Create Small Water Gardens and Simple Water Features

Easily and Inexpensively creating water movement and a 
Zen feel for your garden. For you, your pollinators and birds.

Photography© Mary Hyland 2020 all rights reserved

No matter how small your garden is, whether yours is a yard, a wooded area, balcony, rooftop or deck, you can have a beautiful sanctuary with the soothing sounds of moving or splashing water. Small water features are beautiful in themed areas of your garden, in the birdfeeding and butterfly areas, rock gardens...just about anywhere.

"It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure 
of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them. ” - Claude Monet

I've been amazing myself with how many things i can use to create fountains with, and place them in several areas. I've upcycled lots of unusual things into water features, easily and inexpensively.

Basin, Tub and Bowl Fountains

This fountain came to me after i had already been using the floating solar fountains for the bowls of my birdbaths. I have many vintage bowls that look pretty anywhere and set up in minutes.

This bowl is about 18" diameter enamelware popular in the 50's. I have several sizes. Which gives me yet another idea.....

Metal basins and big enamelware bowls and buckets that are used during the summer for fountains. These can stay outside if you empty and turn upside down. So there's no real storage issue. Galvanized metal tubs and graniteware pails work great as well, for a more rustic, farmhouse look. Lots of these can be found inexpensively in dollar stores, flea markets, yard sales and yes, I  do find some at the curbs on trash pickup days. I have no qualms about bringing home all sorts of garden containers and upcyclables.

The areas I have chosen to landscape in a Asian and Serenity Garden styles set up beautifully with one or two pieces as fountains. Cottage-themed areas look pretty with floral enamel or painted metal bowls and pails among the plantings.
Very few ingredients......

Big decorative metal buckets, containers, bowls, basins and tubs. So easily found at flea markets and yard sales. Sellers on amazon sell many types, and with my free shipping in one or two days (pre-post office assault by gov 't braindead).

Floating solar fountain - these are used in pools, ponds and birdbaths. The battery backup types are the best. But cost a little bit more. Totally worth it to have it run with or without the sunshiny day. Once charged by the sun, power is stored in the backup battery for running the fountain on cloudy days. These come with about 6 snap-on fountain heads for different effects. So.... depending on the wind and fountain splash movement, they look pretty floating around aimlessly.

Artificial floating pond/pool plants.
I choose floating foam lotus/waterlily. There are several other types, which can be found in craft and wedding supply shops. They come in several sizes.

Some pretty glass gravel/stones can be used to decorate the inside or around the bowls. There are also glow-in-the-dark stones that can be placed in or around the bowl and plants around it. Lovely in a fairy or mystical-themed garden.

Fantasy figurines, shells, starfish, tiny forest habitats. Garden themes. Use your imagination once you choose the container and location.

Photography© Mary Hyland 2020 all rights reserved

Store-bought fountains can be combined with your creations and landscape to create a feeling of serenity visually, and with the soothing sounds of moving water and wildlife like birds, bees and butterflies. These can be wonderful additions to a wildlife/pollinator habitat.Garden beds that include pebbles, river rocks and stones, along with dwarf spreading juniper evergreens and water features that add height.

 

Photography© Mary Hyland 2020 all rights reserved

I have several solar cascading pottery fountains in a few areas of my gardens. Very pretty. They work with a small solar panel that runs the fountain, that cascades the bowls of water. Adds height and movemennt to your design. This is my Asian/Zen Garden design. I combine plantings, stones and pebbles, cedar walkways and ornamentation that coordinate with the themes I choose. I have various varieties of bamboo in containers, dwarf willows, swaying dwarf grasses, mums.
I also have a few beautiful dwarf Japanese Maple specimens in decorative pottery containers. River rock in the planters keep the soil and roots protected and conserves water.

This garden is bordered by a Butterfly Garden and coordinates well with it.

For vertical height, I planted honeysuckle and clematis vines on trellises and fence panels around the perimeter of the garden.

In corners of the garden, i place "water containers" used for camping and large, colorful plastic garden totes. These collect the rainwater that i use in the garadens and fountains. i'm not much of a fan of rain barrels. I prefer to save water where i need it. Covers are used to keep 'skeeters and other bugs away.

A bubbling birdbath, wire birdcages, Buddhas, pagodas,  peacocks and dragons. And a rain chain hanging from a tree branch. Many of my design pieces have been gifted to me over the years, or are part of my indoor collections when gardening season is over.

Photography© Mary Hyland 2020 all rights reserved

This style of fountain is called a Cascading Solar Fountain. I have several. I purchase them when i find them on sale. The average price is $100. It includes a solar 
water pump and tubing. Just stack the bowls on the frame, and fill the bottom bowl with water. Submerge the little pump. Face the solar panel where it gets lots

Rain Chains - This one is copper, and about 8 ft. long.
They're used to clip onto gutters to re-direct water from your roof, into the chain, then spilling from each cup into another, then into an area you want to catch the rain water. They're also quite decorative hanging from tree limbs.

The water from rain flows down into the garden or a receptical to save it for watering. The rain flows into the cups, the cups spill water into each other. It looks very pretty on rainy days.

 

Bubbling Birdbath fountains in the Butterfly Garden. I use the round floating types with battery backup.

 

Rain Gardens

Landscaping
Pollinator Gardens

Bird Habitats

Serenity Garden Growing A Bog Garden

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