If you would you like to add beauty and interest to your garden, one great way is with a water feature. Although you may be familiar with only elaborate and costly fountains or ponds, there are some options that are low cost and easy to install. In fact, here is a water fountain you can build as a weekend DIY project!


- Shovel

- Wheelbarrow

- Gravel

- Fabric lining material

- A plastic basin or tub

- PVC conduit

- Saw

- Water pump with a ball valve, copper pipe, and threaded adapter

- Exterior wall power outlet

- Metal screening

- Pipe cutter

- Composite decking

- Rocks

- Drill

Step 1 - Choose a Location

First you will need to find a suitable space for your fountain. Look for a spot in your garden where you can enjoy looking at it, but where it will also be well away from any decking or patios. Clear away any vegetation in this spot that will be in the way.

Step 2 - Prep the Hole for Your Basin

Dig a hole that is big enough for your chosen plastic tub to fit into it. Set the dirt aside in a wheelbarrow so it is available to fill in the area around the basin later. Then, use the shovel to place a layer of gravel in the bottom of the hole. You want to create a surface that can hold the tub securely, so keep it level. Place fabric lining over the gravel for a barrier between the rocks and the bottom of the tub.

Dig a hole

Step 3 - Add the Tub

Place the plastic tub on top of the lining, and then fill in the area around it with the dirt from the wheelbarrow. Make sure the basin is snug inside the hole.

Step 4 - Wire the Pump

Measure and cut some PVC conduit so that it can reach from the side of the tub to an external power outlet. All electrical connections in the garden need to be fitted with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for safety's sake.

Insert and pull the pump plug through this conduit so that it extends to the outlet, and then cover the PVC conduit so that it is not a safety hazard.

Step 5 - Insert Pump and Cover

Place the water pump into the plastic basin so that it faces upwards. Lay the screen on top for a small section cut out so you can access the pump later, if necessary.

Step 6 - Finish Connecting the Pump

Measure and cut the copper pipe to the correct length, and then secure the ball valve and the threaded adapter to the pump using the compression fittings. Adding some more gravel to the bottom of the plastic tub will help secure the pump in place.

Step 7 - Add Decking

Composite decking

Next, you will use the composite decking to support the water feature. Measure the length of the metal screening, and then subtract some to leave plenty of space on each side. Now, measure and cut the composite decking to this measurement. Place sections of wood to cover the screening but be sure to allow a little space between each piece. This allows the water to flow up through the pipe, over the rocks, and down into the metal screening.

Step 8 - Cover the Piping

Next, stack your rocks up to the top of the copper pipe. Drill holes in them for an easier time if you can. The idea is that the pump will cause water to flow over the rocks and then down into the metal screening. Adjust the water flow as necessary.

Step 9 - Fill the Tub

You’re almost done! Fill the tub with water to the level that is just above the pump. Then, add enough rocks to cover the screening and the composite decking and to help stabilize the structure.

Add some plants around the edges of your new water fountain to help it blend into its surroundings. Try plants in a range of colors and sizes to soften the look of the area around the fountain.

All water features—even this simple fountain—beckon birds and other forms of backyard wildlife. Plus, you and your family can listen to the soothing sounds of running water whenever you're outside and de-stress and relax.

Now you know what you will be doing this weekend, don't you?