There's a big old maple tree on the north side of our garden which shades most of that side of the yard. The grass was horrible underneath it as it is dark and dry under her limbs. Oh there was the wonderful surprise of scilla growing in the spring. But after that all we had was mud and now, dust. So I said you my darling (ever suffering) husband - "I think we need a new garden under there. Can you just add a yard of triple mix and turn whatever grass is growing there? I think I'll build a shade garden". He really is wonderful because he got right to it and before the weekend was through there was a new bed ready for planting.
I shared with you some of my favorites which were planted there here. The garden is off to a good start filled with some shade plants like these:
But the plan didn't end there. I wanted something else in this particular garden to draw visitors to it. This was my inspiration - a big blue urn I saw on Pinterest. I thought we could turn it into a water feature somehow.
So we googled "how to build a pot fountain" and came up with an awesome video tutorial from Fine Gardening which made it looks easy peasy. And you know what, it was! Once I found the basin for the pump and water to filter through, putting it together really only took a couple of hours. Okay, my husband put it together. I stood back in awe.
We inserted a pipe through the bottom of the pot and attached it with some flexible tubing to the submersible pump (all this is available at a garden centre where they sell pond supplies). We cut the pipe just so that it was level with the top of the pot and kept the water pressure low so that the water just slides down the sides of the pot. That way there's no splashing of water and that means no loss of water. It just hits the rocks below and trickles back down into the reservoir basin which is sunk into the ground.
I love how soft and gentle the movement of the water is. And how the dappled sunlight reflects on the water and the wet pot. The birds love it too because it's becoming a favourite watering spot already.
Around the base of the pot, we placed some small rocks which were already on the property. These are a good transition between the pot and the soil in the garden. Plus you need something to cover the grate which sits on top of the reservoir basin and supports the pot. We could have gone with a true river rock. But I believe in using what's on hand if you have it. The finishing touch is the ghost fern which adds some silvery light to the base of the pot and softens the edges.
All in all an easy, but not necessarily inexpensive project to add an interesting feature to a small shaded garden. With a backdrop of hydrangeas, some chartreuse foliage and raspberry coloured heucheras, this once drab spot is now a focal point in our backyard.
All I need is a Muskoka chair and a glass of chardonnay and I'm good for an hour or two......or more.