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water feature

Creative Cement Water Feature

Add a touch of serenity to your garden with the sound of running water. Finish the edge of your patio or enhance the entrance to your home – or just bring a dull part of your garden to life – with this easy-to-make water feature.

What you Need

Materials

  • PPC Surebuild 42,5 N cement
  • River sand
  • Small stones (for concrete)
  • 1 ceiling mould
  • Silicone spray (like WD-40)
  • Copper pipe 100 mm x 15 mm
  • U-bolt
  • Masonite strip 70 mm x 1500 mm
  • Shutter board 600 mm x 600 mm (to use as a work surface)
  • Wire nails 75 mm x 8 mm
  • Water pump (height 2 m)
  • Tubing 2 m x 15 mm
  • Silicone sealant
  • 1 trough (for sump)
  • 2 hexagonal flower pots
  • 1 screen panel
  • Cable ties
  • PVA paint (your choice of colour)
  • S-hook

Tools

Bricklayer’s nosing trowel; bucket; cordless drill; 15 mm wood drill bit; paint brush; scrap cardboard

What to Do

1. Place the shutter board on a level work surface. Cover it with black plastic if you don’t want it to get too dirty. Position the mould in the centre and wrap the Masonite strip around the edge of the mould, securing it with nails. Drill a 15 mm hole in the centre of the mould and then insert the copper pipe.

water feature

2. Mix one part cement, two parts river sand and one part small concrete stones with water in a bucket, using a trowel. Spray the mould with silicone, to prevent sticking, and then add your concrete mixture. Trowel the mixture into your mould and smooth the top. Agitate the concrete to remove any air bubbles, thus ensuring a smooth finish. Remove the nuts from the U-bolt and push it into the cement, leaving a loop exposed for hanging. Keep it damp for 5 days to ensure that it gets strong.

water feature cement

3. After the 5 days, carefully crack the concrete piece out of the mould and dust it off. Cover up any imperfections by using a dry-brush paint technique. Dip your paintbrush into paint and use a scrap piece of cardboard to brush most of the paint off the brush before dry-brushing the moulded relief pattern on your piece. Your aim is to brush paint lightly onto the raised parts of the pattern for great impact. Do the same for your pots and sump.

4. Position the flower pots, trough and screen. Install the screen by knocking in two fence droppers so that the panel can be stretched between them, then cable-tied into place.

5. Drill a 15 mm hole low in the back of the trough that will act as a sump. Insert the tubing and seal around it. Leave the silicone to dry. If there are any unnecessary drainage holes, plug them with silicone too and allow it to dry. Secure the pump to the end of the tubing in the sump. Position the sump and feed the tubing through the screen. Using the S-hook hang the circular mould in place, positioning the copper pipe through the panel and attaching the tubing to the back of it. Fill the sump with water and test.

6. Reposition the sump if necessary to catch the spouted water, or adjust the pump flow so the water feature looks good and the water lands in the sump. Plant up the two small pots with your choice of plants – we used Mandevilla Sanderi ‘Rosea’. Complete the picture by planting up the area surrounding the feature, or by covering any bare areas with pebbles. Then sit back and enjoy the sound of water in a beautiful, tranquil setting.

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The Gardener