Building your own backyard water feature is a fun project for do-it-yourself types that has become much easier in recent years with lots of kits and products on the market. If you understand some landscape construction basics and don’t mind getting a little dirty, creating your own bubbling rock water feature is a fun & satisfying project that will bring you the benefits of the sound of trickling water at a fraction of the expense of a waterfall or a full-sized- pond.
The idea of a bubbling rock is to have water emerging from a hole in the top and trickling down onto other stones in a reservoir or small pond. You will need a feature rock with a hole, additional rocks to surround it, a pond liner and a water pump with hose or tubing.
Plan Your Water Feature
There are two basic design styles for water features: natural and architectural.
Natural water features are built to blend into a naturalistic landscape, drawing on the appearance of a mountain stream or waterfall for inspiration.
Architectural water features, while using natural materials, are not trying to look like something you would find in nature. They might, for example, consist of a single tall rock that bubbles water onto a surrounding field of evenly sized pebbles or river rock. It’s an opportunity to feature several striking rocks that are not necessarily matching.
A tall, irregular or square cut slab can have a very modern and striking look on its own or paired with a large piece of amethyst or petrified wood. At Grand River Stone we are sure to have a stone or combination that suits your taste for your water feature.
Find a Location
Your bubbling rock feature should not overwhelm or underwhelm the space it occupies. If you have a small patio, don’t build a huge water feature. Save that for a large backyard with a large sitting area.
Install your water feature where you can enjoy it on a daily basis. Most people love the sounds of this feature, so place it near the area of your yard that you most like to relax in.
The Bubbling Rock
Grand River Stone has a large selection of decorative stones to choose from including sparkly mica, granite, turquoise, and amethyst to holey moss rock.
Ideally you will find a rock with an existing natural hole in it. Moss rock is one great option- they are naturally gnarled and full of holes. If you need to make a hole in your selected rock, diamond core drill bits are available from a rental store.
Don’t be tempted to go with a kit that has a fake fiberglass rock- natural stone will last longer and look better.
Your bubbling rock will need to sit in some kind of water basin. Plastic pond liners come in a variety of sizes and can be cut to size. Some bubbling rocks emerge from a pool of water; some sit in a field of rocks with little visible surface water. The choice is yours, but be sure the volume of water is sufficient for the size of pump.
The Water Pump
If you purchased a bubbling rock kit, it may have the pump, tubing and a filter included. If you are buying supplies piece by piece, check with your landscape supplier to make sure you will get the result you want. Let them know if you want a rock that softly bubbles or one that gushes water. Be sure there is a power source available for your pump. It is best to have a licensed electrician do electrical work.
The Surrounding Rocks
If you are going the natural route with your design, you will want rocks that blend in well with your bubbling rock. A variety of sizes is important. You might select and place a few rocks close to the size of the bubbling rock, then some smaller rocks, gradually working down to the river rock that lines the pond or forms the surface of your feature.
For an architectural water feature, rocks do not have to match, but the colors and shapes should complement each other. One approach is to have the bubbling rock stand out from the other rocks because of its larger size or dramatic shape.
As a final touch, add some ferns, perennials or low shrubs around your bubbling rocks water feature. Then sit back and enjoy the results of your hard work.
Visit us! We have the widest selection of natural stone in southwestern Ontario.