A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: DIY a Fountain-in-a-Pot

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22 April 2015

DIY a Fountain-in-a-Pot

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Today's post has it all! A DIY fountain that is doable by all, inexpensive paint updates, plants that are tough and plants that are simply pretty -- we have a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started, shall we?  Before we begin, many thanks to these Stonecrest sponsors:

smartpond fountains
Modernica Ceramic Pottery
Costa Farms Plants

First, we must look back to where we have come from.  When we bought this home, the gardens were completely overgrown and the front porch was a blank slate.  HERE are the rest of the BEFORE pictures if you are curious!

Here is a peek at it now:
Stonecrest Front Porch Photo by Amy Renea at A Nest for All Seasons
This past fall, the first thing on my list of to-dos was the front door.  It was black and the black was blue.  You know the color -- the kind of black that starts fading and starts to look like really dark denim?  I was not a fan.  However, I loved the idea of a formal, classic front door, so I dragged out a bucket of Charleston Green and went to town one afternoon on the door and the front porch iron railings.  A note on Charleston Green: It is the color of green that is so very deep that it is almost, quite literally, black.  The story goes that Southerners balked at the cans of black paint the Union armies sent down during reconstruction and added the little bits of yellow and green paint they had to the paint to give it some much needed color.  Charleston Green was an instant classic in the south and most certainly a favorite color of mine. (See front door above) Next on the list were planters to flank the front door.



Modernica PLanter Costa Farms Succulents Stonecrest Front Porch Photo by Amy Renea at A Nest for All Seasons
When smartpond contacted me about their fountain kits made specifically for pots, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  A DIY Fountain in a Pot, topped with a planter.  I knew I wanted two striking planters on either side of the door and I knew I wanted them to have both sight and sound via plants and running water.

This house is VERY formal and traditional and I want to honor that style, while giving it a little update with style and a few dashes of fresh color.  The Modernica planters give the classic front door an edge, while maintaining a classic, tall planter height and subdued color.















Fountain in a Pot DIY Instructions

Fountain in a Pot SmartPond Modernica Photo by Amy Renea at A Nest for All Seasons

So the basic idea is a layering of water, fountain, "raised" planter and the plants.
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

THESE plants in particular.  Succulents work best because they are not going to require a lot of water/nutrients to look beautiful.
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Starting off the journey...

Here is what you will need:

Succulent Assortment (These are all from Costa Farms Desert Escapes)
Faux Succulents (All the pictured fauxs are from consumercrafts.com)
smartpond fountain (Made specifically for a pot)
Large, Strong Pot with no or plugged drain hole (pictured: Modernica)
Thrifted "steamer" rack and bundt pan, preferably ceramic

Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

The faux succulents are important because you don't want the fountain water to rain down on your succulents constantly.  They will rot if they receive too much water, so the faux succulents (these are from Consumer Crafts) hang out in the middle of the planter.

Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

This is the point where you want to start laying out your plants while they are still in pots.   (above)
Things are much harder to manage once the plants are upended and roots flailing.
Loosely arrange the plant in your bundt pan and make adjustments before "tightening things up".

Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Once you are happy with the arrangement and balance of colors/shape, pack more sandy soil (for succulents) into the pockets and get plants tightly into place.  Water gently from the top to wash off any soil that has landed on top of the plants.  You want to water NOW because you do not want to do this messy first watering over the fountain, sullying the water.
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
If you run into bare spots in the planting, there are two options for fillers.  Some plants, such as the little baby jades, will fall into separate rooted plants when you remove them from the container.  Use the plants in groups of 2 or 3 or even 1 to fill holes.  Succulents are also easy fill plants because many of them can have a piece plucked off, sunk into soil and it will grow roots. 
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Another tip:  If succulents have been damaged getting home (see leaves below), they can still be used.
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Simply place the pretty side of the plant towards the edge and tuck the damaged parts under fillers. 
Costa Farms Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Tip #2: Tipping larger rosette succulents like this towards the edge of the pot instead of laying flat, can add interest.

Adding Water 

Once the planting is complete, tight and watered, set it to the side to dry out a bit while you assemble the fountain. The fountain comes in basically two parts: a pump and the "stick", both in the kit along with various nozzles.  Place the pump into a pot, plug any drainage hole with that rubber plug on the cord, attach the "stick", fill your container with water (about half full) and plug it in.  It takes 10 minutes at the most!
SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

You might find a rock to weight the pump down is advantageous to keep the fountain straight and centered.

SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

For this particular planter, I did not use an attachment on top of the fountain stick, because I wanted the water to stay low in the pot and not spray visitors as they approach the door.  There are three attachments, however, that you plop on the top to get different "spray types".  See another option HERETest out the placement of your pan, faux succulents that will hit the water and fountain:

SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Once the fountain is running, place your bundt pan planter into the metal rack and place it onto the top of your pot/planter.

SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

  It will look like this:

SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
To cover up the hole, add in faux plastic succulents that are OK if a little water hits the bottoms.
SmartPond Fountain in a Pot Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Here is the second planter with a deeper planter and larger plants:
How to Plant Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Note how the silver colors work with the blacks and the greens and yellows are reflected in plants across the porch:
How to Plant Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Are you ready to tackle your own succulent planter fountain?
How to Plant Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Happy Planting!


How to Plant Succulents Photo by Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

HELPFUL LINKS

The full collection of succulents used, available in the Desert Escape Collection from Costa Farms

smartpond fountains (available at Lowes)

Modernica Planters and Other Modern Options

Keep an eye out for more here on the Stonecrest Porch, including some pretty copper accessories, teak roots accents and MORE PLANTS!


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The Stonecrest Kitchen with Amy Renea
THE KITCHEN

The Veranda at Stonecrest A Nest for All Seasons with Amy Renea
THE FRONT DOOR

The Veranda at Stonecrest A Nest for All Seasons with Amy Renea
THE FRONT PORCH

Christmas at Stonecrest for A Nest for All Seasons
CHRISTMAS AT STONECREST

THANKSGIVING AT STONECREST

The Art Room at Stonecrest A Nest for All Seasons


The Art Room at Stonecrest A Nest for All Seasons


Master Bedroom at Stonecrest A Nest for All Seasons
THE MASTER BEDROOM -- WHICH STILL NEEDS MUCH WORK!
All the "BEFORES"


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