A Guide to Edging Your Pond with Plants

Pond edge

Edging is an important step in making a pond attractive. This method has been practiced when constructing a pond to match its features to the surroundings. You may apply several designs and styles if you are planning on creating a pond.

When edging your pond, make sure you create shelves for the plants. The rocks will serve as the weight to lock and establish the liner around the pond. You can proceed to put the edging rocks, plants, or other styles after you’ve pinned down the liner.

In this article, we will discuss the different ideas of pond edging with plants, how to hide the pond liner, the steps in backyard pond edging, and how to plant around a pond.


Ideas of Pond Edging with Plants

To find the ideal materials to edge a pond, think about how they can contribute to making the pond look natural. These materials include pavers, bricks, hardwood, lawns, and many others. Make sure the materials you are using can benefit you for the daily maintenance.

  • Rocks and Pebbles

When talking about the types of pond edging, rocks and pebbles are some of the notable ones. Aside from the fact that these materials are easy to find, they are undeniably beautiful to associate with your pond. With all these advantages, what features of these materials do you need for pond edging?

You can get various purposes and benefits based on the different sizes of rocks and pebbles. Small ones are a good choice to cover the liner and help match the design of the pond to the surroundings. If you incorporate these materials into the edging, it will match the design of your backyard.

As for the large rocks, you can make creative structures by piling them. The best example of such is a waterfall. It will add to the natural aesthetic of the pond. Plus, birds can drink on it whenever they step into it.

Make sure you pick rocks with smooth edges to prevent harming the animals coming near the pond. Sometimes, people may also want to visit your pond and injure themselves with sharp rocks.

  • Lawn

You can also use a lawn for your pond edging. The only drawback of using this is the need for you to trim it whenever it grows. That’s a difficult task since the grass trims can go to the pond and mess it up instantly.

If you want to use a lawn for pond edging, you can still solve the trimming issues. To do so, you can just let the grass grow beside the pond and trim the rest at the back. With such, animals can make it a part of their habitat since they can hide in it.

Sometimes, you may need to establish drainage leading to a different direction. In this way, the water in the lawn will not drain into the pond. It can help you maintain the clarity of the water in the pond in the long run.

  • Hardwood

Hardwood can provide you with attractive pond edging due to its innate features. This material is specifically used for those with straight edges. This means you can’t use it if your pond is curved as the structure of hardwood isn’t bendable and might break.

  • Pavers

Clean, neat, and flat. That is how you can describe pavers whenever you walk on them. Using those as pond edging can give you the freedom to put some tables and chairs near the pond since they provide a smooth ground for stability.

Make sure not to put the pavers on top of the edging as they could also injure the pond. You can consult an expert if you are unsure about how to put this material on the edging.

  • Bricks

If you can use pavers, you can also use bricks. This material can help make the edging neat and clean, just like pavers. However, bricks are more ideal to use when constructing walls. If you are using those, you can put them around the edging of the pond.

  • Plants

Another option to make the design of your pond natural is to use plants. This is a great pond edging since it can benefit the animals in your yard. There exist ideal plants that you can utilize on your pond for edging.

Your first option is bog plants. These kinds of plants are semi-aquatic and usually grow on wet and soft land. If you put them as an edging to your pond, they will serve as a habitat for animals like frogs and could help prevent the erosion of soil to your pond.

Although bog plants are known to grow on wetlands, some notable species indeed add beauty to your pond. A few of these are lilies, irises, and canna, to name a few. If you don’t want to use bog plants, you can always go for marginal plants.

Marginal plants are commonly used to edge a garden. Their purpose is simple — to grow on the edges of the pond to help balance and complete its natural look, meaning they are specifically used for the pond edge.

You can use marginal plants on low grounds or on the pond shelves. An interesting thing about these plants is that you can submerge them in the pond. Examples of these plants include the Papyrus, Taro, and Lotus.

  • Concrete

If you want to spend money to make your pond edge beautiful, you may want to consider concrete. This material is an ideal choice if you want to make the edging look neat. If the edges are flat, you can easily clean them without any problems, whether or not it will affect the pond.


How to Hide the Pond Liner

There are simple ways to make your pond beautiful, make it match the look of the whole yard, and protect it from outdoor elements. One of those you must remember is to hide the pond liner. Now, how can you do so?

