Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Recycled rubbish = Solar water feature!

I’m very proud of one thing in the garden. It’s an almost totally recycled project that we built when we first got our house.

Unfortunately it malfunctioned recently but that gives me the chance to post how I made it.

When we moved in our tiny garden was paved and quite bare. But it had some lovely features or potential for lovely features.

I decided I really wanted a water feature.

But surely I hear you cry, “that’s not very environmental it requires water and electricity.”

I decided that if I could make it with as much recycled material as possible and without using any fresh water or electricity then I could have a water feature.

I needed to do a little bit of thinking.

First we remembered that there was a huge Belfast sink that we’d lent to somebody years before and they hadn’t actually used it.


So that was the main body or pool for the water feature.

In the shed when we moved in there was a large mirror that had a chip at one corner apart from that it was Basically okay. I decided that that would form a backdrop to this sink based water feature.

It would make sense to fill it with rocks that were also lying around in our new garden.

Now all I needed was a plastic box as a reservoir for the water.

So all the elements that I needed were assembled. I decided to balance the sink on some spare bricks that were also just lying around the garden and then the assembly of the water feature was quite straightforward.

At the bottom was the box (it happens to be bright pink). It was surrounded by the bricks. This would also cover up the box and create a more rustic feel. There is an old pair of tights covering the pink box in this picture. It stops debris from falling down to the sinkhole and blocking the pump.


Now for the mechanism.

I was very fortunate, in that when I was discussing the plan for the water feature, I happened to be in the garden centre with my mum. She was looking for something as my birthday present and we came across a solar pump.

In the original set-up the solar panels fixed to the wall high upon the shed above all the plants and get maximum sun from the south when it was sunny.

After nine years or so this system has failed it may be that the electrics corroded or the pump has finally seized for the last time but it has worked really well until this point.

The new Solar Pump doesn’t have to be attached to the wall. It also has rechargeable batteries so it can save a reservoir of energy and the fountain can then be used when it’s not sunny enough. I’ve yet figure exactly where I’m going to position it.

For it to work it needs a reservoir of water so I use rainwater from my water butts. I put in probably a gallon of water every so often if I think the weather’s been quite dry. It’s also quite handy that it doesn’t use electricity because wiring in and adding it to a little garden would have cost , money and require challenges as the electric supply is often susceptible to damp.


Because there’s no plumbing or electrics it takes about one afternoon to assemble this whole thing. Obviously that would take time if you are starting to put it together from scratch but it’s relatively simple and straightforward. The hardest thing is the fact the sink was so heavy!

(This is not an advert for the particular solar unit it’s a blog post about the ingenuity of recycling. If you’d like to make something like this I’m sure you’ll be able to find an appropriate solar pump locally where you live.)


13 comments on “Recycled rubbish = Solar water feature!

  1. lindaswildlifegarden
    August 19, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Awesome update thank you for sharing have a blessed day


  2. Frugal Hausfrau
    August 19, 2014

    Very clever.


    • lizard100
      August 19, 2014

      Thank you. I do like it and the way we came up with all the aspects.


  3. truckerturningwrite
    August 20, 2014

    Well done. Those Belfast sinks are very sought after nowadays.


    • lizard100
      August 20, 2014

      I figured that out later. All very fancy in the modern home with the ole aga!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. roughseasinthemed
    August 21, 2014

    We rescued a Belfast sink from someone’s garden for our first house, washed it out and put it in the kitchen. They’re great for washing dog tins and big pans. We’ve put them in every house.


    • lizard100
      August 21, 2014

      It is a fantastic thin. This one came from a university science room refit.


  5. Terri&Anna-May
    August 21, 2014
  6. Green Bee
    August 21, 2014

    Really smart. So interesting to see what others can achieve. Hopefully it will inspire me to get creative when I start work in my garden in a few months.


    • lizard100
      August 21, 2014

      It was a really nice project. I like everything about it. Especially when the sun is shining. Thank you for the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Rambling Woods
    August 23, 2014

    Oh we in the states are so behind…or we don’t care..well some of us do and do try


    • lizard100
      August 23, 2014

      It’s not the kind if project most people would do. Ironically without plumbing and wiring it was easier than a traditional fountain.


  8. beeseeker
    May 29, 2015

    fascinating project.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2014 by in Gardening, recycling and tagged , , .

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