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Common Household Remedies Request

This is one of my garden projects for this year: the water feature. Here is a diagram of one implementation, obviously more buttoned-up than anything I would do:

The stacked stones are actual stones ( New York Bluestone flagstone, whatever that is) and not resin (ugh).

And here is a cutaway diagram showing the assembled fountain:

I'm waiting on the power cord for the pump (I couldn't find something solar powered), and I also need to order the "decorative rock" (pleasantly rounded river pebbles, I would think) from my landscape supply house (along with a few yards of soil and some stone dust, but that is another story).

The diagram does not show the water is actually recirculated: The water, having been pumped upward, trickles down over the fountain's rocks, then onto the "decorative stone," and then through the "perforated lid," and thence into the "bucket" (which I called a "reservoir") from whence the pump recirculates it upward. (A plastic liner goes underneath the decorative stone, so as water flows down over the stones toward the holes in the lid it doesn't pick up leaves and dirt.)

Well, the whole apparatus gets shipped in the bucket, and because I can't open packages without clumsily tearing and ripping them open, I busted the "perforated lid" in in the unpackaging phase of the project. So I got a white plastic bucket from my local coffee shop, and I'm also going to have to cut or carve "perforations" in its lid. (To fair to myself, the holes in the lid weaken it substantially, so it was quite easy to break the original lid by bending it upward.)

Here is a photo-diagram showing progress so far:

As you can see, I've dug a hole for the bucket! In very heavy clay, I might add; and you can see some roots from the cut-down but still evil Norway Maple stacked up in the background.

You can see the area that I intend to cover with "decorative stone"; the 18-inch trowel gives a rough idea of the diameter of the stone area: Maybe 8 feet wide, 6 tall. (It only now occurs to me that I'm going to have to make sure the liner is big enough.)

So this is my question: Will birds feel safe enough to land at the fountain given an 8x6-foot clear area? The filbert trees are still quite small; the flowerbed in the front is mostly violets and pansies, which are not tall; the Black-eyed Susans in back will rise to two or three feet. I would think I'll get plenty of beneficial insects regardless, but I really had my heart set on birds. Readers?

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

When watering our lawn (with a sprinkler) and garden the birds flock to the spray to bath and cool off. A number of different varieties enjoy the hell out of it.
I see no reason North American birds would behave any differently...

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on filter the water going into the pump. Soil, sand, or other debris will erode the impeller thereby shortening its life.

Submitted by lambert on

So they want a clear space around the fountain, so they don't have to worry about cats hiding in tall plants, and then leaping out and killing them when they land to drink.

blues's picture
Submitted by blues on

Don't you think the filbert trees will get kind of, you know, big soon?

Also, unless changed every so often, the water will build up salts.

Submitted by lambert on

And I think they are really a best big shrubs.

If they get too big, I'll just move the fountain. Good point on the salts, but where will they come from? I don't intend for the water to contact soil in any way; that's what the liner is for.

Submitted by lambert on


Corylus americana American Hazelnut or American Filbert 12-18' x 10-15' Squirrels, bluejays and humans alike relish the sweet excellent nuts of this multi-stemmed rounded native shrub. Collect the crop as soon as the husks begin to turn brown and lose their sticky yellowness. In central Maine that’s around the third week of September. Showy catkins in spring. Dark green serrated foliage in summer. A patchwork of reds, yellows, oranges and greens in autumn. Suckers from the roots. Excellent for naturalizing in thickets. The main pest is nut weevil, which leaves a “hit” mark on the nut shell. (Raking up drops and spraying Surround may help with controlling this problem.) Prefers well-drained soils and is pH adaptable. Full sun or light shade. May be self-fruitful but for best nut sets plant more than one shrub, 4–6' apart. Usually bears tasty 1/2" nuts 3–5 years after planting. Native to the U.S. Z4. ME Grown. (1-3')

So, 15-feet tall, maximum. Probably planted those two too close together, but it's probably not too late to move one.

blues's picture
Submitted by blues on

What I mean is, the fountain will cause water to evaporate, so you will have to add more now and then. All water contains salts, and as you add more, "pure" water will be distilled into the air, causing the salts to slowly concentrate. Eventually they will get messy and clog everything. So it has to be changed sometimes.

You know, even distilled water is nowhere near pure. Super-pure water is used in the semiconductor industry to wash chips. It's not like ordinary water at all, and is a super-solvent. If one were to drink it for a few days it would leach so much out of one's body the person would die. (Just a fun fact.)

Submitted by lambert on

Our municipal water is heavily chlorinated, so you're right. I'll have to keep topping up. If I were more handy, I'd arrange for rain barrel collection, but I don't have gutters in convenient places.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Pictures, do have any of the finished watering hole? Please start a new thread. Thanks for once again giving me some place to grow.

Submitted by lambert on

The weird stretch of discouragingly cold and rainy weather for the last week threw all my plans into disorder, and I need to finish up my vegetables. That's almost done, and this is next on the list.

I'm anxious to get to the point where all I have to do in the garden is sit. That is my goal!