34 Water Garden and Koi Pond Designs for the Backyard and Patio

Water gardens and Koi ponds for your backyard or patio can be designed to fit your own lifestyle and wants. Do you want a fish pond designed into a natural setting, landscaped right into your backyard? Or is your water garden better suited to a smaller container? If you have a patio, for example. Yes, you can use a container for a fish pond – or if you’re not up for having pets, then just install a water garden with pond plants. Because they are pets. You’ll even find you have favorites. On the other hand, having plants alone is far less maintenance – but not nearly as much fun. Koi ponds provide endless hours of entertainment – you can even design a window right into your pond for better viewing opportunities.

Water Garden and Koi Pond Designs for the Backyard and PatioSource

I mean, really. Look at that photo – did you know that Koi love watermelon? And you have to check out the Koi elevators below – they are awesome. Your fish really are interested in what’s going on above the water. Who knew? It’s much more complicated and a larger commitment, especially with fish, than a simple water feature in your garden. But highly rewarding. We’ve presented 34 water garden and Koi pond ideas below for you to consider while pondering your own design plans.

Koi Pond Design: Landscaping Ideas

Japanese design Koi pond

This water garden and fish pond has a pergola and swing at one end of the pond. If you’ve got space, you can do many wonderful things with your water garden design. Source


A rocking chair to rock in. Waterfalls to create that ambient sound. And a whole school of Koi in your pond. Source


A cubist water pond design – three water areas and a seating area. Did we mention the waterfall?


If money is no object, add a little Dale Chihuly glass to your Koi pond design. It will take that water garden up a notch, for sure. Source 

Landscape design koi pond

A large space can give you excellent landscaping options for your Koi pond. Waterfalls are always a nice feature. Source

A Koi pond as a moat

Using a Koi pond as a moat around the house is a unique water garden design idea. Source

Koi pond by the lake

Flat rocks make a great decking for a natural Koi pond design- down by the lake.

Waterfall Koi Pond

Waterfalls and colorful Koi – could there be a better place to while away a summer afternoon? Source

Koi Pond Petunia Plants

The waterfall acts as a aerator, adding oxygen to the water for the fish. Source

Koi Pond Pathways

Koi Pond Path Paver Stones

A walkway of garden paver stones makes a great pathway down the pond – and also gives the fish something to hide under (they like that). Source

James Goldstein House Koi Pond

The Lautner-Goldstein residence is one of the most iconic houses in LA. You walk across the Koi pond stepping stones to enter the home. Source

Koi pond Japanese tea house

A pathway leads through the water garden to a Japanese tea house. What’s the difference between a water garden and a Koi pond? Quite simply, Koi.  Source

Modern Walkway Water Garden with Koi

This modern entrance with a substantial Koi pond is full of Asian design influence. Source

Modern Courtyard Water Garden Koi Pond

This modern courtyard features two Koi ponds – one on either side. Source

Koi Pond Designs with Windows

Buddha Koi Pond

A Buddha statue watches over the Koi. Isn’t it great to be able to look in the window? One of the best innovations in Koi pond design is viewing windows. Source

Koi pond patio

This patio features a full on water feature and wrap around Koi pond design with window (also pictured below). Source

Koi pond patio

The window is placed in the best viewing spot. Source

Koi pond in wall

Koi and Carp will co-exist happily in your water garden. Source

Koi pond viewing window

Huge Carp congreate at this Koi pond viewing window. Source

Koi Ponds at Night

Light your Koi pond at night

Lighting your Koi pond at night is a great way to double your viewing time. Source

Japanese landscape Koi pond

Japanese landscape design is a popular style for Koi ponds. Source

Koi pond at night

Koi pond design can make the fish look quite dramatic at night. Source

Koi pond bar stools

Pull up a bar stool and watch the entertainment. Source

Water garden floating candles

Floating candles make a water garden look very romantic. Source


Landscaping lighting will step up your Koi pond design. Source

Koi Pond Observation Towers

Koi pond elevator

Koi love these observation towers – they’re like elevators to a different world. Source

koi pond observation tower

Koi pond observation towers come in all shapes and sizes. Source

Koi pond observation bubble

The Koi observation dome is like a big water bubble. Source

Floating Koi Dome

Even Carp like the observation towers. The fish really do want to come up and check you out. Source

More Koi Ponds

Small backyard koi pond

A small yard doesn’t mean no Koi pond. This one even has a waterfall. Source

Koi pond by stairs

You can put your water garden or fish pond in the smallest of places. Source


If you can’t afford Chihuly glass spheres, don’t despair. Metallic glass gazing balls look fantastic floating in a water garden. Source

Mermaid Koi pond

A mermaid with a conch shell are the perfect statue to consider for your Koi pond design. Source


A colorful school of Koi and Carp in a tranquil pond. Source



About Joe Hats 176 Articles
Joe Hats is the founder of FreshPatio.com. Joe has been remodeling homes since 1997 when he bought his first fixer-upper. He has built many pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture with his own hands and has every DIY woodworking tool in his possession. Coming from an engineering background, he has designed and built many patio fixture plans. Following his wife's lead, he is also very passionate about home decor and together they keep track of the latest trends. When he is not remodeling or trying a new woodworking tool, he is busy gardening or designing a new outdoor plan.