Among my favourite sounds of summer are the gurgle and splash of water. I love fountains and discovered a few years ago how easy it is to make your own. I would say "as easy as child’s play", except we are talking water and electricity, folks; it’s not a good project for the young ones. Think of it as the adult equivalent of wading pool and bucket and enjoy puddling (safely) around.
The goal is to take a pot of water and pump a bit of it through a plastic tube so that it falls and tumbles back into the pot in an eye and ear-pleasing way. You could create a fountain for the cost of the pump and tubing, using garden and kitchen equipment on hand.
- Water pump. For a small fountain, a small pump (costing $15.00 or less) will do.
- Plastic tubing to fit the size of the pump outlet. You can find this in the plumbing section of stores like Rona and Home Depot. It will cost about $5.00. Take careful measurements and remember that it is the outside dimension of the outlet that fits the inside dimension of the tubing. Better yet, take the pump with you when you shop and ask for help from the staff.
- Clamp to secure the tubing to the pump (less than 50 cents).
- Waterproof pot or container.
- Decorative object/spout to channel the water.
- Stones, pots or dishes to bounce the water around.
My water fountain is made from a Chinese egg pot which I bought from a grocery store. (I love the dragon.) The cast-iron fish came from Canadian Tire (or maybe Zellers) and was designed to hold a tea light. The slatted wood ledge where the fish sits came with the pot. Originally, it covered the whole top and was used to stack the pots one on top of another. I cut it in half with a hand saw.
Inside the pot, a saucer sits on top of a liter-sized plastic yogurt container filled with water (could be stones) to keep it from floating. A cream jug, turned on its side, rests on the saucer. Plastic tubing from the pump is fed up through the slatted wood ledge, through the back of the fish and out the mouth. The water pumped through it falls into the cream jug, bounces onto the saucer and splashes back into the water in the bottom of the pot. The slatted ledge conveniently organizes the electrical cord from the pump as well as the tubing.
The fun with making a fountain comes in arranging the bits and pieces to bounce the water around. You can use rocks and plants to hide the working parts of the pump. The flash of the camera has revealed the tubing at the back of my fountain and you can see how it works. Without the camera’s power assist, the working parts are not that obvious. Kind of like red eye.
FRIDAY: More on fountains - books and blogs.