Front Porch Water Feature

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Project by Leroy5 posted 08-23-2010 11:06 PM 7114 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When we moved in 10 years ago, our front “porch” was very unattractive. It had a very man-made and unnatural feel to it. I first tore out the overgrown bushes and put a very small fiberglass pool (about 5 gallons) on one corner. A couple of years later, my hard-working teenage son Aaron dug a large pit for a large plastic pool that my mother was through with. He placed it, arranged 15+ years of collected stones around it, and bought a small water pump for it. I worked the spout for the spillway out of melted plastic and hot glue. Aaron took a large flat rock and ground out a spillway on it by using my edger for sanding wood floors. I made a flower bed across the front of the porch and around the ponds with a border of bricks from 2 former chimneys in our house. The water plants were Father’s-Day presents. We found cheap goldfish and threw a few in several years ago. Aaron dug up some wild cattails for the 2 largest pots. The water now spills from the pump tubing into the largest pot, and then cascades from pot to pot and pool to pool. The sound is very soothing. I drilled holes in the pots and made spouts from foam plastic insulation for 1” PVC pipe. A small ring of PVC pipe is inside each to reduce leakage.

Early this summer I found the porch swing in a dumpster covered with a thick layer of lichen and dead leaves, but with no damage whatsoever. After 2 hours of scrubbing, bleaching, and $15 worth of chain and hooks, it was ready to hang. Hanging took about 4 hours, since I had to remove boards from the ceiling and find suitable 2X’s to put the hooks in safely.

This corner is the most popular place in our household of 8 (!) people to sit and relax or to hang out with a special friend. Hummingbird watching has been the new activity of the last couple of weeks. In the summer, Aaron’s extensive potted plant collection is also on the porch.

The flower bed needs some serious work. The many Elephant Ears around the pond were a mistake: I thought the roots were smaller Caladiums with only the biggest Elephant Ear on the corner of the porch. Suggestions are welcome. We are in zone 5b – central Illinois, USA.

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3 posts in 2925 days

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pond zone 5 cattails porch low-budget

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8 comments so far

View Radicalfarmergal's profile


4312 posts in 3162 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-24-2010 07:03 AM

Wow! Aaron did a great job on that pond. I can see why your porch swing has become a favorite place to relax and entertain. It looks so quiet and cool and running water sounds marvelous. Do you have any flowers growing in front of your hostas across the front of the porch? If the shade trees are deciduous, perhaps some spring bulbs (daffodils, hyacinth, tulips) would add color in the spring.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Iris43's profile


3811 posts in 3529 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-24-2010 08:18 AM

How very attractive, Leroy. This would be my favorite place to relax! I am impressed with the intricacy of your waterway… well as the how well the plants have done in this setting.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View donjoe's profile


220 posts in 2885 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 08-24-2010 09:35 PM

A very lovely place you guys have created to relax in. Your hard work paid off. I for one think the EE’s love nice in the arrangement but then I’m partial to EE’s.

-- Donnie in sunny South Carolina

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-25-2010 03:51 PM

this is WONDERFUL .. the use of items gathered from here and there (and dumpsters) ... what a wonderful collection of garden treasures.

A fantastic job by all those involved! Kudos

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Greenthumb's profile


2290 posts in 3719 days

posted 08-26-2010 06:06 AM

love it

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3679 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-26-2010 08:12 AM

Very nicely done.Great place to just sit back and ejoy life.

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View IceFlower's profile


156 posts in 2974 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 09-20-2010 07:18 AM

I love how you’ve beautified your front porch. Nice to sit and sip on mint juleps :)

-- Alynxia**** It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. 'The Buddha'****

View petersonmurdock's profile


17 posts in 948 days
hardiness zone 2

posted 02-18-2016 02:05 PM

This small garden seems perfect if it is installed both sides of the front door, one that like garden speaks and welcome every visitors.


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