Water Pump Upcycle

At an auction many years ago, I spotted an old rusty water pump with graceful curves that I just loved! My sweet husband bought it for me but then it laid in storage for awhile, waiting for me to figure out its purpose.

One day, while sitting on the front porch, I was looking at the bare spot in front of me and thinking about what it needed. Somehow I came up with the idea of having a water feature there. I’d be able to enjoy it from the porch, it would be there to greet visitors, and would add a trickling fountain to my garden. That old rusty pump was the perfect thing! Coupled with a galvanized tank, it would make a wonderful rustic feature that was perfectly in keeping with my casual repurposed esthetic.

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Well…my birthday wasn’t far off, so my husband made a fountain for me. It didn’t take him too long and it has been a gift that has kept on giving ever since.

My Kind of Fun

I’ve had so much fun planting in and around my little garden pond! I planted a purple clematis to wind its way up the pump. I love the delicate curls of its tendrils, and the way its big beautiful blooms contrast with the rusty old pump! I transplanted some sedum and daylilies from around the yard in the beginning, and have gradually added other plants.

I planted a water lily inside and it was the perfect touch! I love how the lily pads and flower contrast with the galvanized metal and rocks. They add softness and color.

The little concrete bear was at our house when we moved in and it had sat neglected and unappreciated. On a whim, I picked it up and sat it atop some rocks so that he looks like he’s fishing. In the spring I like to add some goldfish for even more entertainment.

A water lily blooming in my tiny pond.

Enjoyment Inside and Out

I get enjoyment from the fountain both inside and out. While working outside I enjoy the musical trickling as I weed and water. While sitting on the porch I can watch how the light reflects on the water and study the things I’ve planted around it. I even enjoy watching it all weather and gain more patina. And I can’t help but think what a great idea I had!!

Weather permitting, I love to leave our front door open. From inside I can hear the water trickling, as well as the occasional croaking of visiting frogs.

Through the seasons I’ve enjoyed watching different creatures such a birds, frogs, cats and dogs that have been drawn to it.

A guinea and a cat meet up at the trough.

Click this link to watch a Bird bathing in water fountain.

Who knew that an old rusty water pump would bring so much pleasure?! It was just meant to be upcycled into a beautiful water feature for my garden! I enjoyed sharing it with you and hope it inspires you to see what can be!

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My Garden Style


  1. Katharine

    You know we are moving and the next house has a rather big sunroom which I thought could use a water element, along with a small woodstove for winter. You are making me think! 🙂

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  2. Carole West

    What a fun project and it add a lot of character to your space. Been seeking ideas for a water feature neat my bird park area so I may have to give it some more outside the box thought. This is perfectly unique!

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