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DIY Wall Fountains: How To Build A Wall Fountain For Your Garden

DIY Wall Fountains: How To Build A Wall Fountain For Your Garden


The pleasing burble or rush of water as it tumbles off a wall has a calming effect. This type of water feature takes some planning but is an interesting and rewarding project. A garden wall fountain enhances the outdoors and has sensory benefits. They invite the subject to relax and simply take in the sounds and sights of the landscape, brushing off daily cares and troubles. DIY wall fountains can be as simple or complex as you desire but any variety has some simple characteristics that are the core of the project.

What is a Wall Fountain?

If you have ever been to a formal garden, you may have seen a garden wall fountain. What is a wall fountain? These may be built into the wall or just a fixture applied to the wall. Water is circulated through a pump and tubing from a basin or pond below, back up into the top of the vertical surface and down and around over and over. This cycle has a repetitive effect that is reminiscent of the cycle of life, and the gentle sight and sound are meditative. You can try making one yourself with some basic tips.

Water features have traditionally been incorporated in gardens probably as long as planned cultivation has been around. Early waterfall and wall fountains were driven by gravity, but over time they were powered by pumps. By the 18th century, pump type outdoor wall fountains were the norm.

A wall fountain may be indoor or outdoor and can be made from any number of materials, including stone, granite, stainless steel, resin, and glass. Today’s wall water features are powered electrically or by solar power. The mechanisms are practically noiseless to allow the sound of water to penetrate without distraction. As long as you have a reservoir or sump, power of some kind, and a pump, you can build a wall fountain.

Easy DIY Wall Fountains

One of the quicker ways to get a fountain is to purchase a model that is already made. These may be ornamental where the flow of water is broken by a sculpture or where the liquid goes into a decorative reservoir such as a terra cotta pot.

These are often mounted on an existing wall and come with tubing, pumps, electrical cords, and attaching fixtures. The installation couldn’t be simpler. All you do is mount the model and plug it in, adding water before you do so. You can then choose to disguise the tubing and mechanisms with rocks, moss, plants, or any other items that appeal to your senses.

How to Build a Wall Fountain

If you already have a wall, half your project is complete; however, it is easier to hide the mechanisms necessary for a fountain if you build the wall around these items. A river rock wall, for example, is attractive, hard to mess up, and provides a natural-looking scene over which water can cascade.

Take the measurements of the area for the project and go to a landscape supply outlet. They can tell you how much rock to acquire for the area you wish to cover. Once you have rock, you will need mortar and pond liner or a pre-formed reservoir. You may choose to excavate a pond at the base of the fountain or use a plastic form for the reservoir.

The mortar will hold the rock in place and the design is completely up to you. Build from the ground up, placing your reservoir where you want it in the first few tiers of rock. Place the pump in the base of the reservoir and run the tubing to it and up the wall.

Cover the tubing unobtrusively with rocks or plants. It should end up sticking out of the rock wall when you are finished. After the mortar cures, fill the reservoir with water, plug in the pump and watch your wall fountain spill out of the rock formation.


Wall Fountains

Wall Mounted Fountains are a great addition to any home or garden. No space for a water fountain? Bring a wall fountain to the rescue! Simply mount the wall fountains on any wall, post, fence, (or up against the wall with a floor wall fountain) etc, fill with water, and plug the fountain pump cord in. They work indoors or outdoors. It's an instant water feature for your interior or exterior.

Water Wall Fountains can be made of many types of materials. Fiberglass water wall fountains are a good choice for many situations. Strong, yet lightweight material that is waterproof. The finishes of many modern water wall fountains simulated aged stone, rock, or other materials. A bonus for fiberglass wall fountains is that they can be easily shipped via UPS, and do not require a large truck to deliver your wall fountain.

Wall Water Fountains can also be made of stone, clay, wood, and many different types of metal, including copper. (Most indoor wall water fountains are metal). Copper is a nice choice for metal, although wall water fountains made of copper are very expensive due to the recent price increases in the raw material. For ultimate effect, a wall water fountain made from cast stone is the closest thing you'll come to the classic Mediterranean wall fountains, most commonly found in Italy, Spain, and France. These are molded fountains from cast stone concrete, and are extremely durable, some are suitable for placement on the floor, up against the wall. These fountains typically are available in many different patinas (colors), and are made in the USA due to the excessive cost of shipping these fountains.

