Water Feature build

For the past couple of years the only real focal point in the garden (beyond the plants anyway) has been a birdbath.

Well, those are great an all but it could be a little bit more interesting. Maybe a bit dynamic, something with movement, sound, or anything else to spice up my yard. Then I also bought some Papyrus just because it was 80% off. I needed a pond, but it had to be small. Pondless, condo rules won’t allow anything that could become a drowning hazard, big enough for some plants, and with enough water movement to make a decent amount of sound but without too much splashing, I don’t want to be refilling it constantly.

After looking at my options I decided on something fully contained in, well, a container. Something like a shallow bowl, roughly 2’x2′. Ended up finding a pretty much perfect fiberglass container, no drainage, 30″x16″ or basically just about perfect to be able to put plants at the back, then the fountain, then an open area that might double as a birdbath (since this is replacing the older one we’ve had for years).

Step 2
Pump running, two shelves built. Design is sketchy for how they’re supported but two level design allows for pots at the back with shallow rocks at the front.

I wanted to avoid this sort of bamboo spout but ultimately decided it was the only real option I had. The middle part moves but fortunately gets caught on a plant and doesn’t move. If it starts to again I’ll jam something in so it stops. I’d actually sort of jump at the chance to get a real deer scarer with a simple design made from actual bamboo that doesn’t just flop around with a pump but until then this will have to do.

Step 5
I used fibreglass screen over eggcrate/fluorescent light diffuser so the pea gravel wouldn’t fall through. After this it’s just a question of placing plants and pump and arranging the rocks in a somewhat natural way and that’s about it.

Water Feature 1

Water Feature 3

Water Feature 5

It will be a while before the Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) fills in – you can only divide a 4″ pot into so many pieces and still have them look presentable right away.

Already I’ve got a resident male Whitetail Dragonfly which I’ve seen almost every day since it was set up last Wednesday and the sound of the falling water really makes it so much nicer to sit outside and just read, of even doing other yard work is more relaxing now.


About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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9 Responses to Water Feature build

  1. You might want to remove any plants from your water feature. In time the plants will clog up your pump. It doesn’t take much to do that, and your pump will over heat and burn up. I done that (more then once), it doesn’t take much to clog up a small pump. Your new water feature looks great without it.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I don’t leave the pump on when I’m not around and there’s a pretty heavy duty pre-filter. I’ll check on the root growth in a couple of weeks to make sure it hasn’t gotten out of hand.

  2. Matti says:

    Nice work, running water is something that I’ve been wanting for years. Would like to get a solar powered pump, if nothing else…to get a trickle going somewhere in the garden. Matti

  3. Bom says:

    Great job! It will look wonderful once it starts to fill in. I can’t imaging myself building one just yet but my wife definitely wants a water feature some day.

  4. cally says:

    Just came across your blog, your photo’s are fabulous, great quality. And even the cell phone ones are good because you know what best to capture in the frame. I look forward to going back through some of your older posts to, most likely, add to my already burgeoning wishlist of new plants that I don’t actually have any more space to grow. Such is the life of a plantaholic.

  5. Pingback: Water Feature build | Potted Plant Society

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