How To Make A Barrel Pond For Small Spaces And Patios

How To Make A Barrel Pond For Small Spaces And Patios

Relax to the soothing tones of running water with a small barrel pond

Not everyone has room for a pond but even in the smallest space you can have a pond in a barrel. This video shows you how to construct a small barrel pond for the patio. It contains plants for wildlife and a small fountain to give you that relaxing sound of running water.


We have used a plastic barrel with an aquatic basket containing 2 marginal plants, which we have raised up so the surface of the basket lies just below the water level. We have used a couple of empty aquatic baskets to raise the plants but you could use a couple of bricks, just make sure they are brushed with a wire brush to remove any loose surface material which could potentially pollute the water. We have also used a dwarf water lily; this will shade the water to prevent a bloom of algae growing and suffocating any pond life. The leaves also provide a refuge for any water borne invertebrates. This can be placed straight onto the bottom of the barrel, the leaves will grow to the surface. A couple of bunches of oxygenators have also been included to keep the water clear for any wildlife. The finishing touch is a small telescopic fountain, the one we have used pumps 450 ltrs of water an hour so is ideal for a small patio pool.

Make sure that any wildlife which comes into the pool can escape; we have used some large pebbles as steps stacked on the back of the marginal plant basket to the rim of the barrel. Placing the steps behind the plants ensures that the wildlife can escape un-noticed by predators. You could also use a rough piece of stick; make sure any timber you use has not been treated with any preservative as some treatments can contain arsenic which would poison any aquatic wildlife.

Remember to place the barrel in position before filling with water to avoid a strained back.

Profile Image Angela Slater

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.