I have been thinking about adding a fountain to my back yard for quite some time now. It all started when I saw an episode on 'Central Texas Gardener' that was all about disappearing fountains and what you needed to build one. They made it look so easy! So, last week I took the plunge. I made a trip to the Hill Country Water Gardens in Cedar Park and picked up a keen blue jar and all the parts to assemble my very own disappearing fountain. I talked to the guy there, and he was super-helpful and answered all my questions and showed me how to put together the fountain. Easy as Pie! I can totally do this. I am no stranger to a pick-axe. Here is how it went down:
Part One: The Acquisition
1. I picked out the jar. I knew I wanted one of those ripply ones and blue is my favorite color, so I sized up the jars and picked out a medium one.
The Blue Jar:
2. Get the right size pump. I picked out a pump that would make a nice bubbly fountain - not too big - not too small (pricey little buggers!):
3. Acquire other pond making accessories: With assistance from the nice pond guy, I got the right size reservoir for the jar, the grate that goes on top of it, the screen that goes on top of that, some tubing to connect jar and pump, and oh - some concrete blocks to support the jar. I also picked up some pond rocks to cover the grate.
4. Have the nice gentlemen at the pond place drill a hole in the bottom of the nifty blue jar and attach the socket for the tubing. Also have the guy cut out an access hole in the grate for the pump. They did all this for me while I waited.
5. As said jar and accessories were being modified, I paid for my new project and then sat around waiting for them to finish up the drilling and cutting and loading all the goodies into my car. It took about 15 minutes. I entertained myself by jamming to my favorite tunes - my selection for the day: 'The Detroit Cobras'.
6. Drive home very carefully - I had to take the turns very slowly as jars tend to roll about.
Now for the hard work. Here is how you put it all together.
Part Two: The Assembly
1. Get a sturdy pick-axe and dig a hole so that the reservoir sits in the ground with an inch to a couple of inches still above the ground. If there is a flood, you don't want dirty water flooding into the reservoir.
2. Set the reservoir in the ground and use a level to get it as even as possible. You want to make sure the jar will sit level so the water flows evenly down and around the sides of it. Once it is level, set the concrete blocks down in the reservoir so the jar has something sturdy to sit on.
3. Fill the dirt in around the reservoir so it stays put. Arrange the grate on top so you have the access point where you want it. The pump will go just under this access point in the reservoir. Set the dirt screen on top and cut a hole in the center where the tubing will match up to the bottom socket in the jar.
4. Have an assistant set the jar in the center and hold it up a bit (or more correctly, TIP it up - they are heavy!) so you can attach the tubing to the socket in the bottom of the jar. Then attach the other end to the pump. Set jar down CAREFULLY.
5. Fill jar with water. Yay! Once the pump is submerged and the jar filled, plug in the pump. Test to make sure the water is flowing properly around the jar. If the jar is not quite level, jam a couple thin rocks underneath to level it out. And..Tah-Dah! Your very own disappearing fountain.
6. Add rocks on and around the reservoir to mask it and make it look fancy.
See? Easy as Pie!