Resin water features

Updated February 21, 2017

Resin is a synthetic mix of urethane, polyester, silicone and epoxy. It can be used with fibreglass or by itself to make moulded objects like garden statues and fountains, artificial boulders and tough, long-lasting basins to hold water. The material is easy to colour, "age," and disguise as real rocks, plaster or other organic substances. Because it is strong when hardened, objects made from resin are hollow and extremely light.


Resin boulders and rock slabs can be stacked in a pile or cemented to a form to make a convincing waterfall that doesn't require heavy lifting and a visit to a quarry. The resin rocks look real, even close up, and they can easily cover a frame or cone to achieve the height necessary for the water to fall. If the waterfall sits over a hidden basin and doesn't empty into a pond, resin boulders are perfect. They add almost no weight to the wire mesh screen that supports the waterfall, while allowing water to spill back into a pump chamber below for recycling. You can easily arrange and rearrange the "rocks" until you get the look and the angle of falling water that you want. Some resin waterfalls come pre-made--all you have to do is find the right spot, set up the hidden basin or attach the structure to the pond pump, and enjoy the instant water feature in your yard.

Pond basins and boulders

The simplest backyard pond is a hole in the ground filled with a moulded resin basin to hold the water and pump. Pond basins come in all shapes and sizes, from formal rectangles to amoeba-like curves that mimic the irregular outline of a natural pond. The basins are simple to install and don't require pond liners, as they are tough and hold water. Just level the hole before putting the basin in it. Add a layer of crushed gravel to stabilise the base, and cover that with a layer of sand to protect the basin from abrasion. Use resin boulders and real stone slabs and pavers around the edge of the pond to disguise the basin and give the pond and its surroundings a natural appearance. Once the pond is planted with some grasses and the border gets a few ferns and ground cover, no one will be able to tell you hoisted those featherweight boulders by yourself and built the thing in an afternoon.

Garden fountains

Resin is an ideal material for making garden fountains, because it can be tinted, stained and textured to resemble various types of stone--including marble--stucco or even wood. A resin fountain may be as elaborate as the reusable mould it was cast from; that means your cost for a Greek, Victorian or Tuscan masterpiece is a fraction of the cost you would pay for stone. Resin fountains hold up very well in sun, cold weather and constant moisture--but they won't wear and mellow like stone, and when they begin to deteriorate you should replace them. Keep an eye out for any birds that use the fountain as a bird bath. You should clean it regularly if birds use it, to avoid clogging the pump with organic matter.

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About the Author

Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .