This post is brought to you by Smartpond.
When we bought our house, we had this ugly pond that the previous owners built in our yard. It was too close to the house; it needed a lot of work on it to make it functional; and it had creatures living in it that were noisy. I mean, the frogs that lived there sounded like they were under my bed, croaking all night long. And, on top of that, it was a danger to our young grandchildren, who were drawn to the water hole. This is what it looked like from our porch:
We drained the pond and filled it in a couple of years ago. We have been thinking about making a butterfly garden, so when Smartpond asked me to try some of their products, we said yes. Fabgrandpa and I discussed how we wanted to go about creating a beautiful Smartpond fountain and butterfly garden. This is the drawing we came up with:
The octagon shaped thing in our drawing is a sort of deck, to place a half barrel on to hold the fountain. Because our yard is not very level, and we wanted to be able to place pots of annuals around the pond and plant perennials in the ground as well, we decided to build the small deck. It measures about 2.5 feet on all sides. We hire a local handy man to do things like this for us because we are both disabled, but it is an easy project to do on your own if you are handy with carpenter tools. The cost of the deck supplies was a total of $140.00. The handy man charged us $100 to go and pick up supplies, build the deck, and then put the fountain together for us, and to add an outdoor electric plug. It doesn’t look like much all by itself. Some of my friends stopped by to ask what the heck it was!
Next, I went shopping for flowers and a half barrel at Lowes. I found some very pretty coreopsis, shasta daisies, and cone flowers. I also looked at butterfly bushes, some lantana, and some yarrow. I think we have decided on getting some Mexican heather too. You can probably tell I like the wildflower look. Here is a pic of some of the things I got at Lowes:
Along the way, after we had made our original design, I found a cute fish ceramic ornamental statue thing that I just fell in love with. It was just about the same price as the pump handle we had talked about, and I liked it more. So, for $39, I bought the fish to use as the “spit” for the fountain. It already had a hole in the bottom, so it was a perfect choice.
The other day, my handy man came back to put together the fountain. We had a Smartpond Complete Pump Filter Kit, which is available at Lowes. It is a complete pump system, which makes building a fountain so easy even I could do it. All there was to it was to immerse the pump in water, hook up the 1/2 inch tubing, and plug it in. We had that fish spitting water in no time at all!
So, when my handy man came back, he cut the liner to fit the half barrell, and stapled it to the top of the barrel. Then, he built a wooden platform for the ceramic fish to sit on, and lined the top of it with leftovers from the liner. Next, he immersed the pump and filter kit in the water, and attached the half inch tubing to it. The tubing was connected to the pump, up over the back of the barrel, and through the hole in the bottom of the ceramic fish. The tube was threaded through the fish to come out just at the mouth. When the pump was turned on, the water started spitting out of the fish’s mouth. This whimsical pond is exactly what I had envisioned when I saw that fish, and like I said, it was so easy to do I probably could have done it myself, if not for the carpentry work that needed to be done.
I am so excited to be planting flowers next. So many birds, such as humming birds, goldfinches, wrens, pine siskins, and more, are attracted to the sound of running water. The flowers we are choosing are ones that will also attract humming birds and butterflies. What do you think of my Smartpond Fountain project so far? To see the pond with flowers planted, and video of it running, click here.