  1. Clean the rocks

Before you start, you should clean the rocks you’re using to make the edging neat and clean. Rocks may indeed come with dirt on them, so you should clean them beforehand. Another appealing way to hide the liner is to use plants. You can plant indeed grasses and flowers surrounding the edges of the pond if you don’t want to use rocks.

  1. Establish the liner

You can simply form a small shelf-like structure on the pond edges. After that, surround the shelf with rectangular rocks. They will serve as the holder of the liner to establish it in the pond and prevent it from moving. Cut the excess liner showing to make it neater and easier to hide.

  1. Apply pond edging

Once you are done putting the rocks, place the edging on top of them. Since you used rocks for the shelf, we advise you to stick to the same material for the edging. Flagstone is a famous landscaping rock that you can use for the pond edge.

  1. Use gravel for slanting areas

To solve the sloping areas on the pond, you can use gravel to help with the transition of the slanting ground. It’s a smart way to utilize the gravel while making the pond aesthetically pleasing.

  1. Be careful

Using rocks to hide the liner can result in accidental tearing. If this occurs, you can still repair the liner using patches, which you can purchase in stores and online. Most of all, be careful when placing the rocks to hide the liner.


Steps in Edging a Backyard Pond

To start pond edging, begin by creating shelves for plants surrounding the pond while you are still digging. Cover the liner with rocks and fill the pond with water. You can start the edging and plant some vegetation around the pond.

  1. Create shelves for plants

Create shelves for plants when you’re digging for the pond. These shelves look like layers of soil laddering up specifically to put the aquatic plants. Your shelf should be 8 to 10 high and around 8 to 12 inches wide.

After the first layer, create another layer of shelves measuring about 6 inches from the top ground surface. This will serve as the area where you can put the border.

  1. Cover the liner

As earlier stated, you should cover the pond liner using rocks or plants. However, don’t use limestones as those can bring disadvantages to the animals living in the pond. Use big rocks surrounding the pond and smaller ones to fill the remaining spaces.

  1. Fill the pond with water and start the pond edging

Once you’ve covered the liner with rocks, put water in the pond and use rainwater to avoid the chemicals present in tap water. If you don’t have another choice other than using tap water, you can use treatment to clear the chlorine in the water — one of the best products for this being Chlorine Guard — as water with chlorine can harm the animals and plants in the pond. Fill the pond gradually on the first shelf to see if there are any mistakes when you follow the steps.

After that, set the small and large rocks depending on the style of edging you want to apply to your pond. You can arrange the rocks from biggest to smallest or the other way around. Just make sure you fill in the gaps to complete the design.

If you want to apply a different style of edging, you can always go back and check the ideal styles on the first topic of this article.

  1. Plant surrounding the pond

Plants can prevent erosion and the pollution of the pond water. Trollius, cardinal flower, and water hyssop are recommended plants as they do well in such places. Prefer to use aquatic or semi-aquatic plants if you want to put them on the shelf, which is covered by the water.


How to Plant Around a Pond

Since planting around a plant is one of the steps involved in edging, you should know how to do it. The methods are more cautious since we don’t want you to saturate the pond water with soil. It means that you must follow some measures that differ from the common process usually observed when planting on the flat ground surface in our yard.

  1. Prepare the materials

Prepare materials like gloves, plants, trowels, and compost. For plants, you can opt for tropical ferns. If you are using a fern, water it regularly before you plant it around the pond.

  1. Use compost

The first thing you need to do is use compost for soil amendment. It helps with the plant’s development over time and can help fully cover the liner.

  1. Transfer the plant to the edges

Bear in mind that you are not going to plant seeds around the pond to grow them. To guarantee the instant beauty of the pond, you must grow plants from the pots first, so you can transfer them. Make sure to remove the soil from the roots of the plants before replanting them.

  1. Dig

Dig a hole for the plants you are going to transfer. Use a trowel to shove the soil, but be careful not to tear or harm the pond liner.

  1. Set the plants

Once you’ve put the plants in the hole you dug, cover them with soil until you can’t see the roots. Similar to the plants in your garden, regularly moist them to help their development.



Edging isn’t limited to the use of rocks and plants. If you are adventurous and creative enough, you can try other types of pond edging. The only thing you should remember is to prevent the water from getting polluted. Some people make mistakes when following this process as the edges of their ponds get easily damaged.

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