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How to Build a Disappearing Feature

Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Water features bring a garden to life, adding peaceful sounds of water flowing and a pretty focal point. The sound of flowing water has been shown to reduce stress hormone levels. There are many different varieties of water features to chose from. Ponds create an oasis, teeming with fish and floating plants. Smaller scale features like waterfalls and fountains are beautiful, moving, decorations that create music with their flowing water.

A disappearing water feature will add a touch of elegance and tranquility to a garden. Disappearing features are magical; you cannot see where they start and end. The basin full of water sits in the ground usually under a bed of pebbles and stones. The water flows through the the planter and spills over, splashing on the rocks, and cycled back again. It looks beautiful and is a great D.I.Y project. You’ll quickly find yourself retreating to your new fountain after a long day, letting the flowing water captivate your senses, and melt the stress away.

What you’ll need:

smartpond® 300-GPH Fountain Pump
smartpond® 3/4-in Corrugated Tubing
Tall planter (ideally this would have a textured sides and a hole in the base)
Small planter (this diameter should fit snugly into the top of the taller planter)
Basin (we used a cement mixing tray)
Grate (we used an area wall grate)

Step 1: Place the Basin

The best part of disappearing water features are the mystery. All of the work occurs beneath the pebbles and inside the planter. You want to dig a hole in the ground large enough for the basin to sit in. The grate will sit in the middle of the basin with the main planter on top of it.

Step 2: Add the Grate and the Pump

The pump can be placed discretely in the basin. Connect the tubing and run it through the bottom of the large planter and into the smaller planter. The smaller planter should be nearly the diameter of the big planter, so the water spills over the outer edge of the large planter.

Step 3: Hide the Basin

You can use pebbles and rocks to cover the basin and surround the planter. You can add plants or any other decorations for extra decor.

Step 4: Add Water

You want to add enough water so the smaller planter at the top is filled with water and overflows onto the pebbles below, with water also filling the basin. You will need to periodically add water, especially in the summer, as it will evaporate. Pumps can be damaged if they run dry.

Disappearing water features are fun and do not need to take up a lot of space. They can be a standalone feature or compliment a pond or waterfall. Water features make great DIY decorations for less than half the price it would be at a store. You can use those extra savings to splurge on beautiful planters and other decorations! The disappearing water feature will impress the neighbors and start great conversations. It’s a must for any garden!

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