OT - Trellis project done and Solar Pump BirdBath

Julia NY(6)April 6, 2012

Since the weather is too cold to work outside today, I uploaded some photos.

We finished last month the second trellis for my clematis. So glad we decided to secure to the pergola as the winds have been very "unkind" so far this year. We built it from scratch, ie no premade forms. We won't do this again as it is very time consuming but glad we finally finished.

I've always wanted a small fountain in the back and decided to take this deep birdbath and use a solar pump. Ordered the pump from Amazon last month and got the birdbath from Lowe's last year. So far it has worked great till the wind starts blowing and then the spray is going over the edge. Had to store the pump away till the weather gets warm again. And yes, I'm developing a pot ghetto LOL. The seedlings were getting some water from the over spray.

This is a pic from when the weather was warmer last month.


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The pergola and trellises are awesome! Kudos to you and hubby for completing this wonderful outdoor living project. The solar fountain in the bird bath looks great too. I looked these up on line as I wouldn't mind trying one in the back bed. The main fountain runs with electricity and had to be wired underground and under the deck ( in other words, a pain in the watusi.) If the solar fountain works OK, that would be a much easier alternative. Wonder how well it would work on cloudy or rainy days?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Nancy zone 6

You did a great job, clematis are going to look really good growing on those! Love the fountain too, I had wondered about the solar pumps.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Julia NY(6)

The solar pump has a battery back-up (4 batteries included with the package) so the cell panel recharges the batteries. It also has an on/off switch. I haven't been able to fully discharge it yet. Hopefully when the weather warms up again,I can start it in the morning and see how long into the evening it will continue to pump. It has a 2 year warranty and it is brushless. I had to take one of the extensions off the fountain spray part so it wouldn't shoot up so high. my birdbath is only about 4 1/2 inches deep (I think). I would definitely only consider a solar pump with the battery back-up and on/off switch.

I'd like to take an electric fountain and rewire with this type of system. I saw this fountain on a Regional garden tour a couple of years ago. Something like this is what I have in mind for my next big purchase LOL.

Thanks for the comments.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Hi Julia,
Your trellises and Pergola are so attractive. It will look awesome with flowers around it!
Do you have any info on how to convert an electric fountain to solar? I too would like to try this. I have a fountain that came from my son's place. I haven't used it as a fountain because it is just too far from an outlet and I really don't want to dig in a line. I would love to rewire it for solar but have no idea how. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:26PM
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I really want to put in a fountain and I would only consider using solar. Thanks for the good information about the solar batteries--need to really look into this. You and your husband have done a great job on the trellises and pergola, and from scratch!! Definitely in awe of your project. Can hardly wait to see all the beautiful photos you can post when you have all the clematis happily growing on them. Avedon

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Julia NY(6)

I googled on the words "convert electric to solar fountain" and a couple of articles popped up.


Some factors to consider is the lift, ie how high the solar pump can lift water from the base to the top where the water comes out.Also what rate, ie GPH and also the old tubing from the existing electric fountain needs to be kept so you can attach it to the new solar pump. One thing I read was the connection from the old tubing to the new pump needed to be the same diameter.

I also googled several solar pump sites to read what others did to convert.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:05PM
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I love the trellis and the canopy. I want to know what clematis you are going to use. It will really be beautiful!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Waitforspring(6 MA)

What an amazing job you did. That will be such a great place to relax when you wear yourself out in the garden. Can't wait to see it with the clematis.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Julia NY(6)

I have Huldine and Blue Angel on one and Rebecca and Avant Garde on the other one. It will take another couple of years for them to get big enough to climb all the way up.

I plan to use Cup and Saucer (Cathedral Bells - purple and white varieties ) to vine on them as well since the clematis will take some time to mature and fill out the trellis. I could also use morning glories since they are annuals too here.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:24PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

It is just stunning! You really are going to enjoy that space.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:12PM
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jean_ar(z8 Ar)

WOW!! What a great job you and the hubby done on this project.It really looks great and going to be so pretty when the clemmatis grow up it and fill it in . Hope you post plenty pictures once the, clematis grow.The pergola looks fantastic.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Julia NY(6)

It is a great spot to rest while gardening. I hope the clematis will do okay on it.

Thank you all for the comments. We enjoy our projects but have to say this one was a killer to get done. My husband is the designer based on what I think I want (notice I say "think I want" LOL). Not everything works out the way we originally start but in the end, we do okay with the build, painting and installation.

We are now working on a potting bench which I've wanted for a long time and desperately need outside. It is a work in progress and hopefully by the end of April we will have finished it. I am getting pretty good with the tools ;-). I'm squeezing this in between my redoing a couple of the garden beds. Wish the weather would get warm though. Too cold still to spend any significant amount of time outside.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:52AM
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shive(6b TN)

The pergola with the trellises is gorgeous! What an inviting spot that will be to sit and view the flowers! The solar fountain is a real winner too. I'll have to look into one of those.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Thanks Julia,
I never thought about installing a solar powered pump. I guess I figured there was a way to rewire the electric pump to some solar panels but maybe there is no way to do this. I will have to do some more research.
Thanks and enjoy your garden space. It is certainly delightful!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:35PM
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tepelus(6a SW MI)



    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Cindy zone 6a

That is a beautiful pergola and I really like the way you secured the two trellis. Really turned out special.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Julia, I know Huldine will scoot up there...my Rebecca hasn't been growing nearly so fast, but I need to pay her a little more attention. It is going to be so beautiful!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Julia NY(6)

Thank you for the kind comments.
The weather here is going to be downright ugly this week but there is hope by next weekend we will get back to April temps.:-).

Kay: I got Huldine from Silver Star Vinery and she ships the bigger plant - 1 gallon size. I just loved it last season. The others I got from Bluestone Perennials which are the smaller pots. They really do stand behind their products. If it fails, they replace. When I got my first shipment, Pink Fantasy and Josephine died. They replaced them but in the interim I went and got another Josephine so now I have 2.Rebecca did pretty good here last year so hopefully she shows the same spunk this year.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 3:47PM
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The technology and marketing for solar pump has changed quite a lot along with the time passing by. The cost for solar panels has dropped significantly since the year of 2012.
Chinese solar panel manufacturers are accused of dumping their products, so that USA has imposed higher tariff on Chinese solar panel import, while the punishment does not affect the solar pump import since solar pump is more of a pump than a solar panel.
The good side of this matter is that the solar pump manufacturer in China can purchase much cheaper solar panel due to the over productivity of Chinese solar panels, therefore the Chinese solar pump manufacturer can sell their solar pump at a much favorable price.

We are a manufacturer in China specializing in solar pond/fountain pump kits for water feature, waterfall, fountain and drip irrigation, solar pond air pump kits for pond oxygenation, filters for pond water filtration and associated battery backups.
Compared with mains power, solar power is environmentally friendly, easier to install and has no operating cost, but perhaps even more importantly, it is much safer for kids.
We have exported our products world wide for more than nine years, mostly to Europe, USA and Australia etc. and established a good reputation. Moreover, all of our products are CE and RoHS certified.
If you are interested in our products, we could be your trustworthy supplier.
To know more about our company and our products, please come to our web site at http://www.solarever.com.
If you need any help, Please contact Mr. Larry Li at larry@solarever.com.
Thank you very much for your time.

Best Regards,
Larry Li,
Hangzhou Gene Solar Industries Co., Ltd.
T: +86 0571 85020097-801 : F: +86 0571 85020097-806
E: larry@solarever.com
W: http://www.solarever.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Hangzhou Gene Solar

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:23AM
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