If you're looking for an eye-catching feature for your patio, deck or even front entry, this natural-looking artesian fountain will do the trick. We designed this fountain around a special stone, one with a 1-in. hole drilled through it. Water from the pump gurgles up through the hole and overflows the stone. To reduce maintenance, we eliminated the collection pond. A gravel-filled reservoir below collects the overflow for recirculation. Since no sunlight can reach the water in the reservoir and support algae growth, the water stays pristine. You'll have algae growing near wet areas, but it only contributes to the natural look.
In this article, we'll show you how to select and drill a boulder that'll mimic a natural artesian well. We'll also show you how to construct a simple under-gravel reservoir using 5-gal. pails. The decorative choices—the top-dressing stones, fountain stone and plants—we leave to your own creative eye and inspiration.
The whole building process is simpler than you might think, and you don't need any special skills or tools. But it's not a completely no-sweat job. You'll have to dig an 8 x 10-ft. hole about 2 ft. deep and dump in gravel. That's the only genuinely heavy work. You can easily have this project up, running and finished in a day once you've gathered the materials.
The fountain we show cost about $1,000 including the pump, rock fill, pond liner and pad, and all of the boulders, including the one that's drilled. But your pond doesn't have to be as large and elaborate as ours. You can design a smaller version that will cost as little as $200. All you need is one water-spouting boulder resting in a small area of decorative stone for a beautiful conversation piece for your garden.
Original article and pictures take http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Outdoor-Projects/Water-Features/Fountains/how-to-build-a-low-maintenance-water-feature/Step-By-Step site