You may have heard of a dry creek as part of a landscape. It gives the feel of a water feature without actually using water. Some are designed to fill when there is sufficient rain. Others are strickly for appearance. I installed a dry pond instead of a creek which takes less space and time but gives a similar feel.
Step 1: Determine a Location and Size
How large is appropriate for the spot? You will need rocks to fill it and plants and larger rocks to surround it. The larger your pond the more time involved and the expense.
Is the chosen area away from tree roots? Digging around tree roots can be difficult and harmful to the tree.
Step 2: Preparing the Spot
Once you have determined a location and size it is time to prepare the area.
Mark the area for digging with a piece of hose, rope, or other flexible items so you can picture the size and shape and so you will be digging in the correct area.
Remove plants, rocks, and other items away from the area so desirable plants are not damaged during the process and so you have some space to work.
Step 3: Dig Out Your Pond
My dry pond is about 2' wide and 3 1/2" deep in the center.
Step 4: Line Your Pond
I used landscape fabric for mine. The main purpose was to keep weeds out of my pond.
Fasten down the edges of your fabric or liner with rocks or landscape fabric pins.
Step 5: Fill Your Pond With Rocks
You will want to use river rock or pond rocks so the smooth look of them gives the feel of being worn by water.
I was able to gather the larger rocks and some of the smaller rocks from my property.
Step 6: Place Some Large Rocks Around Your Pond
Placing large rocks around your pond can give a more natural look and give the feel that the water source to your pond is hidden. Two or three strategically placed should be plenty.
Step 7: Plant Around Your Pond
Check the tag for the mature size of the plants so they will be in proportion to your pond.
I chose a brunnera, dwarf mugo pine, spiderwort, sweet woodruff, elfin thyme, creeping veronicas, blue star creeper, fern, forget-me-not, wintergreen, columbine, camas, dwarf boxwood, coral bells (Heuchera), violets, and Irish moss. On the sunnier side I have Siberian Iris, a low growing dianthus, creeping thyme, and wooly thyme. Some types of ornamental grasses, scotch moss, and hostas would also have been good choices.
The creeping plants will fill in around the edges and hide the edges of the landscape fabric.
If your pond will be filling with water be sure that the plants you are using can handle the moisture.
If you do want your pond to fill with water I would recommend using Mosquito Dunks near the edge to prevent mosquito breeding. Stick something through the center hole to fasten it near the edge under a plant or rock. Mosquito Dunks contain a bacteria that is only harmful to mosquito larvae.
I have drip irrigation line around my pond which will be covered with bark for now and plants as they fill in.
Step 8: Maintenance
Maintaining this dry pond is much easier than a water filled pond. Mine is under trees and quickly fills with leaves in the fall or after a wind. I just use a broom to gently sweep out the leaves.
This photo was taken before cleaning.