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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)


Before and After Photos – MaryLou’s Project

To Mark The Pond Guy

Mark, just a note to tell how wonderful my new water feature is. It brings such peace and serenity to


 my patio that is now a joy to sit out there in the evening and listen to the water falling over the falls into the pond.

I also would like to add that your crew who came out to build my new water feature were so kind, efficient, courteous and did a great job at cleaning everything up when they were through, almost like they had not even been there, the area was absolutely spotless.

I would be proud to recommend you and your wonderful crew to anyone who is planning to have a water feature added in their landscape.


MaryLou Decker


Welcome to “Pondering with Mark The Pond Guy”!

Mark The Pond Guy - Speaking at a Moonlight Pond Tour

Hello everyone! Mark The Pond Guy here. Welcome to my new blog, “Pondering with Mark The Pond Guy”. I’m excited about joining the blogging world, and trust that I will be able to share with you some of the Vision, Passion, and Experience that I have for water gardens. This blog is intended for all who are interested in owning a pond and for those who already do (which, in my opinion, means everyone). 🙂 I will be posting water gardening articles, photos and videos of water features, news about the water garden industry, FAQ’s, and much, much more.

For those of you who don’t know me, let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Mark Harp, but I’m better known as Mark The Pond Guy. I own The Pond Store, a full-service water feature business located in Sumner, WA. In 1989, I entered the Green industry when I started a landscape business. That got old after awhile, so in 1997 I took the plunge into the world of water gardening. It wasn’t long before I realized how passionate I was about water features! Also, I enjoyed transforming boring expanses of lawn into beautiful water features much more than I enjoyed maintaining those same lawns! I was hooked.

The Kids

Thirteen years later and I am still passionate about water gardens. So is my family. The Pond Store is a family-owned and operated business. My wife, Cynthia, and I have four children: Dan (22), is the foreman of our crew, my daughter Heather (20) is our web content manager, Charity (17) helps out at the store in the summers as well as Tori (16). We also have several other great employees that are just like family to us. 🙂

I invite you to visit our web site to learn more about who we are and what we do. Thank you for reading, and Happy Pondering!

Mark The Pond Guy