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Landscape Sculpture as Water Feature

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Hidden Springs

Tired of clients complaining about the high maintenance of that water feature you installed?

Water features enchant the garden and soothe the senses but require constant maintenance.

Debris, bugs, and plugs can turn that landscape feature into a nightmare.

the basin becomes a catchment.

High season it invites nesting mosquitos. What a buzzkill.

Here’s an alternative approach.

Instead of an above ground basin, bury it, and install a plumbed, above ground sculpture.

I’ve built hundreds of these ‘Hidden Springs’. Yet, each one is unique and based on a simple construction methodology. They are a form & function response to 3-tiered Spanish colonial fountains lying dormant and dirty.

FORM: Any inanimate object of wood, clay, stone, or metal that is appealing as a sculptural element. An object that can stand in the garden as a thing of beauty. Pre-drilled from bottom to top, it becomes a conduit for water. Once plumbed, the water burbles and cascades down its form, then disappears into a bed of ornamental pebbles. Pretty cool – me thinks!

FUNCTION: There is no standing water either in a basin or on the ground, it disappears - like a Hidden Spring. Thar below the surface is our recirculating catchment and sump. It’s a simple construction of sub-surface basin, pump house, pump, and lines; easy to access and hard to contaminate.

The subgrade water basin remains relatively clear of algae and particulate debris. Mosquitoes are less apt to nest there. An occasional splash of bleach will maintain water clarify.

Whether switched on and bubbling or off and ‘statuesque’ this fountain will provide years of hassle-free enjoyment.

Test it out on your next water loving client.

For those of you interested, I’ve expanded this brief intro on ‘Hidden Springs’ into a How-To Manual for the design/builder - A Field Guide for all of the Specs & Steps, from Fabrication to Installation.

I encourage you to share your comments, and experiences in building ‘the perfect’ water feature. The holy trinity being low-maintenance, cost-effective, & aesthetically pleasing over time.


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