Take a neglected patio from drab to fab with new furnishings, a surface upgrade and a cool fountain.

Backyard before

Carved out of a steep backyard, this sand and gravel patio area appealed to no one except stray cats (ew!).

Remove gravel and sand

The first order of business was to remove the thick layer of sand and yard detritus. After years of neglect, it was more of a litter box than a patio. Pretty gross.

Electrical line

Then, an electrical line was installed from the nearby garage to provide power for the fountain and outdoor lighting.

Fountain and seating

A new surface of crushed gravel offers solid footing for colorful furniture and a bubbling pondless fountain.

Patio chairs

A pair of chairs with a side table in between offers a quiet spot to enjoy a cocktail.

Chairs and plants

Include some potted plants on the table and around the patio to blend the area with the retaining wall garden above.

Fountain chairs and garden

Surrounded by small Mexican beach pebbles in black and jade, the trickling water feature adds sound and movement to the reinvented patio. Here’s how we created it in a weekend with Oase’s easy-to-assemble components.



Dig a hole deep enough for the pondless basin (Oase’s is 24 inches square and 12.5 inches deep) and a trench for any new electrical wiring.

fountain basin in gravel


Use gravel in the bottom of the hole to create a level base for the basin. Insert the basin and backfill around the sides with additional gravel.

enclosing fountain basin


Fill the basin with water, insert the pump (ours is Oase’s 525-gallon-per-hour fountain pump) into the basin and run the cord through the hole in the lid to your source of electricity.

fountain tubing and pot


Cut a length of ¾-inch tubing to run from your pump to your vessel. Attach tubing through the lid to the pump according to manufacturer’s directions.

fountain pot with piping


Insert a ¾-to-½-inch PVC pipe reducer into drainage hole of vessel, larger side down. Seal with silicone and let dry. Attach tubing to PVC pipe and stand vessel up.

running fountain


Inside vessel, attach a length of ½-inch irrigation pipe to the pipe reducer, long enough to reach just below the rim. Fill with water, place pebbles and start pump.


Basin $129
Pump & tubing $58
Vessel $100
Rocks $45
Crushed granite $80

TOTAL $412

Fountain patio

With a little imagination, a free weekend, some elbow grease and a water feature, the area became an inviting enclave that wraps around a seating area perfect for relaxing at the end of a long day.


Thanks to OASE Living Water for sponsoring this post.


© Caruth Studio

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