30 June 2008

Fountain of Youth

Oh, my poor, poor Grackle blog. Neglected just as my garden has been. I'm sorry, poor blog, but I've just been so uninspired lately, what with the late spring hail storm followed by these oven-bakin' Texas summer days. The garden has been last on my mind. (Barton Springs, on the other hand, has been first.)

Tomatoes hang deflated and limp on the vine, beans are too damned hot to set, and all things scraggly have made me turn a blind eye.

But, alas! I was inspired this past weekend to make a fountain (despite the oncoming drought).

This is my first foray into fountain-hood, and I must say, I think it went relatively well. I built the thing in my herb garden with a few cheap parts from Lowe's and some old steel weights (for lifting) that our previous owner left behind. I wanted to reuse the weights for something and the fountain seemed the perfect fit. An added bonus is that the weights are interchangeable and I have several sizes. So, if I ever get tired of the black column, and can change things up a bit.

Here's the fountain in progress:

Ack! Avert your eyes! This is the herb bed, pre-fountain, looking super nasty and just plum worn out (like me after a bike ride).

I bought this lovely metal container at Breed & Co. and buried it in the ground to hold the water and the pump.

I placed left over bits of hog/horse fencing over the pail, then old window screen over that (this screen, in fact, was damaged from the hail storm). The tube sticking through is the fountain, connected below to the pump on the bottom.

I stacked the weights (two 25-pounders + eight 10-pounders) and pulled the fountain through. Here it is with water trickling over the sides!

Finally, I finished it off with river rock and mulch all around. Voila!

I'm in hopes that the weights get kinda rusty and maybe even algal. Green gloop would be cool. But for now, I probably won't run it too much. The afternoon sun bears down on this area, heats up the black weights and makes the water evaporate darn quick. This may be more of a fall-winter-spring feature (too bad, because the light trickling sound sure is a nice edition on a warm summer eve).

We'll see how it evolves. In the end, it felt really good to be back in the garden. This summer (dryer-than-dry and hotter-than-hot) is definitely not like last one (wet and cool). It's actually quite amazing that plants are adapted to handle such extremes...and without air conditioning too...


Annie in Austin said...

What an ingenious fountain, Lee! I hope the sound makes you feel cooler.

Our fountain has a depression on the top where the water pools...we're getting tons of birds. Does the bottom ring on your fountain hold water? If so your garden art may become a hangout for the other kind of grackles:-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Laura said...

glad to see you posting again, i have had the same, uninspiring garden lately also. lots of wilty looking veggies with no one to care for them much. cheers to the project, it looks great.

Lee17 said...

That is FABULOUS!! I absolutely dig how creative that is. And it looks so nice ;) The birds are gonna love it. They sit around the base of my fountain and catch the water as it flows over the edge of the jar.

Diana said...

Lee - wow. Cool looking fountain -- cool in both senses of the word. And you do have to have some other focus these days. It's so hard to weed and garden right now in this heat. Like you, I've neglected my blog as well. Vacation interrupted last week and will again next week. Oh well, it's a good thing we're all good friends and there aren't any rules about this stuff!! Enjoy your fountain - it's delightful.