My solar-run fountain and garden shots

dublinbay z6 (KS)May 18, 2011

I promised myself to take more pictures this year, and for my first batch, I'm delighted to show off my new solar-powered fountain. There are bush and general layout pictures of my gardens also.

Enjoy.

Solar-powered Fountain--unfortunately, it has been overcast for the past 24 hours, so my fountain doesn't have enough energy stored up to do its circular spray pattern on top, but you can see the water coming out of the lion's mouths. Think you can get the idea.

Here's a couple more pics of that same general area--in the center of my rather small backyard.

And here are some rose shots--mostly bush shots.

Jubilee Celebration -- center front. In background (upper left) you can see (red) Braveheart.

Earthsong. She looks a bit different this year. I've had her for 4-5 years and some of the canes were looking a bit old, so I gave her a rather severe pruning this spring to stimulate new growth. Got it--along with about 3 time more blooms--but the overall look of the bush is different now.

Mortimer Sackler. Several posters recently have asked about Morty. As you can see, even though I'm growing him as a somewhat tall shrub, he would probably like to be a climber.

Here's a quick look at that narrow strip you people helped me plan several years ago--the narrow strip is between my driveway and my neighbor's ugly garage. The roses there are just beginning to open (I'll post an update in a week or so), but those pansies sure are blooming their hearts out.

I also drastically pruned back by Eden climber this spring. Lots of healthy new growth coming up from the bottom, with lots of buds, but the top half of the pillar is a bit bare. Fortunately, my clematis Polish Spirit (I think it is) came to the rescue--very beautifully, in my opinion.

And here is a little glimpse of a corner of my front yard which is so shady, almost no roses can be grown there, but in this one corner I did manage to squeeze in three Home Runs which look very happy there on the left.

Let me know what you think. With lots of practice taking pictures this summer, I also hope to become a better photographer. : )

Kate

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pelicanhead

Your pictures are awesome. How is that solar fountain working for you? I have been thinking about getting one for my pond.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 5:15PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

pelican, I really like my solar fountain now, but it didn't start out too well. I ordered it last summer, and the company kept sending notices that it was on back order, did I want to cancel, etc. This went on until nearly Xmas. Finally it arrived, but it was too cold outside to set it up and see if it worked, so I had to wait until late-April to find out if I had been ripped off or not. Then when I read the "simple" instructions, I realized I had no idea how to set it up. Fortunately, my son and his mechanically-minded friend took an interest and had it set up when I came home from work. But then I didn't know how to get it working outside and the water was coming out unevenly, getting blocked, etc. For a while there it seemed like it would be a big production any time I wanted it to run. Then I figured out an easy way to unclog the openings, and since then it has been a cinch. Takes me about 2 minutes to get it going properly each morning and it takes care of itself the rest of the time. About once a week, I empty out the water and put clean water in. That's it.

The easy unclogging method depends on those thin twist-ems that come with some plastic yard bags or with a loaf of bread. Straighten one out and run it as far as it will reach up the lion's head's mouths. Give it a couple swipes back and forth and pull the twists out. There: everything is unclogged.

If the sun ever returns to Kansas (please do!), I'll take some more pics so you can see the top circular spray pattern.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 6:29PM
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pelicanhead

Thanks so much for the information. I'll have to check around and find what will work best.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 7:21PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Kate, your garden and your fountain are absolutely delightful and beautiful. You have gorgeous roses and the front garden is as beautiful as the back. I think you have much to be proud of.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:36PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

You have a nice yard there. I would also like to hear more about your solar fountain as the season progresses to see how well it actually works over time. I have seen quite a few of them in catalogues. I'm curious.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:42PM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

Kate---I love your fountain---it looks wonderful-----What a beautiful garden you have----roses ---Iris---and a nice assortment of plants---

My roses are suffering from all the rain----I'm hoping to get some pictures when things dry out--
Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens

Florence

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:18PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

Very lovely and soooo many roses! but I'm also enjoying the underplantings too! Great garden, Kate!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:59PM
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BlueDerby21(9b)

Wow everything looks so beautiful and well taken for nicely done! But I love love LOVE that Lion solar fountain where did you get it I want one! Lions are my favorite animals. Eventually I want to add a small lion statue or some lion decoratives to my garden but having a solar fountain like that would be icing on the cake!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:29AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Blue, I don't remember from which place I finally ordered it. There were several places that offered it--but some were more expensive than others. (By the way, solar fountains are not cheap--be prepared for some sticker-shock!)

My advice is to find the fountains the way I did. Google the following combination of words: fountain solar garden lion. That should bring up a number of sources, all offering basically the same products, but at different prices.

Good luck in your search.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 1:30PM
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BlueDerby21(9b)

Found it! Looks like they carry it at Sam's Club for $323. Yikes! I'll add it to my wish list and maybe Santa will hook me up this year :D

Link - http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=197986&searchTerm=solar%20fountain%20lion

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Everything looks so colorful and fresh. My pansies gave up the ghost weeks ago, but I love pansies and am always happy to see everyone elses. That Clematis is an eyepopper with the roses. Good pairing. I really like Braveheart too. How's it bloom for you?......Maryl

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:18AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Wow!! I love your bird bath in the last shot that is filled with flowers. It looks wonderful!!

Your Earth Song and Jubilation look incredible!!! Cutting Earth Song back really did wonders for it!! I've never seen Jubilation before; I think it looks a lot like Janet.

Thank you for your wonderful pictures. I'm glad you'll be taking many more!!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:59AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Blue--you found it! Maybe if you are extra good this year, Santa will pull through with a BIG gift!

Maryl--I'm probably a few weeks behind you. My pansies will probably keep going for a few more weeks. We've had so much overcast weather that the pansies haven't suffered as much from the heat as usual. When the pansies give up the ghost, I switch over to medium blue lobelia--they make some now that can take a lot more sun, but even the lobelia will probably give up in the oven heat of August. However, by September or October, I can plant the pansies again. They will bloom in the fall and almost all of them will survive the winter to start blooming again very early in the spring through May/early June.

Maryl and Carol: When Braveheart blooms, he is spectacular, but he sometimes is slow on the re-blooming. He's another one that got a severe pruning this spring like Jubilee Celebration and Earthsong did, and he is absolutely loving it, throwing out all sorts of blooms this year. He didn't do that well the past couple years. I have a theory--about long-term damage from that late hard Easter freeze several years ago (I'm sure you remember it, Maryl). I think the canes on a number of my roses did not fully recover and I've been trying to make them bloom more than they were capable of. I noticed that my hybrid teas weren't having that problem--and I have to cut them nearly to the ground each year--so I decided to try a more severe pruning with the shrubs that never seemed to fully recover after the Easter freeze. It worked--they are blooming like crazy. However, I won't prune them that severely every year by any means.

Raining here today. Where is that sun?

Kate

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:35PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I love the colors in your rose garden- the blue irises look gorgeous with the deep red roses. What a pretty garden you have- I'll bet they have to drag you into the house when it gets dark (when it's not raining).
Renee

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:08PM
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