A Disney-Inspired Water Feature for 2023? February 2023

One of the things that I've been chasing FOR YEARS in all three of our gardens (two of our own, one borrowed via my sister Vic/Equation Boy/Man when we lived there for two years) is a water feature.  I've longed after one in various forms.  Over the years, I've had two water features that managed to be planned, executed and maintained.  But, each of them lasted for just one season. The first one was this three-tiered acrylic fountain that I had near our garden in our first house in Elmhurst.  The birds loved it.  But, it dried out rapidly.  Then it cracked and was junk.  The second one was this small wine barrel water 'feature' that we had in the borrowed garden/patioIt was an insert that wasn't quite the right size inside of a wine barrel planter from the hardware store.  

I've talked about adding some water - for both the visuals but also the sounds - many times.  I included it on my 2022 to-do list and it was an item that didn't get done.  

What else have I dreamed about/investigated?  Here's the list:  A waterfall wall.  A rill.  A stock tank pond.  A traditional pond.  And waterfall.  And stream.  A stair/waterfall combo (that I still love). A footbridge over a pond.  A formal fountain.  And some basin fountains, too. 

Between lack-of-focus, other priorities, uncertainty, lack of wanting to spend the money AND....my spouse having an opinion on NOT being interested in a pond, nothing has been done.  I've had five-plus seasons to put something together. But...simply haven't. 

But, gardeners are nothing if not hopeful dreamers, right?  What's that Audrey Hepburn quote?  So, I'm calling my shot here for 2023:  adding a water feature will be back on my 2023 to-do list.  

And...I have a plan.  

What's that plan, Jake?

It starts with bringing a little bit (more) of Disney Parks to our garden.  We have Disneyland Roses.  And some Tinkerbell 'Twinkle Lights' like they have in the trees in the parks.   Now, I want to have a Pirates of the Caribbean water feature.  

This means, take what I've done in the past - that I know I can execute - and do it a little better.

What have I done?  A fountain.  And a wine barrel insert.

That's what I'm going to do in 2023.  

What's the Disney inspiration?  Say hello to Carlos, the Mayor of Puerto Dorado on the island of Isla Tesoro.  He's in the first scene once you get past the big pirate ship.  This guy:


How would we pull something like that off?  I was puttering around on Aquascape's site and came across this 'Man In Barrel Spitter' that is just....*chef's kiss*, isn't it?  See below for a look at the fountain:


Whimsical?  Cute?  Yes and yes.  But, also...feels RIGHT for my garden.   And, KINDA reminds you of Mayor Carlos, doesn't it? 

The kit is under $100.  The wine barrel + liner is within reach cost-wise, too.  

The experts say that you are supposed to place water features "where you can enjoy them".  For our garden, that means one of two places:  close to the patio.  Or back by the fire pit.  

One of the considerations (at least for me!) is power.  How to get power to the fountain.  With that in mind - coupled with the history of NOT.GETTING.THIS.DONE, I think the patio-adjacent location is the right answer.  Close enough to enjoy the sounds.  Far enough away that it gets sort-of 'layered' into the garden.  

This bed - close by the kitchen windows - is one that I've identified as a priority this year.  Perhaps, when I think about what to plant here, I should anchor the plantings around this container water feature.  Like this mockup below - close to where I keep the heated bird bath during the Winter:


It is the year to make it happen.  And the Mayor Carlos 'spitting' fountain feels like the right way to make it happen.  

Just don't tell Nat.

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