A water feature for small gardens

Here’s a fountain any garden would have space for: A perpetually refilling watering can.

One like this captured my imagination at Canada Blooms one year, so I immediately asked the ever-ingenious Mr. TG to figure out how to make one for me. It’s just the kind of challenge he relishes.

With a few rocks in the bottom, it now contributes a gentle splashing sound to filter out some of the city noises.

Unfortunately, the neighbourhood raccoons see this as their own personal refreshment area. They’ve knocked it over (and burned out the pump) more than once. But that becomes another project for Mr. TG’s ingenuity. Between times, we enjoy the water music.


A view of the back of the watering can fountain. Copper pipe was used as the conduit to add verisimilitude. That’s a fun word to write. An old brass spigot adds to the authentic flavour.

The kink in the pipe at the bottom made it possible to secure the pipe by soldering it to a U-bracket.

Inside, the pump is a regular garden fountain pump.

A closeup of the base… a little corroded by the years, but still in working order.

A hole was drilled for the wire, which is secured using outdoor electrical conduit coupling. The seal was waterproofed using Goop. Seems strange, but that’s the name of the product.

Rocks inside the can add ballast (making it a little harder for the raccoons to topple it) and modify the sound, turning it from the gurgle of a can filling to the splash of water falling on stones.

A stone under the pump also raises it a little so that raccoon-generated sediment is less likely to clog the pump filter. However, you do have to take the pump apart from time to time to clean the filter.


  1. I love the watering can effect! Very urban chic! My husband and I keep talking about a water feature, but we can't decide what type. We usually start by talking about a stand alone fountain, then it gets bigger & bigger until we are suddenly talking about a pond! One day we come to an agreement!

  2. Helen – this is a great feature for a tight space, something alot of us city dwellers deal with. I recently bought one of the President's Choice water gardens and the raccoons love it, but so does everyone else that comes by. Nice to have some water in the garden.

  3. Helen ! what a great idea : ) I love those types of fountains and since we can't really do a pond here .. like you it would draw more raccoon activity and after two years of them using our attic like a bed and breakfast .. well .. we won't go there !
    The sound of water is wonderful and so perfect in a garden !
    Fantastic set up girl : )

  4. i have a water garden deep as the freeze line, but we are getting too old for all the upkeep, so are filling it in.
    i would like to have a water feature instead, not cute, just basic and not too expensive.
    solar powered would be good, something birds would like, as opposed to racoons and something that could stay out in the winter, though i could take a large jar in.
    we have seen all sorts of those water features in thailand, tropical of course. suggestions would be welcome. having had a pond in toronto and miami advice free to give for those interested

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