lily pond »


If you want to add a touch of Zen to your patio or garden, here's a pleasing solution as compact as it is easy to care for. The simple box construction is plenty sturdy, a thick pond liner contains the water, and a plug-in aerator provides the circulation and oxygen that plants and fish need to thrive in a small space. Lower in several hardy waterlilies, and the perennials will send up shoots that keep you in daily blooms of pink, red, white, and yellow from June through August. Come fall, just shear off the shoots and they'll come back bigger and bolder next spring. As long as the water doesn't freeze solid in winter, these lilies will survive in place. Follow along as This Old House contributor Christopher Beidel, owner of Pernt, a handmade-furniture store in Brooklyn, New York, walks you through the step-by-step of building this aqua-gardener's starter project.

Aerator: Water Feature Bubbler Kit, about $20; from Lilies: about $12 plus shipping; from

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • bar clamps
      bar clamps
    • drill
    • hammer
    • steel-rule straightedge
    • combination square
      combination square
    • Countersink bit
      countersink bit
    • jigsaw
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • staple gun
      staple gun
    • handsaw
    • utility knife
      utility knife

    Shopping List

    ½x6 treated deck boards Get four 6-footers for the floorboards and stringers.

    ½x4 treated boards Get four 8-footers for the skirt and cap.

    1x4 treated boards Get seven 6-footers for the panel frames and interior battens.

    ½-inch treated plywood Get one 4-by-8-foot sheet for the side panels.

    1¼-, 1½-, and 2-inch deck screws

    3-inch stainless- or galvanized-steel corner brackets Get eight.

    construction adhesive

    landscape fabric

    pond liner

    submersible pond pump

    exterior-grade wood stain

    plant pots