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Budget Friendly Water Gardening Ideas

Budget Friendly Water Gardening Ideas

Budget-friendly water gardening means fun DIY projects! Water gardening comes in all shapes and sizes. Water features bring to mind big cascading waterfalls and magnificent spraying fountains. Smaller container fountains and DIY water features can be just as decorative and satisfying if you have limited space. The idea of a pond is sometimes a large, in-ground oasis filled with plants, fish, and floating decorations, but smaller ponds can be easier to build and more affordable. Here are some budget-friendly water gardening ideas that are fun DIY projects.  

Pond Upgrades

Are you getting bored with your pond? Has it become a little lackluster and lost its vitality? Instead of redoing your pond altogether, consider a little upgrade instead. It can be overwhelming and expensive to overhaul your entire pond. Instead, focus on a particular aspect you want to enhance and start with that. 

Consider getting fish

Fish can bring a pond to life. They're fun pets that require less time and energy than a cat or dog but will happily swim to the surface and greet you in hopes of getting a treat.

Goldfish and koi are the most traditional pond fish, and both can grow to be quite large. Koi are more expensive, especially if they are adults or a rare color variety. They can group up to three feet long. Goldfish are great starter fish; they are hearty and have fancier varieties. A small "common" goldfish can cost as little as 15 cents from a pet store and typically grow about 10 inches long as adults. Learn more about how to add fish to your pond

Add aquatic plants

The right pond plants help filter out nutrients and have extra benefits like adding shade and protection for your pond life. There are many different types of plants to choose from. Some plants grow entirely underwater, which helps with pond clarity. Floating plants provide shade and help hide fish and other pondlife from predators. Emergent plants grow on the pond shelf or around the perimeter. Adding plants with different growing styles helps create a natural ecosystem for your pond while helping the pond look more natural. 

Build a Water Feature

Looking for the relaxing sight of a water feature? Water features help to keep the pond water circulating so it can stay oxygenated. They help improve water clarity and prevent algae blooms. You could add a fountain, waterfall, or fun pond spitter to give your pond a little makeover. Adding a water feature is a fun DIY weekend project that you can enjoy when the weather is nice. 


When deciding to take on a new water gardening project, it can be easy to get overly enthusiastic in the store (or online shopping) and possibly go over budget. Your creative DIY projects can be just as decorative and stylish as a pre-bought fountain or water feature but at a fraction of the cost. 

Look around your home, check local garage sales and thrift stores, and see what you can upcycle. Upcycling is finding a way to creatively transform items into beautiful, one-of-a-kind, budget-friendly DIY projects that help reduce waste. An old barrel that will eventually get discarded can become a rustic planter.

Check out our fountain projects for inspiration. 

Container Ponds and Fountains

You can create a small pond and fountain from almost any water-holding container. Turn an old canoe, claw bathtub, or stock tank into a unique pond with personality and a story behind it. Barrels, watering cans, antique bowls, and planters turn into beautiful fountains with the smartpond® Container Fountain Kit. You can use your creativity while staying on a budget, creating affordable, functional decorations.

Fairy Garden

Fairy gardening maximizes creativity. Broken, discarded, and unwanted materials become whimsical with little effort and repurposing. Fairy gardening can incorporate live or fake plants and even a little stream or fountain. There are endless possibilities to the lives of these garden fairies. An old shoe, watering can, broken planter, or bucket can become the base of the fairy garden. 


If you want to build a pond, add a waterfall, fountain, or walkway around your garden, check Craigslist's "materials" section, browse Facebook Marketplace, and drive by garage sales to see what your neighbors are getting rid of. People often end up with too many tiles or pavers, buying extra just in case. Rocks can be hard to get rid of, and people will list them for free if you can come to pick them up. Before you go to the store and purchase expensive materials, try to see what you can find for free. Don't be afraid to mix and match different colors and styles to create something unique. You can use the savings for another project. 

Water gardening is a wonderful way to bring relaxing water into your backyard. Fountains are decorations that come alive and sound soothing. Beautiful water features don't have to cost a lot! Explore your creativity and create unique DIY water features that will mean more than anything you can buy from a store. Your decorations and upgrades will be your own masterpiece that you will be proud to show off.



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