cascade after
The cascade water feature adds color and interest to the patio, inviting one to linger a little longer.

Easy To Build Planter Cascade

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The corner of an ordinary patio lacks life and vitality and is the perfect place for our planter cascade.

Small patio features often benefit from the addition of potted plants. This planter cascade is no exception, and look-alike planters have been used to contain both water and plants. Although the containers may be made of various materials, they should be geometric and regular in shape. Sizes may be different to those illustrated, provided they fit together attractively. Those which hold water must be absolutely waterproof, while the planted containers should have holes for drainage.


4 x troughs 600 mm x 600 mm x 200mm (2ft x 2ft x 8in)
2 x planters 380 mm x 380 mm x 380 mm (1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in)
2 x planters 380 mm x 380 mm x 580 mm (1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in x 2 ft) 48 bricks
1 x 200 mm
x 12 mm (8 in x ½ in) semi-rigid tubing
1 x 1.5 m x 10 mm (5 ft x ⅜ in) flexible tubing
5 x 100 mm x 16 mm (4 in x ⅝ in) rigid PVC pipe
1 x submersible pump, with 1.4 m (4 ft 6 in) water head

Step 1. Seal the drainage holes in three of the troughs with a two-part epoxy putty.

Step 2. Trim the ends of the PVC pipe at an angle to form an angled spout. Give the rough edges a light sanding.

Step 3. To accommodate the pipe, you will need to drill holes in two of the sealed troughs, 25 mm (1 in) below the rim and at 200 mm (8 in) centers apart. In the fourth trough (which is to be used as a planter), drill one central hole for the PVC spout. Presuming you are using PVC with a 16 mm (⅝ in) bore, all these holes should be about 20 mm (¾ in)in diameter.

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Step 4.

Step 4. Position the five pieces of pipe in the holes and secure with epoxy putty. Make sure they are all level or the water will not flow through evenly.

Step 5. When the putty is dry, you can paint the troughs if you wish. Decorate the planters at the same time.


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Step 6.

Step 6. Place the loose bricks as indicated (in the picture above) to provide a stepped support for the troughs. If you are using containers with different dimensions, this arrangement will have to be altered. Make sure the bricks are secure and level.

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Step 7.

Step 7. Now you can position the water troughs on the bricks, with the container without spouts on the ground. Use a spirit level lengthwise on each one (see picture above) to ensure they are level. It is easier to make adjustments now than when they are full of water.

Fitting the pump

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Step 8.

Step 8. You will probably need to drill a 16 mm (⅜ in) hole in the bottom of the top trough so that you can push the semi-rigid tubing through it and into the top spout. Join the other end to the flexible tubing, which is, in turn, attached to the pump.

Step 9. When you position the top trough, make sure the tubing falls through the gap in the bricks so that you can lead it out through one side. Position the pump in the bottom trough.

Finishing off
Step 10. Now you can position the planters, with the highest two at the back. Once they are planted, you will be unlikely to notice the tubing.

Step 11. Fill the troughs with water and plug the pump into a suitably waterproofed outdoor socket, or into the nearest indoor socket. Switch on the power and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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