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Fountains & Waterfalls

There is something cosmically soothing and relaxing about water. It can create visually stimulating movement and calming, bubbling, splashing sounds...making it a valuable asset in any garden. This can easily be apart of your garden. Many homeowners have discovered the ease of integrating fountains or waterfalls into their landscaping designs. Just remember that it should compliment the surrounding features, be in harmony with the setting.


There are 2 ways to create water movement and the fountain is the easier one to install. For a natural look, the preferred moving water feature is the waterfall or cascade. A series of square or round pools can be effectively linked together. Although you can easily run both a fountain and waterfall from a single pump, these two features rarely look comfortable in the same pond.


  • The simplest and most popular way to introduce a fountain is to buy a kit. These kits contain a submersible pump, a T-piece with a fitted flow adjuster and fountain jet. Place the pump on a block or brick to keep it off the bottom of the pond and make sure that the tube holding the fountain jet is truly vertical. It may be necessary to turn down the flow adjuster if the spray is to high or too wide. Though, it is sometimes necessary to have a more complicated arrangement. In a larger pond, it would not be possible to reach a centrally-placed fountain. To avoid having to wade through the water every time you have to clean the strainer or remove the pump for servicing, it is necessary to use the remote jet arrangement.
  • Make sure that the size of both the fountain spray and the ornament are in keeping with the size of the pond. A large feature can look out of place in a small pond.
  • Where the pond is quite small and you want to grow water lilies it is a good idea to consider a ball or geyser jet which does not produce small droplets and results in a restricted area of water disturbance.
  • Make sure that the pump you buy is the right one for the fountain you have in mind – remember that there will be a serious loss of power if you run a secondary feature




  • A waterfall in the right situation is a splendid feature. Don’t be too ambitious though – for most situations, the "head" (distance from the pond surface up to the outlet) should be 3 foot or less and the sill (area over which the water flows) should be 4-6 inches wide. The distance from one tier to the one below should be 3 inches to one foot.




Two types are available – the waterfall unit which is a complete structure with a header pool and one or more linked pools, and the cascade units which are set one above the other to form the waterfall.



Pond liner allows you to build a natural-looking waterfall to your own design. Use separate sheets for each tier, overlapping as necessary. Each level should slope backwards to form a pool. Imbed stones and pebbles in mortar at the sides and bottom to remove the artificial look.


Installing a Waterfall......




Mark the outline – the holes should be a few inches wider than the units. Remove soil with a spade, beginning at the lowest level. Make sure the bases for the units are horizontal. Put in the tubing for the pump at this stage.



Firm the soil in the holes – add a layer of sand. Put in each unit, making sure that the sill overlaps the unit below. Do not fix permanently at this stage – use a hose pipe to ensure that flow is satisfactory.



Use mortar to secure each unit, beginning with the lowest one. When set, fill the gap between the units and the earth with sand. Now switch on the water. Hide the unit edges and outlet with stones and plants.


The right pump to choose for your waterfall will have sufficient output to satisfy the following 2 requirements:

  1. The flow rate should be between 100-150% of the volume of the pond. For example: a 300 gallon pond will need a 300-450 gal/hr. pump.

  2. The flow rate should produce a sheet of water, right across the sill (lip) at the front of the cascade. This will require at least 50 gal/hr. per 1 inch width. For example: a 6 inch sill will need a minimum of 300 gal/hr.


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