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Water Features - Too much hassle or Worth It?

Have been sitting on the fence for a couple of years, thinking about buying a water feature.
Looking to buy one of those ones that garden centres sell for a couple of hundred £s and would probably go for wired electric rather than solar.
The question is, are they a lot of hassle to maintain / run? I'm thinking along the lines of cost to run (especially with energy prices rocketing), keeping the water clean, etc.
We like the idea of the gentle sound of water running and that a water feature may be wildlife friendly.


  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I think it's wise to do a proper assessement of how much your feature will take to maintain. Different features will take different levels of care. I should think a fountain is easier, without a pond, for example. Standing water will get more algae build up. A good proportion of water features do get shelves after they are bought, as the owners give up, they break and people can't be bother to fix the pump, etc. Pretty much anything in contact with water will go green over time, more so if it's in full sun.
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 4,902
    Why not solar? I have a couple of half barrels with a few plants in and a tiny solar fountain. Almost no maintenance and no running costs. Lovely gentle splashing and a source of water for birds and insects. 
  • I have a home made water feature - and I quite enjoy the trickle of water during summer..but just occasionally its gets on my nerves!
    I think a small one is a nice addition though and I enjoyed making it.. but, yes, be careful of the naff GC offerings. 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,176
    We have a homemade one that was constructed when we had builders in and they turned up huge boulders when they were digging for the foundations. Yes we kept them and some of them were made into a great water fountain that is "playable" by electricity but then we don't open it up very often...especailly now. It didn't cost much to set it up apart from time and a small motor.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,274
    Is there a photo, @bertrand-mabel? I am also of the view that something home made is infinitely preferable to a resin feature from the garden centre. It’s just my opinion but they do look tawdry.
    Rutland, England
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    If you have 'hard' water you will find any feature becomes marked by limescale quite quickly. In a GC near me, the products on display that aren't sold very quickly become covered in it and look awful. It ought to be a warning to all those who browse!

    A little pond is great fun to make and attractive for years. Good for wildlife, too.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,262
    edited April 2022
    I made a water feature years ago.
    I dug out a sump (about 2ft deep) lined it with pond liner, put the pump in and filled it with water.
    I covered the top with lengths of black plastic plumbing pipe, then put cobbles on top of that.
    I bought a terracotta urn and (very carefully) drilled a hole in the bottom.
    I inserted the outlet from the pump and siliconed it in place - voila!
    The water trickles out of the urn and back into the sump.
    I tried it with the urn upright, but it didn't look right.
    It's under a pergola so I had to clear out dead leaves each spring, but it doesn't take long.
    I think the whole thing cost less than £200

    PS - in terms of cost, if the pump is 100W and a unit of leccy is 20p it'll cost about 2p/hour (based on prices pre-April 1st)
    Realistically 100W pump is a bit OTT unless you want something like Niagra Falls

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,393
    Hostafan1 said:
    IMHO the overwhelming majority of those " features " I've seen in garden centres look really naff.  A " pond " is far better, cheaper and great for wildlife.
    Completely agree.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,420
    I used to have a bubble fountain similar to the one on the attached link. Easier to maintain than a pond, and the sparrows used to have great fun.

    I only got rid of it due to space constraints and have often wished that l'd kept it. I see there is a solar version available and am so tempted. Might have a wander round and see if l can squeeze it in somewhere 🙂.
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