Building a pond on a budget

A garden pond can be a great addition to any property but can sometimes be at substantial cost. Here’s some of our favourite options for a pond on a budget – DIY style.


Containers are a super quick and cheap way of creating a pond. Using items such as buckets, plastic storage boxes or children’s old sand pits, you can either submerge the container so the top is at ground level, or use them at height and surround with plants, stones and decorative accessories around the base.


Recycle, or upcycle old tyres. The bigger the better! Submerge the tyre into the soil and line. Decorate the outside with stones, paving or items which you can find in your garden already to keep it in line with the overall look and style of your space.

Whiskey Barrels

For small gardens, the whiskey barrel is becoming a popular choice. These can be brought as kits or you can go completely DIY. Just be careful if going DIY that there are no harmful residues.

Pond Liner

‘Digging a hole’ and putting pond liner in it is still a popular choice for pond building on a budget. The luxury with this is the pond can be any size of shape you wish. Make sure you weigh the liner down at the edges using something like paving or stones and clear the area where the lining will be of any debris or sharp objects to avoid ripping the liner. 

When deciding how you will physically create your pond, you will need to know what you intend the use of the pond to be. If it is simply to add a feature to your garden or for attracting wildlife, you may be able to save on expense by not having to purchase pumps and filters, although you will still have to maintain the pond. If you wish to have fish, instead of koi why not opt for goldfish. You’ll be surprised at how big these guys can grow.

Of course, you can also save money by waiting for the pond to fill using rain-water rather than using the tap. This will actually benefit the overall health of your pond.

The other expense many people encounter is planting. Instead of purchasing lots of expensive plants, why not start off with a few cheaper options and try and encourage the growth yourself. It may take longer than simply buying them and placing them nicely, but they’ll grow quicker than you think and will save some pennies. You could also speak to other people you know who have ponds already. As part of their maintenance they’ll be trimming back and sometimes removing overgrowing plants – why not bag yourself a freebie or two!

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