The fountain of inspiration

Andrew Mangwarara —
ANCIENT Greek, Egyptian and Chinese civilisations made sure that water was one of the main features on their courtyards or front yards.
Water is the source of life.

A human body cannot survive for more than three days without water before shutting down so water is a focal part of our existence.
Any garden without the sound of water and the songs of birds is considered dead.

Water is the spring of life. Adding some kind of water feature in your garden will add life to it.

Besides digging a fishpond or constructing one mega water feature outdoors, you can also custom make your own water body, particularly if you do not have enough space in your garden.

Readymade fountains and small ponds can now be purchased but, however, there is nothing stopping you from being creative and making your own using pots, bowls or even wooden tubs as long as they do not leak.

So here we look at how one can make an elegant water feature at the entrance to a house or on the veranda.

You will need a submersible pump, which can move water at least 1,4m a fountain head, three suitable containers at least 60cm wide and 30cm high, 34 bricks, outdoor cable and conduit, 10cm tubing, river rocks and stones, and of course a selection of plants in sleeves or small pots.

You are now on your way to creating a bowl fountain.  Set your bricks for the first bowl, which should be higher than the other two.  The next set of bricks will be slightly lower in height and finally, the last bowl will sit right on the floor.

Now insert tubing, which will run from the top bowl to the lowest bowl, which will move water back to the top bowl from the lowest bowel. The next step will be to position your bowels in such a way that water is able to freely flow from the top bowel to the next then to the last.

For that to happen, you need to insert the 10mm tubing after drilling the correct holes on the pots.  Use putty to secure the double tubes. Ensure that the bowels sit well and level on the brick surfaces.

Install your pump at the bottom bowel and the fountain on the top bowel. Position your chosen set of plants around your bowel fountain. Cover the plant containers with the rocks and stones to create an oasis of beauty.

There are quite a number of plants suitable for this setup.  Consider the golden cane palm (chrysalidocarpus lutescens), paradise palm (howea fosterana), dwarf date palm (phoenix roebelenii), maidenhair fern (adiantum capillus-veneris), spider plant (chlorophytum comosum), sword fern (nephrolepsis exaltata), dragon tree (dracaena deremensis) and the ti log plant (cordyline terminalis).

This is just one option, depending on the amount of light that your chosen sight receives, you are encouraged to be imaginative here.  Do what you can to ensure that the plants you finally choose add rather than subtract to the glamour of water sounds created.

Water has the ability to inspire, invigorate and bring some equilibrium to your busy world.  This is just one idea from the many you can choose to make water a part of your everyday charm.

You can make a pebble fountain (one of the simplest), a Japanese water feature, a river, crossing bridge, a flowing urn, decorative pond, a planter cascade, a wall mounted fountain, a bird bath, multiple cascades, waterfall, a bog garden and a duck pond.  Let one of nature’s gifts inspire you!
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