The contents of this post scarcely fit into one category save for the broadest: backyard.
We built a fountain, decorated in limited space, and planted a veggie garden. There are lots of photos to show exactly what we did here, but this whole project was inspired by a pond pump we found at a flea market…. unbelievably enough, it worked!
What you’ll need (for the fountain):
- PVC pipe
- Shower Curtain
- Pond Rocks
- Wood Sheet
First we decided where to house the fountain and dug a hole!
The way most pond pumps work is that the water simply falls into them - they are made to push water through the tube and out the top, not pull water in. Gravity has to be on your side. We dug a hole in the center of our hole to bury the pump. You’ll notice the PVC pipe with holes in it’s siding – this is how we got the water to enter our pump. It is screwed onto the top of the pump and we drilled the holes to allow water to sift into it without taking debris with it. For this phase, we left the PVC in place.
We found that a shower curtain is an incredibly cheap alternative to the expensive pond shapes you can buy at hardware stores. We simply laid it out over the hole and pump. For this step we removed the PVC stem.
Once the shower curtain was laid out, we squeezed the PVC stem back into place with the curtain layer caught between. After that we cut away the blocking barrier. This left a water tight seal around the edges of the pump to keep the pond from leaking into the ground around it.
If you’re ambitious you could collect your own rocks, but we bought a couple $3 bags of pond pebbles from the local hardware store. We laid them out to cover the shower curtain which left a very natural look.
For the actual fountain construction you’ll need supplies that look something like this to build the frame:
We constructed a rectangle to frame and shape the concrete, you could get real exciting though and create some strange oblong shape!
We then created a strange little piece to put at the top side of our fountain. This was designed to leave a lip where water could pool as soon as it bubbled up through the tube and breach the edge evenly along the top of the fountain. The wood slides are easily removed once the concrete is hardened, this is just a good way to shape it for functionality.
We then attached it to the constructed frame.
It is important to string the tubing through the frame so when the concrete hardens, the tube is essentially built in place.
With all these stages completed we were ready to mix and pour the concrete. We used two bags… which got really heavy! If you choose to recreate this, do not lift it on your own.
We positioned left over pond pebbles in the cement so water could trickle down the rockface. You could easily create some sort of elaborate design out of any other weather proof items though.
We allowed it plenty of time to harden. If you try to secure it in place before this process has completed, your corners will snap. We simply popped the frame apart and lifted the slab to it’s rightful position. We poured sand beneath the concrete- 1. it helped level the water feature and 2. it prevents the corners from tearing the shower curtain and creating leaks.
Now, onto the gardening! We selected a few key veggies to plant and laid out their space in our garden.
Once all of the plants had homes, we laid mulch. The mulch holds water in the soil longer and protects against the evaporation process – your wallet will thank you for the help on your water bill. Plus, it looks pretty!
Our almost finished product:
After finishing our garden we wanted to protect it from wandering pests ….. and pets. We built this very simple picket fence. The posts are simply sitting in place, it’s more of a cage than a fence and we just spray painted it white. It’s three sided and can be easily moved in and out of place.
Tah dah! Enjoy the sound of running water in your backyard!