How to Build a Fountain in Your Zen Garden

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 backyard 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 colors are often subtle and muted. Think about natural wood, greys, and pale greens to make your garden reflect a peaceful, relaxing color palette. You can use stones, concrete, pebbles, sane, 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 material. 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 into 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 it 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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