Easy 5 Steps: Garden Fountain Water Feature Project


Easy 5 Step Victorian Garden Fountain Landscape Design Project

Victorian Tiered Fountain Landscape Design Project


STEP 1:  BACK Yard Landscape Design:


Backyard landscaping designs require a fundamentally different approach than what you typically see in a front yard landscape.  Where a front yard landscape designs are typically tailored around an entryway, or designed to draw neighbors attention to the curb appeal of your house.  Backyards Landscapes are usually of a more personal design, backyards are created for privacy & relaxation, for entertaining, and can also supply a  structured gardening area. You don't usually see any patios, swimming pools, barbecues, or garden ponds in the front yards of most homes, but backyards are where you can focus on some key Hardscaping Design elements.

Some common Backyard Hardscape elements to consider in your design are:

  • Water Features
  • Patio Design Ideas
  • Swimming Pool Ideas For Backyards
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Outdoor Fireplaces
  • Ponds Or Water features
  • Fountains
  • Backyard Play Areas For Children
  • Flagstone¬†Patios

As a result we  typically  recommend that most homeowners focus more of their landscaping spending on the backyard design elements.   And while it may be tempting to create an incredible front yard, it's always a good idea to first see how much of your overall budget will be needed to complete the major design elements in your back yard before planning the other areas.

As we head into Fall, now is the time to consider landscape enhancements for your backyard, much of the Hardscapping elements can be completed before winter sets in.  

When choosing your Hardscaping elements...consider the possibilities for your landscape, ask yourself: How does my family spend time outdoors, and what could you add to make landscaped spaces more comfortable?

Our Project:

We have Chosen a Salvaged Victorian Cement and Bronze Three Tiered Water Fountain as the center point of our Backyard Landscape Design.

This is a Victorian Fountain Salvaged from the Original Chales P Allen House (1850's) in Waverley, Nova Scotia.  

You can see an a picture of the Original Salvage Location for the Fountain Below:

Victorian Tiered Fountain Landscape Design Project Blog

 Step 2:  Design Concepts:

When possible new landscape design projects almost always take their styles based on the style of your home, your personal and family needs, and the personality of the owner and neighborhood. Beginning with a theme in mind and a completing a long term Landscape design plan will help keep the project on track, spread the work out over multiple years, and maintain serenity between the home, landscaping, and your neighbors.

 Choose a theme or themes, not too many cross themes though.  For example you may not want to mix classical cherubs with the seven dwarfs, but either on its own makes a fine theme on its own.

Step 3: Choose your Focal Point

Focal points in the landscape can be naturally occurring or strategically placed features or plantings that draw the eye to themselves. This gives the design of the garden a more dramatic, orderly look. All gardens need at least one focal point. A small garden or yard may need only one, while larger gardens & yards may need several.   

Focal points in the landscape can be as simple as one spectacular plant or flower bed placed in your design.  One of the simplest and most popular ways of adding a focal point to the garden is by using statues or design elements such as Birdbaths or Water Features. Some careful thought and consideration should be given to adding these features to the garden or "yardscape"  (Our New Patent Pending Term). 

 Important Consideration:  It is best if these features are the center or centerpiece of a part of your design.  They should not look as though they're just some thrown in afterthought. Try and keep these focal points to be fitting with the theme of each particular part of the garden or "yardscape".

Hardscaping And Recreational Landscape Design Considerations or Options:

  • Patio Design Ideas
  • Swimming Pool Ideas For Backyards
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Outdoor Fireplaces
  • Ponds Or Waterfeatures
  • Backyard Play Areas For Children
  • Additional Parking Ideas

Please note that some of these features can be entire projects within themselves and are typically integrated into a multi year "yardscape" plan.

Step 4: Find your Main Design Focal Point:  For this project it is a Salvaged Victorian Fountain Water Feature

We have Chosen a Salvaged Victorian Cement and Bronze Three Tiered Water Fountain as our Central Hardscaping Element for our Small Backyard Landscaping Project.  While there are plenty of places to buy fountains and water features that are already made, we were lucky enough to salvage this original Bronze and Cement tiered fountain from the original Chales P Allen House (1850's) in Waverley, Nova Scotia.  

