Spring into the summer spirit and build a backyard spring

In less than half a day, you can build a small spring in your backyard that will spark a delightful sense of wonder.

Spring into the summer spirit and build a backyard spring

Here's what you need:

  • A large sturdy tub or bucket.
  • A piece of pond liner large enough to line the bucket plus an additional 30 cm (1 ft) on each side.
  • A small fountain pump.
  • A piece of flexible braided plastic tubing the diameter of the pump outlet and cut to the length of the bucket height.
  • A hose clamp to connect the tubing to the pump.
  • A brick to rest the pump on.
  • A square piece of heavy-gauge, galvanized hardware cloth with a 0.6 cm (0.2 in) grid, cut 15-20 cm (6-8 in) larger than the diameter of the bucket.
  • About 18 kg (40 lbs) of round rocks 3.5-7.5 cm (1.5-3 in) in diameter. Mexican beach pebbles from a local nursery work.

You can tuck this spring fountain in the corner of a patio where you can easily see and hear the water. It can go anywhere in your yard or garden, but you'll need an outdoor outlet nearby.

Dig it in

  • Dig a hole the size of your bucket, but slightly deeper. Place the top lip of the bucket six centimetres (2.5 inches) below the surface of the patio or ground.
  • Place the bucket in the hole and backfill around it.
  • Line the inside of the bucket with your pond liner. Extend the liner out at least 20 centimetres (eight inches) beyond the diameter of the bucket, more if you want your spring to shoot up higher. You want the liner to catch any water splashing on the rocks and direct the runoff back into the bucket. Curl up the edge of the liner to create a ledge for that purpose. Create a ledge by wedging the liner between two bricks.
  • Place the brick and the pump in the centre of the bucket. Connect the tubing to the pump outlet with a hose clamp.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for running the cord. Don't bury it.

    Caution: Plug the cord into a GFCI-protected outlet.

  • Place the hardware cloth over the bucket and snip a small hole in the centre to allow the tubing through. The hardware cloth should be larger than the diameter of the bucket.
  • Place the stones and brick on top of the hardware cloth and fill the bucket with water.
  • Turn the pump on and adjust the tubing, wedging it between the rocks to get the desired effect. You can restrict the flow of the water by pinching the pipe with wire or buying a flow restricter from your pump supplier. The diameter of the pipe will determine how high the water bubbles up.
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