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One of my favorite aspects of a summer patio, other than colorful flowers, is the sound of trickling water. My family happens to live on a mesa in the landlocked Rocky Mountains so naturally occurring water is hard to find. To combat this problem we have created small water features that offer the tranquil sound of water without wasting this precious resource.

When we first began our effort to create a water feature we looked at kits in home improvement stores. Unfortunately, the kits did not suit our needs. They were either too deep, too complicated or too expensive. After looking at the kit contents it became apparent that they were basically a pump, a container and something decorative. Since I am notoriously cheap and resourceful I decided we could create a better water feature on our own and for a much more affordable price. The process is as follows:
  • After rummaging around the house I was able to find a suitable, water tight container for the base, a whole mess of rocks, a large conch shell and a variety of decorative rocks and shells.
  • I bought a small water pump at the hardware store for about $25 and then did some research online.
  • Next we dug out a large flower bed, laid down some weed cloth I had found in the shed and submerged the container in the flower bed.
  • Then my kids and I arranged the rocks in a pleasing way that would ensure optimal trickling noises to attract the birds. We made sure to arrange the rocks in a way that prevented the water from being too deep, my youngest child is 2 years-old and safety is number one in our home.
  • Next it was time to submerge the pump and attached clear, plastic tubing to the outflow. Since I had about 3 feet of tubing I turned the outflow of the pump to high.
  • I used the conch shell as the central focus of the water feature. Using a sharp tool, I chipped a hole in the back of the shell large enough to accommodate the tubing. Then I inserted the tube in the hole and sealed up the remaining area with some silicone caulking.
  • Lastly, we arranged our shiny rocks and shells in a pleasing manner, placed a couple of small flower arrangements among the rocks and we were done.
Our water feature ended up costing about $25, the cost of the pump. The tubing, caulking and rocks were left over from other projects over the years. It did take more time than assembling a pre-made kit would have, but the result is a one of a kind pleasure that the whole family enjoys.


  • CpCat

    Purdy nice.. u should do a feature on those pond-less waterfalls... They look pretty nifty when properly executed.. (if u need info drop me a line)

  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages

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