Your Own Garden Fountain

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have a garden fountain or water feature in your yard, but been turned off by the thought they probably cost a small fortune? Well you can adjust your thinking, because a small garden fountain can be yours for a few hundred dollars and installing it isn’t beyond the skill set of even a beginning DIY’er. Here’s how.

What you need for your garden fountain

  • A submersible pump (available at home, hardware and garden stores)
  • Clear plastic tubing
  • Plastic statue, or decorative rocks
  • A pond liner
  • Sand
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Electrical outlet (close to your fountain).

Building your own garden fountain

  • Start by choosing a location where there won’t be a lot of tree roots to make digging a chore. You also want to place your fountain in a spot where your fountain will be the focal point and not visually overpowered by large plants or shrubs.
  • Since you will be digging down 6” to 12”, it’s a good idea to have your local utilities come out and mark where their facilities run on your property. By doing this, you can be sure you won’t cut off your telephone or cable (or your neighbor’s) when installing your fountain. It’s also a good (and safe) idea to have an electrician install an electrical outlet (on a GFCI breaker) close to where you are going to install your fountain.
  • The easiest way to provide a base for your fountain is to buy a small, preformed plastic pond liner at a home or garden center. Place the liner upside down at your chosen location and use flour to mark around the outside edge.
  • Remove the liner and dig down around your markings. You want to dig down an inch or two deeper than your pond is high then roughly level off the base. Now install a layer of sand at least one inch thick (2 inches is better) and rake it level. It’s a good idea to leave the lip of the liner protruding about an inch above the ground to help prevent leaves from blowing in.
  • Place you pond liner in the hole and use your carpenter’s level make sure it is truly level. (If it's not level, overtime, the weight of the water pressing on one side can cause the liner to crack). You can move sand underneath the liner until you get it level, then backfill in around the liner edges with sand as well.
  • Drill holes in the bottom and top of your plastic statue (to run the plastic tubing), then place it in the pond. Run the plastic tubing down through the plastic statue and out the bottom hole, then attach the tube to the output side of the pump.
  • Finally, fill the pond base of your fountain with water, plug in the pump and watch your garden fountain come to life.

Don’t like the idea of statues being part of your fountain? You can always substitute piles of decorative rocks, a copper watering cans or a sheet of Plexiglas or metal, virtually anything you think will look attractive can be included as part of your garden fountain.

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to He can be contacted at