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  • Matt Brooke

Solar Water Feature

I've often walked past the garden water features in home and garden stores thinking they would make a lovely addition to our garden but I just couldn't justify spending £80+ on one. I also didn't want to have to plug it into a power socket or put batteries in. In true bargain hunter fashion I thought I'd make one on a £15 budget plus some basics I already had. Here is how I did it..

Materials List

1. Plant pot or bucket. I used a painted steel 30cm plant pot from wilko.com @£6

2. 25cm Plastic Plant Pot Saucer from wilko.com @£1

3. Solar Powered Water Fountain from ebay.co.uk @£8

4. No more nails glue / any suitable waterproof glue

5. Something to support the saucer about 2/3rds into the pot. I used the glass dishes you sometimes get posh deserts in. Anything waterproof will do that can take the weight such as a small upside down plant pot

6. Gravel or decorative stones to cover the plastic saucer

7. Silicone Sealant

8. Water

Steps to Create Water Feature

1. Best thing to start with is get all your materials together before you start. I had a few ideas about how I could support the plate in the bucket so it was a matter or trying it out before gluing it together.

2. Check your bucket is water tight. If its not it needs making so. If you are using a plant pot with drainage holes in, they will need blocking up. I'd suggest a bung or Cork and some silicone sealant depending on the size of the hole

3. Glue your saucer support in place. For me this meant some no more nails on the base of the glass dishes. I used enough so when I pressed them into the bucket a little oozed out the sides. I made sure there was enough space for the water pump to fit and me to complete the next step

4. Drill holes in the plastic saucer. I used a wood spade bit whilst resting the saucer on some scrap wood. You will need one hole the same size as the fountain outlet. Mine was 12mm so used a 12mm bit for a snug fit. You will also want drainage holes round the plate for the water to drain back into the bucket. I drilled 12 in mine using the same size bit as the hole. Note the holes need to be smaller than your gravel or the gravel will drop into the reservoir 🤔 5. Using the silicone sealant I secured the fountain outlet into the plastic tray. This was a little tricky and I needed to prop up the saucer to keep it in place while it hardened. 6. Leave it to dry. The components which have been glued will need time to set. I suggest you refer to the manufacturers instructions but overnight should suffice 7. Now for the fun bit, final assembly. Place the pump and saucer assembly into the bucket and fill it to the height of the saucer. Connect the solar panel and check it works in bright sun light. My fountain came with different nozzles which I could choose the best one from which didn't spill the water everywhere (meaning regular water top ups). 8. Assuming it all works, fill the saucer with your chosen gravel trying to hide the plastic saucer and making sure to keep the fountain outlet clear 9. Ensure the solar panel is optimally positioned for the sun. I must admit I glued mine to the bucket handle but rushed it so it didn't take. Its propped up at the moment but I will fix it properly.. One day! 10. Enjoy!

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