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Garden from scratch

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For this project we built a fountain, planted a garden, and constructed a fence - simply a way to enhance a small backyard, but keep it safe from roaming pets! Make sure to check out our blog for detailed instructions and other great projects!

You'll need:
  • Pump
  • PVC pipe
  • Shower Curtain
  • Pond Rocks
  • 2×4′s
  • Wood Sheet
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Cement
  • Plants
  • Mulch
 
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Step 1: Where?

Picture of Where?
Dig a hole for your fountain and pond area.

Step 2: Station your pump

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The way most pond pumps work is that the water simply falls into them - they are made to push water through the tube and out the top, not pull water in. Gravity has to be on your side. We dug a hole in the center of our hole to bury the pump. You’ll notice the PVC pipe with holes in it’s siding – this is how we got the water to enter our pump. It is screwed onto the top of the pump and we drilled the holes to allow water to sift into it without taking debris with it. For this phase, we left the PVC in place.

Step 3: Lay the pond form

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A shower curtain is an incredibly cheap alternative to the expensive pond shapes you can buy at hardware stores. We simply laid it out over the hole and pump. For this step we removed the PVC stem.

Step 4: Cut away the barrier

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Once the shower curtain was laid out, we squeezed the PVC stem back into place with the curtain layer caught between then cut away the blocking barrier. This left a water tight seal around the edges of the pump to keep the pond from leaking into the ground around it.

Once you're done cutting away the curtain barrier, put your PVC pipe back together.

Step 5: Get rid of the excess

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Cut away the excess shower curtain along the edge.

Step 6: Lay out the edging

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If you're really ambitious you can collect pebbles and river rocks on your own - we however, bought a couple bags of $3 pond pebbles from the local hardware store.

Step 7: To build your frame ....

Picture of To build your frame ....
To construct the actual fountin you'll need a supply collection similar to these wood pieces.
WoodsyGirl2 years ago
To make the fence a more permanent feature (i.e. to avoid replacing it the summer after next) I suggest digging a hole for each fence post about twice as big around as the post itself and about a third as long, and filling it half full with concrete then insert the post and fill concrete around it. Make sure it's plumb and true before the concrete hardens.

This additional step will help prevent rapid deterioration by wood-hungry bugs as well as water damage.
You shouldn't set the post on top of concrete in the hole as it will accelerate decay. use gravel(tamped) on the bottom and concrete around the post. That way any water that makes it to the bottom of the post can drain away.
myhomelifemag (author)  WoodsyGirl2 years ago
This is very true!

However, with a small garden like this there is little room left to maneuver. When pruning the various herbs you want to have some access to the bed that does not require walking through the mulch.

For this reason we chose to build a fence that would keep pets out of the garden, but that could easily be pulled away leaving wide open access to work from.
ive got a couple of removable fence posts so i can get my car in the back yard, I basically dug a hole about 10 inchs wide, 10 inchs deep, but i covered the end of my 4x4 with saran wrap, stuck it in the hole and filled with concrete, every so often during drying i wiggled it a bit. after the concrete hardend i could pull the post in and out with about a 1/4 gap.. it keeps it sturdy yet removable.
WoodsyGirl2 years ago
If you are willing to make your own concrete mix (instead of using the "quick" variety) you can make a hypertufa mix which weighs about half the amount of regular concrete.

Basically, hypertufa substitutes some of the aggregate and/or sand (depending on which recipe you use) with vermiculite. Google "hypertufa" for specific recipes.
myhomelifemag (author)  WoodsyGirl2 years ago
That's a great suggestion!
WoodsyGirl2 years ago
There seems to be some ambiguity here in step 13 with the positioning of the slab and connecting it to the pump. Can you elaborate?
myhomelifemag (author)  WoodsyGirl2 years ago
Absolutely! If you look back to step 10 you'll see where we ran the tube through the framed space before filling the slab. What you just brought to our attention is what you can't see in the photo. There is actually a lot of leftover, wound-up tubing which will run from the top of the concrete where the water pools and will stretch down to the pump.

With the tubing properly in place it's just a matter of connecting that tube to the proper spicket which will send water to the top of the fountain.
WoodsyGirl2 years ago
Please note, I am new to this site and did not realize my comments would appear at the beginning of the article as well as under the steps in which I made them.

The hypertufa comment was intended to reference steps 11 & 12, creating the rock slab for the fountain, not the fence post holes in step 16.
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