When it comes to water in my garden, I am believe in the old Tennessee adage, "Too much is not enough." Whenever I have an inch to spare or a problem area that needs a revamping, my solution usually is some sort of water element.
Adding to the sensory experience of our landscape are: six birdbaths, from a fancy scrolled Victorian iron to a simple square of granite; three hollowed stone water basins; two wall fountains; a large, two-tier freestanding fountain; a small bubbler; and a mister.
Our water sources attract birds and insects. But even without their visits, the music of the falling water and the pure beauty of sky reflected in a pool make the garden even more magical.
In a small niche close to my studio, we had what I called the "disaster pond." Ugly, set incorrectly into the ground so it always looked lopsided, and with a pump that never quite functioned, the pond needed to be pulled out and reworked.
We visited our local Lowe's and perused the nursery for a new pump and pool. We found a SmartPond Illumnifalls kit, which provided a pump, pool, tubing, and a 12-inch-wide water cascade with an energy-efficient LED light.
The project looked quick and easy, but we seem to never do things the easy way. The suggested concrete pavers just didn't sync with our old Spanish Revival house and gardens.
My work force (husband Jeff) designed a 2-foot-high by 4-foot-wide tiled backsplash surrounded by a redwood 2x4 frame, which he mounted above the pool.
Jeff covered the backsplash with tiles left over from other projects and matched them to the tile work on the exterior pillars of my studio. To contrast with the backdrop to the spillway, he used smaller and more colorful tiles.
Once Jeff mounted the backsplash, he surrounded the edge of the pool with stones to match our walkways and terraces. I tucked heuchera, tiarella, and liriope between the stones.
It took a few days of work, a bit of recycling and a dose of imagination, but the ugly "disaster pond" beside my studio now lives with the sound and sight of spilling water, the colors of tiles and plants, and the visits of dragonflies and birds.
This project was so successful that I'm searching the garden for a few feet of space for another fountain. "Too much is not enough." But don't mention that to Jeff yet.
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