Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Safe Water Feature for the Peace Garden in our Natural Playscape

Some of our specific components that we are very proud of are as follows: I created a buried water feature. Water features are tricky around children, because they cannot have a basin that holds water and the potential for drowning. So this is a borrowed idea from a magazine, with much adjusting and help from the web. I can’t remember the site (my apologies). My original idea was a millstone fountain that spills from the center and re-circulates under the millstone. Aha! But even a faux millstone was upwards of $300.00 So, from a query on the internet I made a faux-faux millstone with my own inventiveness. And it actually worked, which is not always the case.
  • I used a plastic garden pot (14”), the type with a hole in the middle for flowers to be planted in a ring (like a large bundt cake pan). This became my underground basin.
  • I dug the ground out so that this pot would sit even with the soil. Before laying it down, I lined the soil with garden plastic, making sure it crept out several inches on all sides to prevent dirt from dropping onto water basin.
  • Then, using a plastic planer tray (13”) also with a hole in the center (the kind that is normally under your planter) upside-down in the water basin.
  • I used a small fountain pump and three 4-5 inch river rocks to hold the tray slightly above the basin and the pump. The upside-down planter tray becomes your faux millstone.
  • My pump spout actually stuck out of the hole in the tray, but my plan to be safe would be to cover the entire “millstone” with river rocks and in the meantime it would cover the plastic look of my fake fountain.

The result is a safe, bubbling fountain that seems to spring from nowhere. It makes a lovely sound and the pump electrical cord is tucked beneath a toad house. A little magic here and there helps!

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