a small stream. a shallow channel cut in the surface of soil or rocks by running water. variant spelling of rille.`
How to Build a Rill Water Garden A rill water garden resembles an industrial water feature. Related Articles 1 Maintain Water Gardens Without Pumps 2 DIY Garden Fountains 3 Roman Style Water Features 4 Build a Japanese Garden Bridge A rill water garden offers the sensual benefits of moving water to a contemporary home and garden design through its geometric-style architectural structure. As a narrow canal, a rill water garden feature can connect two different landscape elements, such as decks or other structures. Grow trailing or creeping plants along the edges of the rill for a softening effect.
Excavation 1 Dig a trench four inches wider and four inches deeper than the desired width and length of your rill.
2 Excavate a large hole at one end of the trench for your water reservoir. The reservoir can be constructed with sand, a pond liner and concrete, or it can be a buried container, as this portion of the rill structure is concealed. The larger the reservoir, the less often it is necessary to replenish the water supply.
3 Dig a narrow, shallow trench parallel to and approximately six inches from the rill trench.
Trough 1 Line the rill trench on the bottom and sides with a 1-inch layer of builder’s sand. Also line the reservoir unless you plan to bury a water tank – a bucket, wooden barrel or other container to hold water. Smooth the sand with a wide, flat board.
2 Place a layer of pond liner on top of the sand layer.
3 Measure the length and depth of your rill trench. Using a board that is as wide as the depth of your trench, minus 3 inches, cut the board to the length of your trench plus 8 inches. If you do not have a board wide enough, use plywood.
4 Nail stakes at each end of board that are long enough to be driven into the ground and still leave 3 inches between the bottom of the attached board and the pond liner in the bottom of the rill trench. Drive the stakes into the ground outside of the rill at each end. Space the board three inches from the pond liner on the side of the rill. Make and install the same kind of form on the other side of the trench.
5 Prepare concrete mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour a 3-inch-thick layer of concrete in the bottom of the rill trench. Fill the space between the form and the pond liner on each side of the rill with concrete to complete the concrete trough.
6 Allow the concrete to cure for five to seven days before you run water into the rill. Although concrete dries to the touch within a few hours, it needs additional time to reach optimal strength and durability.
Header 1 Construct a header – a wall that prevents water from escaping from the end of the water feature – 3 to 4 inches taller than the desired water depth of your rill, using bricks and mortar at the end of the trench opposite the reservoir.
2 Leave an opening between bricks near the top of the header. Make the opening wide enough for a piece of PVC pipe with a diameter large enough to allow a water pump tubing to pass through.
3 Mix mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the opening, mortar in a piece of PVC pipe that is as wide as the depth of your header wall.
Connect the Pump 1 Attach tubing to a recirculating pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Put the pump in the reservoir.
2 Run the tubing through the narrow trench beside your rill and push the end of the tubing through the PVC pipe in the header.
3 Put your electrical cord through a PVC pipe and lay it in the trench. Pull the plug end of your electrical cord out at the end of the PVC pipe. Cover the trench with dirt.
4 Fill the reservoir with water. Plug in the electrical cord to an outlet. Use rocks or wooden structures of your choice to conceal the reservoir and header. Install creeping plants or trailing plants at the edges of your rill to create a water garden. Finish off the top edge of your rill trough with bricks, blocks, rocks or other decorative items as desired.
Things You Will Need Shovel Builder’s sand Pond liner Concrete mix 2 wide, flat boards 4 wooden stakes Hammer Nails PVC pipe Bricks Mortar mix Trowel Measuring tape Recirculating pump Tubing