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What can I do with an ornamental pond that is too shallow to be an effective pond?

The pond is about 15' by 6', yet only about 4" deep (in fact we've been dry lately and it's down to rocks and completely dried out - it's shallow enough that it does that easily). If I keep it full, I have enough water to run a little bit of a waterfall pump through it, but not much else. I had hoped to have it deepened to be able to get Koi etc., but it seems it's more expensive to do that now than it would be if we started from scratch. Perhaps we could convert to a fire pit? The pond is right off our wood deck and has a small copse of pines across the other (narrower) side from the deck. Anything creative? It simply has a plastic liner w/River rock, and then it is encircled by basic flagstones. Looking for creative landscaping ideas - again, I'd love to find an inexpensive way to keep it as a pond, but it can't really stay the way it is - one solution is to simply fill it in completely... I know this is difficult without pictures, but just looking for ideas. FYI - the 4 inches of depth is only at the middle, most of the "pond" is less than an inch or 2 at best and in full sunlight most of the day. Yes, there may also be a liner problem, but evaporation certainly takes it's toll as well... (I think the home contractor had a good idea, but didn't implement very well for whatever reason...)


  1. It sounds more like a landscaping opportunity than fault! I would probably build up one side with great river rocks, insert a recirculating pump and make it an ornamental waterfall. If it is somewhere in your yard that you would want to see it from every angle, you could put the water fall in the center too. Another thought would be a fountain centered in it, like at fancy parks, but it doesn't have to be anything outrageous! Just take a look around your local landscaping shops, you will find something you can do with it! You could also insert some water loving plants! I wouldn't make it a fire pit, it would be more of a maintenance issue then, keeping it clean when the weather turns and fills with water, ick!
  2. The dimensions and plantings you describe sound very attractive already if the pond were more functional. I can only think of 3 scenarios to explain why it's dry - either the liner is leaking, you live in the middle of a desert, or you never add any water to it. Regardless of what you plan to do with the pond, it will require maintenance of some kind, and given the problems so far, I wouldn't suggest koi. I'd suggest fixing the pond as it exists, filling it with water, and keeping it filled, then adding some water plants like lily pads, lotuses, iris bulbs in submerged pots, etc. You could add some water-loving grasses (e.g., horsetails) around the edge as well and have a great-looking water garden in no time at all. A pair of metal crane sculptures would REALLY dress it up and make it look very upscale. I've added a link to a picture of a pair that look something like what I'm talking about - I believe you could find another pair at a better price if you do your research. There is plenty of advice on the net about water garden plants and how to establish them as well. Hope this helps.