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The fountain of outdoor life

There are plenty of things you can do for a bit of relaxation at home. You can try your hand (knees and ankles) at yoga, fill up a bath to the brim and soak in it until the water starts getting cold, or do a spot of gardening. However, it all sounds like too much work, especially since all you’re trying to do is relax.

One thing you can do to relax without burning too many calories is sit down in your garden on some balmy evening. And yet, with no book to keep you company or someone to talk to, that can get a bit boring.

What you need to do is build a fountain. The pleasing sound of water, the gurgling of some fish and maybe the splashing of birds having a bath in your fountain will banish thoughts from your busy mind and help you relax.

The style of fountain depends on your creativity.The style of fountain depends on your creativity.

Of course, building a fountain can be expensive and hard work. However, you don’t have to build the kind of classic fountain that would put the Fontana di Trevi to shame. Rather, you can invest a couple of weekends and some basic DIY skills and still create some watery enchantment in your garden.

First things first: determine the location of the fountain and choose the style of fountain you want. Then make a list of the equipment and materials you will need. For most fountains, you will need a water pump, preferably with flow adjustment, a plastic container to serve as a reservoir, basic tools, a spirit level, building material and some pebbles, stones and ponds to use as landscaping elements. You will also need pipes, tubing and wires to be able to connect the pump to an electricity supply.

This sounds like a tall order. However, there’s nothing to get stressed about. What you need to remember is that a fountain, whatever design you choose, consists of just three elements: water which flows up a pipe and then trickles back down in a continuous cycle; a pump which propels the water; and a piece of sculpture through which the water flows. For the reservoir, you can either dig a hole and waterproof it, or else use a tub or basin, which you can then camouflage using plants and shrubs. As for the sculpture, this can be anything from a pile of stones arranged artistically to a large plant pot which you no longer use.

For the pump, buy a good quality model. It’s best to buy a submersible one so that it can sit below the water line in the reservoir. Make sure that you have an electrical outlet close by since you need to connect the pump to it. Also, buy a pump that has flow adjustment so that you can control the flow of water from a relaxing trickle to a livelier burst.

The style of fountain depends on your creativity. The element which lends itself most to your artistic abilities is the sculpture. You can use a decorative pot or arrange mixed size stones and pebbles. You can also make a design out of concrete or bricks and then cover it with mosaic tiles.

After your hard work, sit back, switch on the pump, and watch as the soft splash of the fountain brings your garden to life.

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