Buffalo Garden DIY garden art Video

DIY Fountains

A $30 submersible pump and some creativity–make a fountain for this summer's garden

A $30 submersible pump and some creativity – make a fountain for this summer’s garden.

To get you going I have a collection of some homemade fountain photos and videos I’ve collected over the years. I have four of my own DIY fountains – seen in the first video below.

A fantastic, fun and funky fountain found in the Gareis Garden in Buffalo’s Johnson Park on Garden Walk Buffalo.

Pretty much anything that can stand up to water can become a fountain – metal, glass, ceramic, rubber, bamboo, concrete, stone and more. What do you have around your garage/attic/basement that could become a fountain – bowling balls, musical instruments, unused pots, ceramic art, wine bottles, teapots, watering cans, old tools.

Basically, all you need is bowl or pot, a cheap submersible pump, some tools, flexible tubing, and an afternoon to make most of what you see here. My four fountains started around this time of year planning, designing and then building in my basement and bringing them outside in the spring.

I’ve taken videos of a few of them because a photo of a fountain doesn’t convey the sound or movement of a fountain, and can’t appreciate them as much.

I have a couple extra submersible pumps sitting around. There’s a Japanese Sōzu water fountain that clacks a bamboo tube against a rock and makes noises to startle deer. I’d like to make one of those. I don’t have deer, but if it startles a squirrel I’m fine with that. I just have to figure out where it could fit in the yard! It’s a small space for five fountains!

In the video below are my current fountains. They all get stored indoors in late Fall and get re-set up in the spring. You can stop by and see them during Garden Walk Buffalo and Tours of Open Gardens in July.

Below is a great one found on Manchester Place, in the Patti garden on Garden Walk Buffalo.

I love the fountain below–though its planning belies its simplicity. This is The Evans Garden in Williamsville, NY on Gardens Buffalo Niagara’s Tour of Open Gardens in July.

The fountain below is in the Hough-Sako Garden on Richmond Avenue on Garden Walk Buffalo.

I found the fun wine rack fountain on the Black Rock Riverside Tour of Gardens years ago.
My friend Brad made this steam-punk-sh fountain from a trumpet, bucket, pump and some plumbing supplies. I have brass decorative horn round as a Christmas decoration. I may have to find that and see if I can come up with something along these lines.
A former neighbor’s fountain. It’s semi-homemade – they had to have a company drill through the large stones and then deliver and place them. Other than those efforts, they said it was really little set up.
A drilled-out bowling ball found in the McDowell Garden in East Aurora, NY on Gardens Buffalo Niagara‘s Open Gardens in July. Great color!
The fountain in the Granger Place Garden Walk Buffalo garden of Tom and Carol. Tom made the fountain for the narrowest of spaces along their driveway, opposite their side door, so they enjoy the sight and sound every day in the summer. And I made the hypertufa cup the water lands in!
A simple pot placed poolside with water spilling over the sides of the pot. Found in a garden in Atlanta.
Another interesting pot with a simple gurgling fountain that runs over the sides of the pot and falls into an unseen reservoir below it. This is in the same garden as the lead photo above – the bowling ball fountain spitting into the bowl. Both found on Garden Walk Buffalo.
A  personal favorite. I found this in the Portland Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon. Bamboo and concrete. I can do this!


3 comments on “DIY Fountains

  1. Jocelyn Weatherbe

    These are all marvellous. And I love your shed!


  2. Vicki B

    These are inspiring. While I’d love to give a fountain a try, I have critters in the yard.
    Some of your suggestions would adapt easily to preventing squirrels, deer, skunks and raccoons, etc., from drinking from the fountains. Thanks, Jim!


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