I have a thing for fountains and other water sources. Maybe living in a summer-dry climate will do that to you.
In the back, I have the wine barrel (above), the large fountain inherited from the previous owners, the hanging fountain, the saucer with sand, the succulent fountain, and the new fountain I got for Christmas. This fountain has a small solar panel included in the bowl, so a small spray adds some sound and movement to attract birds when the sun shines into the bowl.
"Clean water, waterplants, sound. Pick one" said one of my garden design teachers. She's probably right, but she meant "Pick one per fountain," so I have a few of them. And some are just for the birds.
The front garden, regrettably, only had the saucer fountain. The larger, more daring birds were content enough. But I felt that the front garden was crying out for more water sources. So, I came up with a clever plan and did some prep work. Then, on one of those rare days of sunshine, I called my good friend and garden designer Chris to help me. "Bring a level, please," I said. "Oh, I have three different ones," she said. And that was a good thing...
I started bringing the materials to the front. I had a large pot with the holes sealed. I'd used that pot already in the back garden, where the Christmas fountain now is, but my plans this time were more artistic. And we know when I think artistic, I think "Blue Spray Paint".
Yes, I still have plenty left from that other beautification project. So I painted the big blue pot on the inside.
And a smaller black pot from the outside.
I also had a nice collection of leftover flagstones.
And a small solar pump that I had ordered from BestNest.com.
After we had chosen the perfect spot, the first and most important part of the job was to create a level surface. We removed the woodchips carefully, and then removed some dirt. Then I brought all rocky and sandy materials -- some lava rock, some sand, some gravel -- and Chris created the level surface.
It involved a lot of stepping, testing with the level, moving the small rocks and sand, testing again, moving some more rocks, and testing once more. In all directions.
I spent my time meanwhile finding places to put the dirt, and was also sent to the garden center for another 1/2 bag of coarse sand. We used that sand and three flagstones to make a base for the fountain.
OK, here we come to the "don't trust the pictures" part of this report. We later decided we needed the flagstones, removed them, and made the base with 4 square pavers I had. And sand. Again, Chris used here level to make sure we had an even surface. And I, being busy with other things, did not take another picture.
Then came the fun and difficult part. I envisioned a structure that was solid enough to hold up and remain level, but that also looked a little fragile and airy. So, imagine us spending quite a bit of time trying to fit the flagstones, which are by nature not level, on top of each other. Chris used sand to add extra height where needed. We also chipped away some pieces, it's easier to fill a small hole with sand than to compensate for a ledge.
When everything looked level, I lifted the large pot on top. Then I put the pump in and lifted the small pot, upside down, into the large pot. We moved the solar panel to a sunny spot and -- there it was!