Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Kelly Heidbreder


Put those wine bottles to good use

  • Kelly-Heidbreder

    Kelly Heidbreder

  • Toledo-resident-George-Seambos-stands

    Toledo resident George Seambos stands next to his homemade wine bottle water fountain.

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  • FEA-winefountain10p

    The homemade wine bottle water fountain.

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We have made some quirky water features together in my weekly column. We have had water pour over tea cups and small pots and we even made one design with water pouring out of a spigot floating in the air.

This next project will give your guests something to talk about as they wander through your garden and see a never ending supply of vino continually filling your glass.

George Seambos came up with this fun design in one corner of his Toledo landscape. It looks like a wine bottle is gracefully pouring something into glasses poised on a pedestal decorated with lush flowers. Mr. Seambos has been an avid gardener for years and already has many surprises in his back yard. “I saw a similar design for a table top version of one of these on a Web site and made it bigger and better,” he says. 

Let’s build it

Here’s what George says you will need: One plastic 35-gallon barrel with lid, two-inch PVC pipe, two-inch PVC 90 degree elbow, a pond pump, pond liner, plastic tubing, a wine bottle.

The first step is to drill a hole in the wine bottle just big enough to slide the tubing in. Next, we need to put the wine bottle in your fence. It can be any height off the ground, but for this illusion, it looks best if it is about four feet off the ground and will pour into a set of cups sitting on the pedestal.

Drill a hole a little larger than the diameter of the wine bottle in the fence. You want it to be a little loose so the bottle will tip toward the ground without falling out. Now that we have our unique spigot ready to go, we need to work on the pump. Start with a 35-gallon barrel. You can also use a bucket or any type of water reservoir under ground just so it will hold water and have a lid.

Seambos says to cut a two-inch hole in the side of the barrel. “This is done by heating the area on the barrel to soften it enough to punch the PVC pipe through. The PVC pipe is used as a sleeve to hold the water tubing and electrical cord from the pump.” Put a bead of calk around the joint if needed to keep it water tight.

Next he says to dig a hole a little deeper than the barrel and a trench from the barrel to the back of the fence. This trench should be about 12 inches deep. It is where the two inch PVC pipe sits to get the water back up through the spigot. It is also where you will run your electrical cord to plug in your pump. 

Put it together

At this point, you have your spigot in place, your hole and trench are done and your water source is ready to be set in place.

Run the plastic tubing and electrical cord through the two-inch pipe and connect one end to the pump inside the barrel, leaving the other end to be connected to the wine bottle and extension cord on the other side of the fence. Carefully set the barrel and tubing into the hole and trench. 

Give it a try

“It is a good idea to test the system before you cover it up,” said George. “Put some water in the barrel, enough to completely cover the pump, then connect the tubing to the pump and bottle that is stuck in the fence. Test the water flow to be sure you have a large enough pump to push the water at least ten feet from the reservoir up to the wine bottle without losing significant pressure,” Mr. Seambos said.

Once you get all of the parts moving properly, you can cover the system up. Fill the reservoir about three quarters full of water then put the lid on the barrel. Make sure it is about an inch below grade to keep the water flowing into the reservoir and not the rest of your yard.

“Start back-filling around the barrel. You will need to make sure the ground is sloped toward the barrel. This will catch the falling water. With the lid off the barrel, place the pond liner over the area where the water will be filling to help funnel all water back to the reservoir. Cut the liner over the open barrel to over lap it,” he explained.

“Drill holes into the barrel lid. This allows the water to flow back into the barrel for cycling through the system. Put the lid back on the barrel and cover it with pond liner, then cover the area with rock to hold it in place,” he said.

Once you have it covered up, it is time to put a very pretty pedestal and a few glasses underneath it. Plug in the pump and let it run. It may take a few minutes for the water to be pulled up through the bottle. In no time at all, you will have a fun focal point that will stop every visitor to your garden to share a glass of wine.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at

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