Your Wall Fountain: Many Choices of wall fountains exist. Look at the area/wall you are looking to hang the wall fountain on, and step back to visualize the wall fountain exactly where it is to be mounted. (there are specific interior wall fountains and exterior wall fountains). Look at the area in normal daylight, evening light, and with any lighting you plan to use.


Tabletop Models

The fountains listed here are of a size and weight that is fitting for use on tables, plinths, and other raised objects.

Keep the weight in mind, and where you’re thinking they’ll go. Don’t place an 80-pound piece of stone on a glass tabletop! Most of these fountains require no special plumbing.

1. Zen Plinth

Ideal in locations inviting a bit of whimsy, the Zen Plinth Fountain weighs in at over a hundred pounds, so it requires a solid foundation.

This is a great addition for areas where you want to garner some attention, and maybe get a few chuckles.

  • Dimensions and Weight: 23 x 13.25 x 25 inches, 112 pounds.
  • Materials: Cast stone concrete.
  • Cold Weather Care: Drain and cover for the winter, bring pump indoors.
  • Place of Manufacture: USA.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: No plumbing required, three-prong cord.

The Zin Concrete Plinth is available in 9 different colors.

2. Cara Classica

Echoing the designs of the Mediterranean Classical period, the Cara Classica offers a refined touch to any setting.

It’s certain to draw attention with its unique design, and it is compact enough to fit in almost any area of the garden.

  • Dimensions and Weight: 19 x 11 x 9 inches, 62 pounds.
  • Materials: Cast stone ceramic.
  • Cold Weather Care: Drain and cover for the winter, bring pump indoors.
  • Place of Manufacture: USA.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: Uses a three-prong outlet, no plumbing necessary.

This stylish little model is available in 9 different colors.

3. Monk

A vision straight from ancient Buddhist temples in Asia, the Monk offers a simple, dignified design at an affordable price.

This model fits well in rock gardens, or as a centerpiece on tables and pedestals.

  • Dimensions and Weight: Large model is 19 x 40 inches, 15 pounds. Smaller size is 15 x 21 inches, 8 pounds.
  • Materials: High tensile fiberglass.
  • Cold Weather Care: Bring indoors for the winter.
  • Place of Manufacture: Not listed.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage
  • Other Notes: No plumbing required, three-prong power cord.

4. World Menagerie Flower Blossoms

A particular type of fountain for a particular type of garden, the Flower Blossoms Garden Fountain from World Menagerie is exactly you may have been looking for, even if you didn’t know it.

Zarate Copper/Fiberglass Flower Blossoms Garden Water Fountain, available from Wayfair

Because sometimes exploding beds of flowers aren’t quite enough, this fountain presents some attractively designed ornamentation in attractive copper that accentuates what is standing in your garden, or adds what may be missing. It has a simple assembly and offers plenty of value in its design.

  • Dimensions and Weight: 28” H x 12.5” W x 12.5” D, 6.7 pounds.
  • Materials: Fiberglass, resin, and metal.
  • Cold Weather Care: Drain and cover for the winter, bring pump indoors.
  • Place of Manufacture: China.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 1-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: Uses a three-prong outlet, no plumbing necessary.

5. Mini Element with Birds

I’m a sucker for anything with birds on it, and the Mini Element with Birds offers just that.

A warm and natural-looking design provides avian friends on permanent vacation in your yard, even after the feeder’s been empty for a few days. With any luck, other wild feathered friends will visit this fountain anyway.

  • Dimensions and Weight: 6 x 11.5 x 10.25, 23 pounds.
  • Materials: Cast stone ceramic.
  • Cold Weather Care: Drain and cover for the winter, bring pump indoors. Alternatively bring entire fountain indoors for the winter.
  • Place of Manufacture: USA.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: Uses a three-prong outlet, no plumbing necessary.

Available in 12 different colors and finishes.

6. Alpine Rock Waterfall with LED Light

This popular fountain comes with a bit of a hefty price tag, but you’ll love the natural look of a stacked rock waterfall that it provides, and the option to turn on the included LED lights to illuminate it at night.

Those gray stones are actually made of durable fiberglass, with other parts made of resin, but visitors to your garden won’t know – and this helps with the issue of weight as well. It won’t crack or fade in the sun or hot weather, and it weighs just over 47 pounds.

