How to Build a Fountain in Your Zen Garden

Reflection Table Fountain


Japanese Zen gardens are the peak of beautiful design and tranquil settings. A well designed and built Zen garden is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a hard week at work.


Adding a fountain to your garden can add an extra layer of relaxation to your back yard and give you the pleasant sounds of running water while you sit out and enjoy your garden.


So if you’ve designed your garden but think a fountain would give it the finishing touch, here’s a simple how to guide showing you how you can build your own fountain in your Zen garden.


1.       Choose your setting

Do you want the fountain to become the main feature of your Zen garden or is it going to be tucked away so it can be heard but not seen? The type of fountain you choose will depend on whether it is to be seen.


2.       Choosing your materials

Natural materials, like bamboo, are often seen in a Zen garden and the colours are often subtle and muted. Think about natural wood, greys and pale greens to make your garden reflect a peaceful, relaxing colour palette. You can use stones, concrete, pebbles and sane as well as bamboo and other natural wood to create your fountain. Think about using a rounded shape, such as a large stone, alongside flat pieces like wooden planks. This gives your fountain contrast.


3.       Three things you need

All you need to create a fountain is a pump, base and pillar. As above, the fountain itself can be from any materials. This will create a simple, but effective, design. You can use a heavy duty potting tray as your base and simply fill it with smooth pebbles or rocks to give your water something to trickle over. Make sure you have a pipe to carry the water through the fountain – either plastic or a watertight man made material.


4.       Pump

You can buy ready assembled pumps which you can fit right in to your design. Make sure whatever you use for your fountain structure itself has a hollowed out area so you can fit the pump inside and hide it from view. You should also make sure there is an available electricity socket nearby or think about using a solar powered pump which will be easier to power.


5.       Construction

Make sure you have a hollow section in the base of your fountain. Place in the pump and run a PVC pipe or watertight tube from that up through the pillar of your fountain. Use clear silicone to make sure your pipe is watertight where it joins the elements of your fountain. Create a feature at the top by using a round stone with a hole for the pipe drilled right the way through or even just some hollow bamboo placed at angles so the water can trickle out once it has been pumped to the top. Place it on the base of your fountain and then fill with water.


Keeping Your Zen Garden Fountain Pristine and Serene

Maintaining the serenity of your Zen garden fountain requires consistent care. Regularly remove debris like leaves and twigs from the water surface to preserve its pristine appearance. Check the pump and plumbing for any clogs or issues, ensuring a continuous gentle flow. Prevent algae growth by placing the fountain in partial shade and using an algae inhibitor. Scrub rocks and surfaces gently to prevent buildup while preserving their calming aesthetics. Consider a weekly water change to maintain clarity. By dedicating a few minutes to these upkeep tasks, you'll ensure your Zen garden fountain remains a symbol of tranquility, reflecting the harmony you seek in your outdoor space.

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  • Cristhy Calague