Saturday, June 2, 2018

My Fountain Overfloweth

Success! I have been able to get the fountain in my new Paradise Garden to bubble forth like I had hoped it would. As I mentioned in my last post, I installed the fountain pump under the milk can, ran the output pipe up through a hole I cut in the bottom of the can, and then filled the sheep tank with water.

But when I turned on the pump, water sprayed out of numerous rivet holes all around the shoulder seam of the leaky can, which was not part of the design of my simple, bubbling fountain. So I used a spray sealant inside the can, and tried running it again the next day. After a few more adjustments, now the water bubbles forth from the top of the milk can and overflows into the tank, just as I had hoped.

The fountain really adds to the enjoyment of being in the Paradise Garden. The sound of the water flowing mingled with the chirping of birds as we sat under the pergola enjoying the gentle breeze yesterday evening. The effect was relaxing, very nice.

I run the fountain 24/7 to prevent algae and mosquitoes taking up residence (I was surprised to calculate that it costs only about $2/month in electricity). So it's enjoyable to be able to see and hear the splashing water every time I walk past to our front door. A nice addition indeed.

Looking through the leaves of my pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), that I temporarily placed in the Paradise Garden until I find an olive tree. You can see that the water splashes out gently onto the pavement, cooling the air around the fountain.

Making my Paradise Garden fountain was a much more pleasant project than the one my husband and I worked on a couple of weeks ago, before it got hot here.

I've been renovating my Pond Garden area, because the pond needed a new liner, and also the four surrounding Pond Garden beds have been steadily invaded by grass. This spring, I dug most of the plants out of the garden beds and removed the edging stones, and we've been spraying the grass to eliminate it. This fall, I'll re-install the stones and put metal edging around them to try to keep out the grass, and then re-plant the removed plants.

But back to replacing the pond liner: I bought a new liner two years ago, but it has sat in my garage since then as I truly dreaded having to drain the pond, dig out all the muck, remove the water lilies, and replace the liner. But I swore we'd tackle the job this year, and a few weeks ago, my long-suffering husband and I did it:

My poor, long-suffering husband....

The good news was that it wasn't nearly as disgusting as I thought it would be -- it didn't smell very bad at all. But the bad news was that the two small water lilies we dropped into the pond five years ago were no longer small, or confined to their planting baskets. I had no idea that they had expanded into huge masses of roots, 3-4 feet in diameter and a foot-and-a-half thick. They weighed so much that my husband had to chop them into pieces small enough to lift. My job was to haul away the clumps in the wheelbarrow and dump them on the compost pile.

We then finished removing the water using buckets and a wheelbarrow, my husband removed the paving stones from the edge, and we pulled the liner out.

The new liner.

It took about a week to fill the pond, as we need to use the softened water from inside our house, and we can't demand too much from the softener in one 24-hour period (our well water is totally iron-filled; standing water turns dark brown on top within an hour).

Still some things to be done, but much improved. 

My husband still needs to re-lay the paving stones around the edge, but the new liner seems to be holding water much better than the old one. I feel very relieved that we have finally gotten this job mostly out of the way. And we'll still work on rejuvenating the garden beds, but that should be much easier.

It hasn't been all hard work around here though. Here are a few shots of what's been blooming:

A dianthus 'Fringed Loveliness' that I planted last year in my scented garden. Smells wonderful.

The cool, shady half of my White Garden, with 'Henryi' clematis and Ornithogalum magnus.

The Border Formerly Known as the Rainbow Border. Since I reorganized it to flowers not strictly in a rainbow order of colors, I don't know just what to call it any more. Perhaps the Big Easy Color Border? I might just keep calling it the Rainbow Border out of habit.... The poppies have already been done in by the heat.

Looking out across the freshly-trimmed boxwood hedges in the Herb Garden. Sweetly scented mock orange Philadelphus 'Innocence' flowers in forefront.

It's finally gotten a bit cooler here, after our near-100° temps of the past two weeks, which is a great relief. I've been getting the last annuals planted and tidying up the aftermath of some of the projects I've been working on. And I'm really hopeful that my gardens have improved with the additions, renovations and eliminated areas that I've been working on this year and last.

There is one last, exciting project to be done this month, a project I have been hoping to do for several years now, but I'll leave that for a future post....

I hope you are enjoying pleasant days in your gardens this weekend, and that your own garden projects are going well. Thanks for reading! -Beth

My 'Rooguchi' clematis, newly planted on the Paradise Garden pergola, has one tiny little bell-shaped flower on it!


  1. Your fountain is very impressive, Beth, as is the work on your pond. The hard work is paying off; your garden is looking lovely. (I am also blessed with a long-suffering husband!) P. x

  2. Wow! The Paradise Garden is really taking shape now that you've solved the fountain. And my back is hurting just thinking about all that work in the pond - a job well done. Beautiful things are happening in your garden. Doesn't it make all the hard work worthwhile? Thanks for sharing.

  3. There's always something to do in the garden, but it's so good when you get the bigger jobs done. Then you can sit back and enjoy the detail; watch plants develop such as that pretty bell-shaped clematis, appreciate the water bubbling up from the fountain and smell the fragrant flowers that you have planted. Well done to you and your husband in all that you have been doing to make your garden areas beautiful.

  4. Goodnesd Beth, I love a new project but this pond renewal job soundd like a killer. What a good thing you have such an obliging husband. But it is a job that is well worth while. Do you have gold fish in the pond?


  5. Hello, passing by to see the news.
    What a beautiful landscape!
    Loved the white picket fence.
    Good continuation of the week.

  6. I love your fountain! It is beautiful, and I agree, hearing water splashing gently is so refreshing. The pond renovation was a lot of work, we're having issues in our dirt-bottom pond with their huge roots, too. We call our garden bed by their 'names' too and often by the names of plants that no longer exist (such as Willie's Bed for our long-gone willow tree) but it makes it easier to find each other in the garden. :-) Your garden is stunning! What a treat.