A Water feature is a great way to anchor your landscape design, and water features can come in many sizes and shapes.  Sometimes all that matters and is expected from a garden fountain or water feature is motion and sound. And be warned...depending on the size of pot or container, the water overflowing the sides of this fountain could make quite a bit of sound.  Water features natural appeal to the senses and create a relaxing atmosphere.

The right water feature can anchor a tranquil outdoor sitting space for family and friends to work, gather and play is great for family bonding.  A water feature accented with a properly designed outdoor seating area and you give family and neighbors  something to talk about and enjoy.  There are plenty of studies that point to the value of enhancing the landscape with outdoor features that can reduce stress, build teams, promote physical activity and improve the overall work environment (A blog idea for another day). 

 Pondless Installation:

We have also chosen a pondless installation as there are small children in the neighborhood and we wanted to eliminate any drowning risk.

Accompanying Items:

Large, existing trees should be left in a design whenever possible. Some trees and large shrubs just need a little bottom trimming to make great focal points in landscape design.

Placing flower beds around the base of these specimens enhances their effect as natural focal points. Not only do they create great focal points but they create the illusion that a new garden design isn't a new design at all.

Phase 2 of our landscape design will Include a Court Yard Design with Flagsones, Garden Sheed, and a Pergola  that will integrate the new Hardscape pieces.  Adding a small courtyard garden or patio gives you an extra outdoor room and conversion (party) area and it can be one of the the most intimate, private and most interesting areas in your homes functional design.

Note:  Courtyard designs are typically  enclosed, open air patios or garden ideas surrounded by walls (usually tall) for privacy and protection of the elements. And generally they're either a front entry, attached to a wall that leads into the home, or the garden will be in the interior of the house.

More on this in an upcoming Blog....

Step 5:  Installation:

Before & After:  A before and after view of the anchor location for our Tiered fountain.

 Victorian Tiered Water Garden Fountain Landscape Design Project

Task A:  We gathered and transported our salvaged fountain and support pieces to the new Project Location. 

Victorian Tiered Bronze Water Fountain Landscape Design Project

Task B:  Next we dug our Water-less Pond Location:  

This was done buy digging down in the soil about a foot and layering the pool location with gravel and fine sand.  As this was a small area we used a Hand compactor to compact the area before laying the Load Stone and the pond base.  

Victorian Landscaping Project Tiered Victorian Landscaping Project

Task C:  Add Fountain Load Stone.  We then added our load stone which would support the weight of this extremely heavy tiered fountain.

Task D:  The pool liner and fountain pump were than added. And then the fountain components assembled and tested.

Task E:  Feed the Fountain tube up as the tiered layers are added to the fountain

Task F:  We then used a plastic form to cover the pump and filled the waterless pond with beach rock so as to avoid a drowning hazard for little ones.

Lessons Learned:  One of our lessons learned was to use plumbers putty to pug the holes around the fountain tubing as we assembled the tiers with out this we found a large volume of the water was escaping through the area around the pump tubing and our bottom tiers were not getting enough water.

Note:  You will also need an electrician to supply a power source, or a fountain pump that is solar powered.  Many of the newer solar powered options will work fine in most climates. 

Finished Project Installation:

Here are the finished picture of the installation of our Salvaged Victorian Fountain Project.  Phase two of our project will include two flagstone seating areas, and an under deck storage shed and Perennial Garden (Future Blogs are being written).  

Victorian Salvaged Tiered Water Fountain Garden Project www.maritimevintage.com

Salvaged Victorian Fountain Garden Landscape Design Project www.MaritimeVintage.com

The Finished Project:

Salvaged Victorian Tiered Fountain Landscape Design Project www.MaritimeVintage.com

A Sunset Shot:

 Sunset Victorian Decor Landscape Design Fountain Classic Landscape www.MaritimeVinatge.com

In Summary:

This fountain makes use and takes advantage of the backdrop of plants and surrounding landscaping. All of the elements together make the landscape idea complete and in proportion. Without the backdrop of taller plants and elements, large water features like this seem to appear too large for many areas.  But it is part of a multi year landscape plan to spread the landscaping costs over time, where the foliage will fill in over time. 

Please feel free to ask us any questions.


Maritime Vintage





Lenard Valentine


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Our five tier water feature has boomed hard work to maintain and we ar hopping to plant it with rockery plants, could you please advise the best way to move ahead with this project. Much appreciated


Ian McGregor

This is some great information, and I appreciate your advice to use succulents to add green to landscape while keeping it drought tolerant.

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