The pump and lights are included, and the lights come with a 3-year warranty. The water flow rate is adjustable, and you’ll love the soothing sounds of running water that it creates.

  • Dimensions and Weight: Only includes the pump, water spout, and a tube to connect the two.
  • Materials: Imitation bamboo.
  • Cold Weather Care: Bring indoors during winter.
  • Other Notes: Bowl is sold separately. Height of the water spout will dictate the volume of the splashing water.

7. Thinking Gnome

If I were a fountain, I’d be this contemplative gnome.

Certainly an acquired taste, this pondering garden friend would look garish and out of place in some backyards, but fits in seamlessly in others.

  • Dimensions and Weight: 17.9 x 13.6 x 20.9 inches, 11.4 pounds.
  • Materials: Polyresin with fiberglass.
  • Cold Weather Care: Bring indoors for winter.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: Three-prong cord for power.

8. Fire Fountain

If you’re looking for a serious standout, you’ve found it – the Fire Fountain offers a dramatic union of fire and water.

It runs on simple paraffin fuel, and is guaranteed to be the hot spot of your carefully designed landscape.

  • Dimensions and Weight: Large 32 x 16 inches, 33 pounds Medium 28 x 14 inches, 26 pounds Small 24 x 12 inches, 20 pounds.
  • Materials: Glass fiber reinforced concrete.
  • Cold Weather Care: Bring indoors for winter.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty for damages occurring during normal product usage.
  • Other Notes: Pump included.

It is available in three sizes: large, medium, and small.


Andalusia Wall Outdoor Water Fountain

This beautiful, rustic outdoor water fountain brings the feel of Italy to your back yard. With a beautiful back piece that keeps water constantly flowing as well as a huge basin to catch the water, this piece will have conversations blooming each time you have visitors.

Turn an otherwise boring garden wall or fence into something more with the Andalusia Wall Outdoor Water Fountain. It features a simple, yet elegant design that is easy to blend into any wall and a mesmerizing water flow. It's the perfect piece to turn your wall into a dynamic focal piece instead of the cement, brick or stone that it really is.

To keep a constant water level in your fountain, you can add the auto refill system. It comes with a float valve, concrete base, custom stopper, clear tubing, and a pressure relief garden hose or spigot connection. The device is connected to a garden hose or spigot, and the water is turned on and off by the valve in the unit, keeping your fountain filled effortlessly.


Maintenance

These fountains are not particularly different so the same maintenance rules can be applied here. Always check the water levels because the shortage of water might damage the pump. Once you decide to clean the accumulated dirt and dry leaves, empty out the fountain and remove the pump first. Clean it well, and then move on to tubes and distribution unit. There will usually be some sort of a build-up inside and you'll notice that the fountain will work better after this step. Take care of the outside of the unit as well by dusting it off. Your water feature will work perfectly again in no time!


The Perfect Water Feature

The presence of a fountain in a garden can fill any number of uses. It can be a subtle touch for the more reserved space or a loud-and-proud proclamation to draw the attention and ardor of your guests. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that a good water feature can complete an outdoor space.

What’s more, a fountain can provide a more permanent addition to a garden than some plants and other features. If you’re like me, then the initial construction will be a great memory to hold onto whenever you hear that bubbling water.

We’ve got plenty of different types of fountains for you to peruse and choose from if there’s one you think we’re missing, give us a shout on the comments.

Product photos via var. manufacturers. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Matt Suwak

Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. This upbringing keeps him permanently affixed to the outdoors where most of his personal time is invested in gardening, bird watching, and hiking. He presently resides in Philadelphia and works under the sun as a landscaper and gardener, and by moonlight as a writer. An incessant questioning of “Why?” affords him countless opportunities to ponder the (in)significance of the great and the small. He considers folksy adages priceless treasures and is fueled almost entirely by beer and hot sauce.


Springtime Wall Water Fountain Maintenance

Springtime is the start of a new season. Although this part of the year means relatively low maintenance for your wall water fountain, there are still some things to consider during the spring.

  • If you plan on adding plant life to your wall water fountain, the springtime is the best time to do so.
  • You can also reintroduce over-wintered plants in the spring and divide them, if necessary.
  • For plants that are already established in your wall water fountain, springtime is the time to fertilize them.


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