Water Fountains


Fall has officially arrived and with it longer, cooler evenings.  The perfect time to lounge outside!  I love this time of year and look forward to creating a special little spot to enjoy it. 

You guessed it; I walk around my home and pick out items that I want to use in my outdoor room.  Seating is critical so I selected a futon that is only used when I have overnight guests, and a couple of chairs.  A few plant stands that will work as side tables and framed mirrors for the tops.  In my linen closet I found some curtains, pillows, and a throw to bring in color.

This past summer I came across some really cool french doors that some one had thrown out; they will make a great folding screen.  I also found a discarded bathroom vanity that will make a great beverage bar; another mirror could work for the top and a couple of shelves added inside to hold drinkware.

A couple of house plants that could use some fresh potting soil and add a homey touch to my outdoor living area.  I will add a candlescape and frame a couple of favorite summer photos to create the perfect “room” to enjoy.

One last thing!  How can I forget a water feature?  There’s a urn that held a plant that I managed to kill…. it will make a great water feature for my room.  Well I better get to work or my room won’t get done!  Hey, what are you waiting for?  Go create your own special area to enjoy this weather!

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When decorating your home, you spend hours deciding on color choices, furniture, paintings for your walls… but it still doesn’t look inviting?  The little things are missing that make your home inviting!  Candles, personal family photos, fresh cut flowers, a couple of table books, even a dish of hard candies add a personal touch that makes your home feel lived in. 

Music creates a mood and can be as simple as a wind chime or a water fountain.  Turn off the tv and play some of your favorite tunes on the stereo; you will feel your spirits start to pick up!

Remember as a child visiting grandma knowing she was baking your favorite cookies?  Scents are just as important as the color you choose for your walls!  There are so many options; scented candles, potpourri, oils, even a clean house smells good! 

You can do these things in no time and you deserve to enjoy the little things that you really only do if you are entertaining or having company.  What are you waiting for?

I am sure most of you have been following my wife’s journey through the various topics of waterfalls and faux painting, and baskets, but living with it is an entirely different experience.  I love my wife dearly, let me just state that fact first, and no that does not mean that I am now going to trash what she does as I am not.  What I am going to highlight is that sometimes when you walk into your own home, you need to turn around back out the door to verify that you actually came into the right house because it is not what you left in the morning.

There is a level of obsession when married to a person passionate about decorating, things change all the time.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes not, sometimes an improvement, sometimes an experiment.  Our Roomba is even so confused as to what is going on that she refuses to come out and vacuum anymore, now what does that tell you!.  Don’t get me wrong, most of these changes I think are great, they enhance our home and make it more enjoyable to live in, but there are others that makes you want to say “What the heck were you thinking”.  In either event, there is never a dull moment in this house with all of these changes.  I just hope I never go blind because I think I will end up starving to death trying to get to the kitchen!

I love fountains, ponds and the bubbling sounds of water cascading.  And I love to create little garden settings with tiny fountains using planters picked up at any home improvement store. 

The fountains can be any shape – square, round, urn and any size that will hold a fountain pump.   (Refer to my blog on water fountains to get the list of items needed to create a fountain).  You will also need to buy a clear plastic liner used for catching water under pots; one that will be large enough to sit at the lip of planter you are using for the fountain.

Drill a bunch of holes in the plastic liner to allow water to flow back down to the pump.  Place pump on a brick or small flat rock for stability.  Set the plastic liner on lip of planter, pour layer of pea gravel for base of landscaped garden.  I collect rocks and shells (see my blog on “Are you a Collector?) and I like to use my finds in my landscaped fountains.

I also like to use things like: driftwood, pitchers that I can drill a hole in for the water to trickle out of, aquarium ceramics to create scenes, greenery…  Okay you get the idea.  You are only limited by your own imagination!

There is something soothing about the sound of moving water.  I never knew how drawn to water a person can be; until I got the bug!  I had just moved to Oklahoma and was not in the mood to unpack all my boxes.  Robert had come across a flier about some pond tour – it sounded like fun; let’s go!  (Anything is better than unpacking, right?) 

So we dropped everything, got in the car and went to the nearest garden store and picked up a copy of the “Pond Tour” book.  What’s a pond tour you ask?  It’s just like the popular garden tours in other regions.  We drove around, walked the ponds, talked with the homeowners and after a long afternoon spent avoiding the unpacking – headed home to dream of our own pond and garden.   (You didn’t think I was heading home to unpack; did you?)

The tour book had directions to build a small water feature; it was so simple and I had just the perfect place to put one in our backyard!  This was the beginning of my obsession with ponds and water features. 

 Water gardening is easier than ever, and even if you are an amateur, building a garden pond is limited only by your imagination!  Let me share with you a couple that I have created. 

The first one came out of the pond tour guide and uses one of those small pond liners (found in a garden store).  You will need:

pre-formed pond liner (about the size of a medium planter), pump, shovel, a level, a clean brick, pipes, valves, and fittings, bag of river rock, larger rocks for edging, flexible liner, chicken wire, bag of sand, wire snippers

Dig a hole deeper and wider than the pre-formed liner.  Using the level and sand; make sure bottom of hole is level before placing the liner in the hole.  Back-fill liner to ensure it is supported and stable.  Set a brick inside liner to raise the fountain pump above the bottom of pond.  This helps keep debris from clogging pump.  Note:  you need to plan your location close to an outdoor outlet; the pump requires electricity!

Measure length of rigid pipe for the fountain height from top of pump to the surface of the ground, plus six inches.  With the pump sitting on the brick, attach rigid pipe into pump.  Cut chicken wire into four foot squares to place a couple of layers on top of liner with pipe in a center hole.  This will support the covering over pond and keep fountain centered. Use a flexible pond liner that you have made slits in for water to penetrate and a larger one for the pipe.  This liner will further keep debris out of your water feature and make it more maintenance free! 

Place river rock at edges of liner and chicken wire to anchor it and work in and around the fountain pipe until ground area is completely covered.  Fill water feature with water and plug in the pump once liner is filled.  Place larger rocks around the pipe to stablize the fountain and the water makes the sound that is pleasing to you.  I know this sounds really complicated, but I promise it isn’t; it’s also very rewarding!

Check back again for another water feature for indoors!  I can’t give you all my ideas at once and remember I told you water features are addicting!