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Decorate Your Garden With Water Fountains

The best of our gardeners’ water fountains and small ponds, made with old vintage pumps, galvanized tubs, metal auto shop tools and even fire extinguishers!  These are water features you can do.

Galvanized Tubs

Nancy Carter hung a watering can to pour into her tub pond

Nancy Carter used a shepherd’s hook to hang the watering can in this simple fountain that she and her daughter made.  This works with or without a fountain pump. Easy!


Elzeen Torres lifted her fountain into better view

Elzeen Torres says, “I drilled a hole in bottom of aluminum pitcher just large enough to feed the hose through to my $18. pump, Elzeen Torres says. “I placed an old galvanized tub on top of an old birdcage and hung the pitcher from an old chain. Then I hid the hose by putting a Corkscrew Rush, a water plant, in front and threw in some Water Hyacinths. I propped an old yardstick in front and decorated all this with more plants, rusty treasure and enamelware, and called it a day.  Easy!”


Barbara Stanley's elegant wash tub

Barbara Stanley’s galvanized tub doesn’t need a pump… she can fill it with water and set potted Elephant Ear’s and reeds right in the tub. The only upkeep is keeping the water level filled which can be automated by adding a drip sprinkler.


Jessica Eiss-Healthcoach's pump spouts into her tub


Marie Niemann's bubbly blue tub fountain

Garden Sun Light APP012B 3 Watt Solar Panel with Water Pump Battery LED  available from Amazon

Hooking up a water fountain is easy!

Get a pump.
Just purchase a small submersible water pump.  Submersible means you can plug it in and the pump itself goes under the water.  one proportional to the size of your lowest basin and situate your water feature near an electrical plug.

Hide the pump under water.
You hide the pump usually with rocks or an upturned black nursery pot.  For mine, I used a small hollow cement block.

Test out the spray.
Fill the basin with water and test out the strength and adjustability of your pump

Add plants, if desired
Use bricks to raise up your plants to the height you want. Use floating water plants, too!

TIP: For locations not near electricity, get yourself a solar fountain, like Marie Niemann’s above.


Jolaine Smith's porch pond

Jolaine Smith says, “Another project at my shop using Flea Market finds, old wooden handle tub, old metal fence, sap bucket, cistern parts, etc.”

Terralea's Volpinos R Us created this tipsy fountain

Terralea says, “This is the tipsy kettle fountain I made from my grandmothers old kettles and a very large strainer. The flowers ar now spilling over.”


Half barrels

Kirk Willis's blue painted pond pump

Kirk Willis says, “You can’t see it but I placed a small rustic board across the back of the top of the barrel and attached the pump to that.  I drilled a hole in the board and threaded the tubing through that and an old watering can, added some glass floats. This sits by our covered, country, front porch where sit in our porch rockers and relax to the sound.”


Paula Luttrell's floating flowers



Jeanne Sammons serene barrel pond

“This is the whole ‘barrel pond vignette’ that I am re-tweaking,” Jeanne Sammons says, “Flea Market finds are two birdies in bath, iron fish and old rustic pieces of junk to stand the cement art on!”



Debbie Thompson's 'work in progress' tub


A gargoyle protects Tanya Goldmith's tub fountain

Common water plants to look for

Corkscrew reed
Fragrant Water Lily
Water lettuce
Water Hyacinths
Horsetail Rush
Elephant Ears
Umbrella Palm
Spider lily

TIP: As plants like water lettuces multiply and crowd the surface of your pond, scoop them out into the compost pile, or share with friends.

For more great ideas for your flea market garden, visit http://www.fleamarketgardening.org/

Written by Sue Langley

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Sierra News Online