6 1/2′

Spread: 20″-6 1/2′

Hardiness: tender perennial often grown as an annual

If your pond is too small to accommodate a mature elephant ears plant, it can be grown on dry land in a large container of consistently moist soil. It will make a striking addition to pondside patios and sitting areas.


Elephant ears grows best in light to full shade. The soil should be fertile, humus rich, slightly acidic and moist to wet, in water up to 8″ deep.

These plants can easily be brought indoors for winter. Simply place your potted elephant ears in a dish of water in front of a bright window with plenty of space to keep it growing. If you don’t have enough space, you can allow the plant to die back in fall and store its tuberous roots in a cool, dry place until spring. In warm places on the West Coast, it may even survive winter outside. Elephant ears can be divided in early spring.


Plant elephant ears in your pond or in a moist or boggy area next to the water feature, where its large leaves, which can grow to 36″, create a tropical appearance. If you plan to lift this plant in fall to be brought indoors, plant it in containers.


C. esculenta

C. esculenta 

is a tuberous, warm-climate plant that produces large, heart-shaped leaves. It reaches its maximum size


over several seasons. Cultivars with dark purple or red-veined leaves are available.

Problems & Pests

Occasional problems with aphids, bacterial blight, rot, spider mites, and whiteflies can occur. However, this plant can withstand heavy insect infestations before showing any symptoms that require treatment.

Excerpt from Water Garden Plants for Washington and Oregon by Mark Harp & Alison Beck, 2008, Lone Pine Publishing International Inc.


Is Your Pond Eco-Friendly?

Ecosystem ponds can be easy to understand if you have a good grasp of what components go into a basic, functioning ecosystem. An ecosystem pond works with Mother Nature to provide food, shelter, and safety to the wildlife around it. It also provides you with an all-natural, low-maintenance piece of paradise. It’s important to remember, however, that every piece of the ecosystem puzzle must be present in order for a true ecosystem to be in place. Eliminate one of these elements and you’ve got an unbalanced ecosystem that won’t be so low-maintenance anymore. Check out the things you’ll need to get your ecosystem pond fired up:

Circulation System is really just a fancy way of saying “pumps and plumbing.” The proper size pump and pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water feature. More importantly, an efficient circulation system keeps the water moving and provides the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants.

Proper Filtration System includes the use of both a biological and a mechanical filter. A biological filter provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and remove excess nutrients from the water. A mechanical filter will not only pre-filter the water and house the pump; it will also skim debris from the water’s surface to prevent the accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.

Fish are an integral part of any ecosystem. Unfortunately, fish are often seen as creating a maintenance nightmare. Contrary to popular belief, fish will actually reduce pond maintenance, as they graze on string algae and bottom feed from the pond floor.

Aquatic Plants are Mother Nature’s true filters. Plants are great for adding character to a pond by providing color and texture, but from a filtration perspective, they’re second to none. Thriving from the excess nutrients in a pond and depriving algae of its food source, the aquatic plants in a water garden, given proper coverage, are critical for the overall health of the ecosystem.

Rocks, Gravel, and Bacteria have been a controversial element in the hobby for many years. Many enthusiasts have steered away from rocks and gravel out of fear that their system will become a maintenance nightmare. On the contrary, rocks and gravel will not only make your pond look more natural, they will also protect pond liners from UV light degradation and they provide tremendous surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor.

Having all these things in place makes all the difference in the health and success of your water garden. Use them and work with Mother Nature, not against her, for a chemical-free wonderland of water! The truth is that most people opt for the ecosystem way of water gardening because it’s easier and it just makes sense. A low-maintenance ecosystem pond provides you with more free time to enjoy friends and family … while gathered around your pond, of course!

Pond Design

Pond design is one of the most important things to consider during the “pondering” stage of your water gardening journey. There are several key things to keep in mind when designing and installing your pond, such as budget, style and size, just to name a few.


Your budget will directly affect the size and type of your water feature. Embark with an idea of what you want to spend, and research accordingly.

Tip from Mark The Pond Guy on your Budget: Spending a little more (time & money) at the beginning will save you time and frustration in the long run. Invest in high-quality products and buy your materials from a reputable source. By designing your pond well, you will reduce your need for maintenance over time.


Once you have identified your budget, decide what kind of water feature would best suit your yard.

An ecosystem pond

There are several different types to choose from: the “pre-formed” pond, an ecosystem pond, and Pondless® Waterfalls, just to name a few.


The pre-formed pond is a good way to get introduced to the water gardening hobby. The cost is low but the maintenance is usually high with these types of features. Also, it is difficult to make them look natural and add the filtration necessary for maintenance control.

An ecosystem pond is a very popular entry-level feature for several different reasons. Because a flexible 45 mil EPDM liner is used, the design possibilites are virtually endless. You can customize the shape to fit in many locations. They are relatively easy to install, making the ecosystem pond a good choice for the DIY pond builder. They tend to require much less maintenance than other comparable water features such as a pre-formed pond, a formal water feature or a concrete pond.

Many people opt for the Pondless® Waterfall for the low-maintenance benefits. A Pondless® Waterfall is the best way to acheive a natural-looking feature without the added maintenance of a pond.

A Pondless® Waterfall

Now that you have an idea of what style of water feature you want, let’s move to the next aspect of pond design.


One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when choosing the location of their water feature is placing the pond in a remote corner of their yard. Keep your water feature close to living areas! The ability to interact with your feature, not only outside but also from inside your house, is one of the greatest benefits of pond ownership. It is a wonderful thing to have a water feature to drown out the noise of the neighborhood or nearby roads, as well as providing a habitat for wildlife.

Some locations to avoid placing your feature: the lowest point in your yard, under the canopy of a large tree, in full sunlight, and over utility lines, septic or other underground obstacles.


Believe it or not, one of the most common complaints I receive from my pond customers is that they wish their pond was bigger. Remember, a 10′ x 10′ pond may sound large, but once the rocks are placed inside the pond, it seems so much smaller!

An example of a large ecosystem pond

Keep your pond size to scale with the rest of your landscape. If you have a large yard a very small feature may not be the best option. Keep in mind that you want your water feature to look as though Mother Nature herself placed it there.

Written by Heather (Mark The Pond Guy’s daughter)