By Debbie Lavdas
Do you have a fountain that’s toyed with you for years—working here and there or maybe constantly leaking? I had just such a menace on my front porch that my husband tried to fix for three years (ID’ing the leak was to no avail despite cement, rubber paint and more). So I decided this spring it was: “out with the old, and in with the new.”
I’d seen gorgeous examples of reborn fountains with succulents, so I set out on my own path to win this pesky fountain battle.
I headed out to Armstrong Gardens in Laguna Niguel (they always have an ample array of succulents, as do all of the Armstrong chain locations, and the San Juan Cap store is really great).
Now I’ve built my share of succulent gardens before, but never in a fountain. Instead of choosing individual varieties like I have for window boxes, I chose to buy already created succulent baskets—someone else has already gone to the effort to mix colors and textures, and the plant has been growing awhile so they look established. The price is less too it seems, as buying separate species can be costly. And, also, I like easy!
So my little guy and chose four different hanging baskets—some long and flowing, others shades of red and bright green and some tall to add height for my particular fountain design. (Your fountain style may best dictate your choices, but the key is to mix it up!)
I first filled the fountain with quite a lot of cactus soil, then cut the basket wires off, then dumped the basket upside and simply inserted it into the fountain in its entirety. In a few cases, I broke the baskets apart and places the succulents individually into the fountain.
Within an hour of arriving home from the garden store, my fountain was alive again with flowing succulents. And, of course, the best thing about succulents is that they are water-wise and so easy to care for. What hadn’t I done this three years ago? Precisely.
Have fun with this easy DIY spring gardening project. Get creative, and know that you can’t go wrong.