The Centre Bed incorporating the Water Feature

Following completion of the steps we turned our attention to the centre bed. As has been said, this was originally an ornamental pond with a central fountain. When we came to Leahurst the surrounding wall was in a poor state, the pond had been filled in and was being used as a flower bed. We had a new surrounding wall built outside the original when the swimming pool was installed and continued to use the bed for planting. We thought that more could be made of of this and decided to make a tiered bed with a central monolith as a focal point.

The centre bed as it had been for many yearsThe plants removed ready for excavation of the soil

The centre bed as it had been since the pool was installed - and starting work on excavating the soil

Laying the cable for the water feature pump

As a water feature the central point of the bed would have a stone monolith with a hole drilled through it so that water could be pumped up to cascade down the sides of the stone into a reservoir tank beneath - the image above shows the channel dug to lay the electric supply to the pump.

Building up the first tierThe first tier complete and levelling the reservoir tank

The tank in position and the start of the second tierCompletion of the second tier

The reservoir tank in place with the start of the second tier - and the second tier completed

The second tier was built up above the level of the rim of the reservoir tank. The space between the tank and the surrounding brickwork was filled with sand and aggregate and a smooth concrete surface layed funnelling water that would land on it back down into the tank.

The galvanised grid over the tank with the pump installedThe finished project ready for planting

The grid in place with a butyl liner over the surrounding concrete - and the finished project

It was necessary to overlay the concrete surrounding the tank with a butyl pond liner lipping over the tank so that no water would be lost. The water would be pumped up through the monolith to cascade down to the surrounding stones on its way back to the tank to complete it's cycle.

The Alpine plants in their potsThe initial planting

The soil in the lower tier would inevitably be very dry as it has quite little depth over the old concrete surround for the oginal pool. Consequently here we decided to plant succulents such as Semper Vivans. The upper tier, on the other hand, would still be well drained but nowhere near so dry - ideal for small Alpine plants. The water would simply recirculate and would only need topping up to compensate for evaporation.

The Alpines ready for planting - and the tiered beds early on

The planting more established

The finished project with the planting more established

Back to the Home Page