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A la claire fontaine

After two years of neglect and disuse, my poor little back yard is in sorry shape. I let it get so bad that I couldn't face it. Finally a couple of weeks ago, my sister came over and did a bunch of clearing for me (I really do have the coolest family). That seemed to unblock the qi, and I've since been restoring the space, bit by bit, to the secret haven of shade and greenery that it was when I built it.

A focal point of the back garden is a fountain. I tipped it on its side to avoid ice damage in the winter (two winters ago, I think...). It's concrete and weighs about 200 pounds, but it's also cantilevered and tippy and needs to be perfectly balanced.

Well, I finally got out there set it up again. Twice. The first time, I got it going only to realize that its spot in the garden was no longer level, and the pump was shot. I took it all apart again, replaced the pump, re-sealed the hole where the cord comes out, leveled and reinforced the ground, scrubbed the basin, washed each of the hundreds of decorative rocks that fill the basin, and finally set it upright, put water in it, and flipped the switch.

Yes, it is very square. What can I say? I like the juxtaposition of flowing water and big concrete squares. The rocks in the basin come from friends and travels all over the world. In the foreground you can just spot one rock that I covered with beads. What else are you gonna do with a beaded rock? You can also make out a rock with a picture of Isis painted on it. That came from Isis Oasis in Geyserville California.

That iridescent blue rock on the ground? Actually just a wet river rock reflecting this afternoon's perfect summer sky. The brown-and-white rock in the upper right that looks like a little loaf of bread was a gift from kispexi2's geologist husband when I visted them in Scotland last year. It's a formation unique, I think, to Mull, and it's one of my favorite gifts.

Next up: Clean the patio table and chairs and eat some dinner out here, to the sound of the bubbling fountain.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
Wow, it's beautiful!

I like the bamboo in the background too. :)
Jul. 1st, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's out there gurgling away right now. And I'm inside. Because no matter how lovely the evening, how enticing the prospect of sitting outdoors, the fact is, there's not much to do out there by myself but watch a movie or be online. And bugs just LOVE the computer screen. :-\

I'm just going to have to finish cleaning it up and then invite some folks over for drinks.
Jul. 1st, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
that is a beautiful fountain! and all the rocks from friends - that is really cool :)

now i want to visit you so i can bring you a cool looking rock :)
Jul. 1st, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
That would be so cool! It's fun here. You should come out sometime.
Jul. 1st, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
That is a kind of sexy fountain. Good design--my mom would approve. :)
Jul. 1st, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks! Concrete is fun stuff to work with. Hard on the hands, but it'll do whatever you tell it to if you're stern with it.
Jul. 1st, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
Oooohhhhh. So beautiful hon! I swear I can hear the water splashing down in musical notes of bliss. Ahhhhhhh. And aren't rocks the best? I freaking love rocks!! I love when I come across unusual ones when I'm out hiking. Sometimes I'll take one home with me if it calls out to me. Others I just admire and leave where they are as I get the feeling they want to stay with their friends and would be homesick if I took them with me. Am I a weirdo or what?
Jul. 1st, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
I love rocks. When I first bought this house--which is situated in bottom land with deep silty soil and no rocks to speak of--a geologist friend of mine gave me a large, smooth river rock as a housewarming gift. It was about a foot across and six inches thick, and weighed around 30 pounds, I'm guessing. The moment I set it down at the corner of a flowerbed next to the house, the whole place kind of went horizontal, kind of "Aaaah!" and grounded.

To this day, I can think of that moment, and that rock (which of course still occupies a special spot in my garden), and be instantly calm myself.
Jul. 1st, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
Oh, and as a fellow craftswoman, you'll appreciate how I made that fountain. The pedestal and the basin were fairly simple, but I could NOT figure out how to cast a slab of concrete with a slot in it. Everything I tried ended up cracking in half. Then my pal roseambr had a brainstorm: wax. I cast the concrete around a block of paraffin, and when the concrete was cured, I melted the wax out with a butane torch. Not only did it give me a sturdy piece of concrete with the requisite hollow, but the wax residue inside the slot helps prevent water seepage.

Clever, huh?
Jul. 1st, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
How lovely! It looks so tranquil and serene.
Jul. 1st, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The massive mess still to be cleaned up is behind me in these photos, so tranquillity is a ways off yet, but I'm getting htere.
Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
Pretty! And rocks! I love rocks!
Jul. 2nd, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
Me too. They rule.
Jul. 2nd, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
oh wow, that's *beautiful!*

I'm trying to work myself up into doing yard work again. Internet porn snagged me away from that. *hangs head*
Jul. 2nd, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Well, thank you, Miz Rose! Internet porn and other distractions of varying degrees of mentionability have been known to keep me from my garden too. You're in good company around these parts.
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Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
*makes note* So, not "little loaf of breadstone" huh?
Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And thank you to Mr. K for the cool piece of geology.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )



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