8 Stunning Garden Pond Shapes

When you’re designing a new garden pond, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is which shape to choose.

There are many different pond shapes, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The shape of your pond can have a big impact on the overall look, as well as its functionality, so it’s important to make the right choice.

In this article I’ll discuss some of the most popular pond shapes and help you decide which one is best for your backyard.

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kidney shaped pond

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pond Shape

Size of your backyard

If you have a small yard, a circular or oval-shaped pond may be a better fit, whereas a larger garden may be able to accommodate a more complex shape.

Water flow

The flow of water is important for maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem.

A square or rectangle pond with corners may impede water flow, creating dead spots where bad bacteria and algae can grow.

A pond with a circular or oval shape, will promote better water flow and is much better for fish.


If you want to attract wildlife like frogs or lizards to your backyard, consider the shape and edging of the pond. [1]

A pond with shallow areas and a gradual slope will be easier for wildlife to access, whereas a deep, steep-sided pond is better for fish.

round fish pond

Desired depth

When deciding on the best shape for your pond, you also need to consider whether you’ll have fish in the pond or just plants.

Most pond plants will grow well in 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) of water, but if you live in a cool climate area, you’ll need a deeper section of pond that is at least 2 feet (60 cm) deep.

You can overwinter the plants in the deepest part of the pond so that they don’t freeze.

If you’d like to have goldfish in your garden pond, it will need to be at least 2 feet (60 cm) deep.

Koi are larger fish, so koi ponds should be at least 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) deep.

koi pond

8 Common Pond Shapes

Round Pond

Round shaped ponds are popular because they’re easy to build and they can fit into almost any sized backyard.

Circular ponds can be used as a focal point in the middle of your garden or as a subtle addition to the landscape.

You can build a small round pond in your yard using a preformed or flexible liner.

Add some water plants and small fish to enhance the beauty of a round pond and create a thriving ecosystem.

small round pond


Oval ponds blend easily into the landscape so they’re ideal for a natural looking pond.

Ponds with curved edges are best for fish because they provide more space and better water circulation.

If you’re looking to create a natural, wildlife-friendly environment, then an oval shaped pond is a great choice.

Rocks for garden ponds


The long, narrow shape of rectangular ponds makes them ideal for small backyards.

A rectangular shaped pond will create a formal and elegant look and the straight lines of a rectangular pond can be used to complement the architecture of the house, patio or deck.

Another good thing about rectangular ponds is that you can create distinct sections of a pond, such as a shallow end and deep end.

One thing to mindful of when building a pond with straight edges is that the water flow may be reduced, so you’ll need to use a pump to help the water to circulate.

rectangular pond

Square Pond

Square ponds have a modern and structured shape that can add a geometric element to your garden.

They’re a great option for those who prefer a clean and polished look.

The straight edges of a square pond create a clear boundary and can be used to divide different areas of the garden.

square shaped pond


Kidney-Shaped Pond

Kidney-shaped ponds have a curved shape that helps the pond to blend in with the surrounding landscaping.

A kidney-shaped pond can be used in a variety of situations, from a goldfish pond with aquatic plants to a koi pond with a waterfall.

You can create a kidney-shaped pond in your backyard using a preformed pond liner or a flexible pond liner like the one in the picture below.

pond mistakes

Hexagonal Pond

If you really want your pond to stand out, then consider building a hexagonal pond.

Hexagonal ponds are great for creating an interesting, eye-catching feature in the garden.

The six-sided shape can be adapted to fit a variety of garden sizes and styles and you can use colorful plants and different shaped rocks to create a unique and vibrant pond.

hexagonal pond

L-Shaped Pond

An L-shaped pond is another great choice if you prefer a modern look with clean lines.

If you’d like to create a natural swimming pond, an L-shaped pond is a good choice because you can use the smaller side for the shallow water garden section and use the long end for a deeper swimming area.

RELATED: How To Build A Natural Swimming Pond


Freeform ponds are the most versatile shape, allowing you to create whatever design you desire using a flexible pond liner.

They can be used to create all sorts of interesting shapes, such as winding streams, islands and inlets.

The downside is that they can be a bit harder to maintain and require more effort when it comes to cleaning and landscaping.

They’re also more expensive to install because of the extra work needed to shape the pond.

freeform pond

Before you start digging

Before you decide on the final shape for your new garden pond, mark it out in your yard using marking paint or spray chalk.

Have a look at the outline from different areas of the yard and inside the house to see how your pond will look from different angles.

If you think the pond is in the wrong spot or the wrong size, it’s easy to change it at this stage.


So there are 8 different pond shapes to choose from.

When choosing a pond shape, it’s important to consider both form and function.

A well-designed pond will not only look beautiful but will also support a healthy ecosystem for plants and wildlife.

Which do you think is the best pond shape? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Garden Ponds and Pond Design that you may find interesting.

oval pond shape

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener with a special interest in ponds and water gardens. For over a decade, I've been designing and creating beautiful gardens that feature stunning water features, from small garden ponds to large water gardens. Read more

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