Our Courtyard Fountain Before & Afters

We’ve chosen (and installed!) our new courtyard fountain and can’t wait to show you here!

In our last post, we shared why we needed to take out the old courtyard fountain that had been in the front patio of our fixer upper for 30 years. I briefly toyed with the idea of planting another olive tree in the basin, but no…we definitely wanted another fountain there. It just needed to check all the boxes!


old brown fountain in basin with water
Why we ripped out our fountain

As we began the search, we quickly realized that shipping costs for a large new fountain could get astronomical. So, we concentrated our efforts on local spots that sold fountains, to avoid unnecessary shipping costs.

It was a rough road with slim pickins, but we found three decent options.


3 Potential Courtyard Fountain Contenders

As mentioned in my post listing our requirements for the new fountain, one of those requirements was smaller basins. I wanted to turn the largest existing basin into a planter, then perch the new fountain we found in the middle of the planter.

This option worked functionally with the smaller basins, but it didn’t have the “European village square” look that I had envisioned in my mind (and was getting increasingly attached to).

4-tiered round fountain with spigots

This next one would use even less water, which was great, but I was NOT diggin’ the Gothic-style carvings around the outer edge. It was also a little squatty for what I was wanting in our patio courtyard.

fountain with 4 spouts

Then it happened. I was looking online and found “THE” fountain. However, online = shipping cost.

I started hunting around for local shops that might carry it. Nothin’.

I expanded my search to the greater L.A. area, and my persistence was rewarded. I didn’t even have to drive there with my two small children! (Can you hear the angels singing?) The guy sent me a picture from his cell phone and it was EXACTLY the one from the brand I’d found online.

Mediterranean fountain with 4 spigots


Gloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-ria! In Excelsis Deo! (I know it’s a little early for Christmas, but this is the song that the angels were singing, just in case you were wondering.)


Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Even better, they had TWO different color finish options in this same style! (Or worse, because then that meant I had to make a decision, which took quite a long time because they were both good options.)

And DEFINITELY even better than all that, he would

  1. Give me a discount because it was a floor model, and
  2. they would deliver it for peanuts. (OK, not actual peanuts, but you know what I mean. Peanuts, people!)

I kept wondering if there was some kind of hidden angle to the whole thing, but nope. It arrived safe and sound and working beautifully.


Preparing the Base

Let me back up slightly. While the delivery guys were on their way, we needed to prep the basin for the new fountain and planter scenario.

Because the existing fountain base was lower than the line of where I’d want to fill with soil, we needed a way to lift it up onto a higher pedestal.

Here’s the view of the old fountain from our front door:

old brown fountain in empty water basin
Round one of our European courtyard cafe!

After removing the old fountain, Matt built a new raised base for the fountain by stacking and gluing together cement blocks. That way, the new fountain base would be just slightly above the line of soil we’d be filling the lower basin with for the plants I planned.

empty fountain basin with pedestal built


The Installed Fountain

Once our new fountain was delivered, Matt installed the pump, we filled it with water, and then we listened to the sweet, sweet sound of a working fountain in our front patio.

Looks pretty snazzy, huh? We’re soooooooooooooooooo happy with it! And about to get happier, because…

new pedestal fountain installed in basin with flagstone surround


…the best time was coming up next. Planting time!


What plants to use?

Now, I couldn’t plant just anything in here. Because there was no way to get a sprinkler system to this new fountain planter (no EASY way), I needed to find something that wouldn’t need consistent water. Something I could water occasionally when I was out there, but that wouldn’t die if I went a week without getting to it.

Enter our Succulent Solution!

new fountain installed in planter with  succulents


SO much better! This fountain

  1. Looks better,
  2. saves dozens of gallons of water use, and
  3. has proved to be the perfect place for our succulent garden!

It’s also proved to be a great place for the girls to dig around and learn about gardening, because it’s lifted up right at their height. And I’m not worried about them digging up anything by accident because succulents are so forgiving. (In fact, the girls now think ANY plant can just be broken off and stuck in the dirt to grow roots…yeah, we’ve had to correct that…although I AM proud of how many plant names my children know. It’s impressive. As we walk into Target: “Look mama! A bird of paradise!” As we’re at a dentist appointment, looking out the window: “Mama, I spy a red hot poker!” Cracks me up.)


The Before & After


old brown fountain in basin with water


Mediterranean-style fountain in planter with succulents


With the sun setting in the above photo, it’s a perfect way to leave you with a parting shot.

See why we ripped out the old fountain, as well as Round 1 of our European-style courtyard patio.

And you can check out our backyard renovation here!

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