Shower Power


It is wonderful to be able to rinse off under a cold shower after a morning spent gardening in the heat of summer. With this rustic outdoor shower the woven wattle panels provide a degree of privacy and blend in with the garden surroundings. Do this 4-hour project on a slow weekend!

2 x woven wattle panels
(2100 mm x 800 mm)
2 x universal posts
(68 x 68 x 2300 mm, mahogany)
6 x Hilti screws (008)
18 full thread wood screws (04 x 60)
5 kg cement
1 bag building sand
24 x cobbles
weed control fabric (+-1m2)
1 x concrete paver (large)
3 metres copper pipe (inlet pipe)
1 x 15 mm elbow (female)
1 x 15 mm tap stop
1 x shower rose and arm
cable ties

Tape measure, pipe cutters, combination/shifting spanner, spirit level, 08 mm masonry drill bit, electric hammer drill, screw driver, pencil


Step 1: You need a site that is level, with a sturdy wall to which one of the panels will be attached. Draw a vertical line on the wall where the frame of the panel will be secured to the wall.


Step 2: Drill 6 evenly spaced holes into the frame on one side of one panel. Hold the panel against the line on the wall and make 6 marks on the wall to match the holes in the frame. Drill into the wall in these 6 places, and use the Hilti screws to attach the panel to the wall.


Step 3: Now that the panel is in place, position a post against its outside edge. Where the post meets the ground, dig a hole about 200 mm deep and insert the post (adjust the depth to ensure that the top of the post is flush with the top of the panel). Temporarily hold the post in place with bricks and attach the panel to it using 6 wood screws.


Step 4: Position the second panel against the post, parallel to the wall, and flush with the top of the post, creating an L-shape. Attach it to the post using 6 wood screws.


Step 5: Place the second post flush with the unattached end of the second panel, and repeat the processes in step 3.


Step 6: Make a stiff concrete mix of 4 parts stone, 2 parts sand, 1 part cement and water. Remove the bricks holding the posts and fill the holes with the concrete mix, compacting it around them so that they are secure, and then level the surface of the concrete. Let it dry then cover with topsoil.

Step 7: For the shower ‘floor’, start by making a firm mix of 2 parts sand, 1 part cement and water. Put a layer of the mix along three sides (exclude the wall) and lay a single row of cobbles on it. Trim the weed control fabric so that it fits the space within the cobbles exactly, and lay it in the space.  

Step 8: Place the paver in the centre of the space, on top of the fabric. Fill the area around the paver with the pebbles. The pebble section supplies the drainage space (the shower is not intended for long showers so simple drainage is all you need).

Step 9: If your shower is close to the main water supply and you have the skill to do the required plumbing then run a water pipe from there, otherwise a garden hose that connects to the closest outdoor tap will do fine. Run the inlet pipe vertically up the centre of the outside of the panel closest to the wall, to a height of about 110 cm. Cut the pipe, attach the tap stop, insert the tap handle through the woven panel, then fit the remaining pipe, extending it to just above the top of the panel. Use cable ties to hold the inlet pipe in position.

Step 10: Using the elbow, attach the shower arm to the inlet pipe, then attach the shower rose to the arm. Next, attach the soap tray and towel hook to the wall.

Finally, plant a swathe of Frutescens around the outside of the shower. You’ll have worked up quite a sweat by then, so it will be the perfect time to try out your handiwork. (Remember to fetch a towel first!)

The Gardener