How to Install a Pebble Fountain in a Container

Spruce up your garden with a bit of watery flair.

To create a container pebble fountain, you can start off with a kit, which is available at most garden centers now, and consists of a plastic bucket with a lid and a wide collar. You will also need a pond pump and a decorative disguise for the surface.

Start by digging a hole to take the bucket. The lip of the plastic collar should be flush with the surrounding earth and the feature must be level all the way round. When you are happy with the hole, line it with soft play-pit sand to prevent sharp stones from puncturing the plastic. Put the pond in place, position your pump in the base and run the electric cable away, hiding it among surrounding plants.

When wiring in the pump, follow the instructions that come with it or call in an electrician. Outdoor electrics should always be connected via a residual current device (RCD) and installed with great care.

Fill the reservoir with water and test the pump. You may need to adjust the flow rate or positioning to achieve the effect you want. When you are happy, fit the lid and cover the top with your chosen decoration. Pebbles, gravel and large cobbles work well with a bubbling stream of water. You could build a display of tumbling flowerpots or run a hose from the pump through a glazed terracotta ball with a hole drilled in the top. Or fit the pump with a spray attachment and hide it with pots of perennials that are happy being splashed, such as houttuynia, ivies, lysimachia, mimulus and oenanthe.

If you would like a fountain on your patio, you can fit a pump in any watertight pot. The pump must be completely submerged and will need space around it when you add your decorative topping. A good tip is to shield the pump with an upturned wire hanging basket and to arrange cobbles, plants or both over the top.

An even easier way to bring moving water to your garden is to float a solar-powered fountain in a wide container, add a few water plants and position the display in a sunny spot.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest