I've been wanting to set up a small fountain in my garden for a long time and I've been working on it bit by bit, trying to do it as inexpensively as possible. I found a small bamboo spout and filter/pump last year for about $20, but it took much longer to find the right size and type of container. I've been searching for things to use in the garden that have a bit of an Old California look, which means a Mexican style (which is influenced greatly by Spanish style, which is influenced greatly by Moorish style, etc.), but I couldn't find a glazed pot with no drainage hole in that style. The closest I could find was a large pot at Cost Plus for about $25. It looks to me like it's Southeast Asian in style (Indonesian perhaps, or Thai), but the face on the pot reminded me slightly of the Mayan face carvings I saw years ago in the Yucatan area. At any rate, it was interesting, the right size, and the right price, so I got it.
I set the fountain up a few months ago, using a pot of horsetail reed as the only plant in it. It looked a little bare. And I'm afraid I was a little slipshod about the maintenance recently, resulting in a lot of nasty algae building up. A pond with algae loses much of its appeal, although Linus the cat seemed to like playing with the gross green scum floating around in it.
So this weekend I made it my mission to improve the fountain. In order to make it look a bit more lush I purchased a variegated acorus to go beside the horsetail. This morning I took the whole thing apart, scrubbed it out, and reassembled it. This is the result:
You will notice the slightly handicapped concrete frog to the right of the fountain. This frog used to reside in my grandmother's backyard in a little grotto that my grandfather built in the corner. When I was about nine, we moved to a house that had a pond in the backyard that had been filled in. We spent an Easter vacation digging out the pond, cleaning it up and refilling it with water and fish, and then my grandmother brought the frog over to stand guard at the edge of the pond. When we moved from that house several years later, the frog went back to my grandmother's house, where in an unfortunate accident the gardener accidentally amputated its forearms with a weed-whacker. After my grandmother died and the family was closing up her house, I brought the frog back to my apartment where it lived in a cramped hallway (and then after I'd stubbed my toe on it a few times, in an even more cramped closet) until I moved to this house four years ago. At long last, the concrete frog, now named Venus de Frog-o, has found another pond to stand guard at.