When we bought our fixer upper, it featured a two-tiered water fountain in the middle of our interior courtyard. Unfortunately, the rusty 40-year-old pump did not work. After a few hard rain storms, the fountain turned from a unique conversation piece into a mosquito breeding ground.
We knew we needed to come up with a solution fast before our lovely new home became ground zero for Zika in Central Florida. (I was having nightmares of how the media would pin this on us – “Orlando Couple Breeds Zika In Courtyard And Ruins The Happiest Place On Earth.“)
After we ruled out fixing the pump issue and running the fountain 24/7 (cha-ching, power bill!), we decided on a creative and frugal solution that would fit in with the other landscaping projects that we had planned for the courtyard.
We turned our fountain into a planter!
How To Turn A Fountain Into A Planter
When we decided to convert the fountain into a flower planter, we wanted to do it properly so that flowers would stay alive after they were planted inside. Here are 3 simple steps to convert an old fountain or bird bath into a lovely centerpiece in your garden or yard.
1. Drill drainage weep holes. It’s okay if you’re scratching your head about this term. I didn’t know that drainage holes at the bottom of a concrete structure were called “weep holes” until my husband mentioned it as he was drilling one. He’s in construction so he knows these things. 🙂
We wanted to make sure that excess water had a way of escaping from the bottom of the foundation during heavy rain storms – which happens all the time here in Florida! My husband used a masonry drill bit to drill through the concrete. You can buy this Concrete Drill Bit for less than $10 on Amazon if you’ve never drilled through concrete before.
Here’s a closer look at a drilled weep hole draining water.
2. Add rocks. After the drainage system was in place, I stacked several stones around the hole to prevent soil from rushing into the weep holes during a heavy rain storm. Make sure not to cover the hole, but rather position the rocks around to protect the space for extra water drainage. Don’t worry about buying fancy rocks at the store, just use whatever rock-like materials you have in your yard!
It’s been over a month of heavy rain (and a tropical storm) and the weep holes in our fountain are still working properly. I have to give the rocks some serious credit.
3. Fill the flower planter. Add your favorite soil directly into the bowl and plant a colorful variety of small flowers. The more variation in color, height, and texture, the better! I also included ivy to grow over the sides of the fountain. I bought these flowers at Lowe’s, but I love purchasing small seasonal flowers at Walmart’s garden center where they normally carry a good variety for around a dollar.
If flower arrangements stress you out, let me give you some advice – you can’t go wrong! The only mistake that you can make is using all of the same color flowers. A simple rule of thumb is 3 different colors (like red, white and yellow) in 3 different textures. Below is a picture of my front door planters at my old house. I love this combo of inexpensive flowers!
One of my favorite parts of my new flower planter is that it’s a centerpiece of the house. This fountain along with all of my other cheap or free staging tips helped transform our fixer upper into a beautiful home that sold in less than one week. You can see all the before and after pictures here.
Do you have a unique flower planter in your yard or garden?