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The Sherwin Family's Gardens

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Diagrams & Work
My Enviro-Fountain
(Page 6 of 10)

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This Garden Tour has been Provided exclusively for the AVS by Gary W. Sherwin

             The diagrams below, present the Enviro-fountain in layout and schematic views.  The layout view shows the location of the nearly 30  unique micro-habitats supported by the fountain.  This diversity of habitat, allows for a diverse collection of plants to be naturalized into the system.  Every location around the fountain is accessible without stepping into the confines of its borders.  Use of stone for the primary structure makes this possible, by permitting a relatively tall and narrow self supporting structure.  I have to confess that the stone facing of the upper structure, was Cindy's idea.  I was just going to mound dirt to form the necessary rise, but that would have required a much larger, less controllable and accessible design.  It is likely, that a wider spread design would not have been as successful at accomplishing my goal of micro-encapsulation of a group of water related communities.

Enviro Fountain Layout
1.   Watercress Spring
2.   Sparkling Water Fall
3.   Peat Bog Spring
4.   Dry Stone Cliff
5.   Rock Crevice Stream
6.   Splashing Water Fall
7.   Seepage Cliff
8.   Damp Cliff
9.   Water Shaded Rocks
10. Wet Mountain Streamside
11. Mountain Trickle Pool
12. Damp Mountain Streamside.
13. Shallow Rock Chute
14. Saturated Ground
15. Swirling Pool
16. Shimmering Water Fall
17. Flowing Water Soil
18. Mossy Stream Rocks
19. Still Water Soil
20. Ribbon Water Fall
21. Fish Pond
22. Shallow Water
23. Marsh Habitat
24. Boulder Pile
25. Marsh Shade
26. Leakage Area
27. Afternoon Shade E
28. Noon Shade N
29. Morning Shade W

             The fountain was built, starting with a prefab 150 Gallon Water Garden Pond and 2 X 4 Wire Fencing Cloth.  I used the wire cloth to form a connected series of cylinders of increasing height as a sort of sculptors armature to support the envisioned structure.  The ends of the fence sections were joined, by bending and wrapping the cut ends of the horizontal wires around the adjacent cylinder's vertical wires (except for the tallest one, which connected to itself).  The dirt removed from the hole for the pond, was used, to fill all but the tallest cylinder with soil.  Once the hole was completed, Fence Fabric "circles" were cut to fit and attached at dirt-fill level in each of the cylinders to form the floor for that level's waterway.  The top, hollow level, also had such a floor attached, about a foot below its top edge.  The interior of the lower portion of the tallest cylinder was left empty to house the water pump and Low Voltage Lighting Transformer / Timer.  The top edge of each cylinder was bent down, adjacent to the next lower cylinder to form the brink for that level's waterfall.  The lip of the final (smallest) cylinder was extended with a crescent of fence fabric to form a long spillway, hanging out over the pond.Once the armature was completed, heavy duty, flexible pond liner was cut to shape (With very large overlap), fitted into the top of each cylinder and attached with screws into small rectangular blocks of pressure treated wood, (inserted behind the fence fabric and then turned to catch on the wires and pull the liner apron against the fabric).  Once the liner was in place, the plumbing was installed.  A garden hose was used to fill the top level, and subsequently the lower levels and pond with water.  Assorted rocks and gravel were used to line the waterway and to extend or modify the brink of each water fall.  I also got ahead of myself, and placed soil and planted a few plants along the waterway.  That proved foolhardy, as when I proceeded to turn on the pump,  its flow was so large that it washed everything down into the pond, the result of a miscalculation generated "Flash Flood".  A pinch clamp flow valve solved this problem and the fountain was let run, so as to disperse the chlorine and other chemicals in the tap water that it had been filled with.  It took a little fiddling with the flow rate, to find a setting that would compromise between the desire for splashing water and the desire not to loose too much water to quickly to the splashing and also to evaporation.
First Stage Bio Filter
1.   Intake Filter
2.   Intake Line
3.   Pump
4.   High Pressure Supply
5.   Pinch Valve
6.   Low Pressure Supply
Second Stage Bio Filter
7.   Diffusing Manifold
8.   Ceramic Gravel
9. Limestone Roots & Mud
10. Submerged Soil Plants
First Stage Aeration
11. Sparkling Waterfall
Third Stage Bio Filter
12. Peat Moss (Live)
13. Moss Rooted Plants
14. Limestone Gravel
15. Up-well / Spring
16.  Rock Crevice Stream
17. Cliff Seepage Leak
Second Stage Aeration
18. Splashing Waterfall
19. Water Filtered Light
20. Pool
21. Intentional Leak
22. Shallow Rock Chute
Third Stage Aeration
23. Shimmering Waterfalls
24. Low Slope Channel
25. Mossy Stream Rock
Fourth Stage Aeration
26. Ribbon  Waterfalls
Fourth Stage Bio Filter
27. Floating Plants
28. Cattails & Sedges
29. Hardy Water lilies 
30. Goldfish
             The next day, I started populating the project with plants.  I found a place where a small "Puddle Wetland" had developed along a nearby road, as a result of a blocked drainage ditch.  I knew that the road crews would be correcting the "problem" within a month, so I "rescued" an assortment of sedges and reeds from their certain demise.  As it turned out, two days latter, they mowed the area and destroyed what was left of the "weeds" along the road.

Enviro Fountain Schematic
Violets In The System
A. Viola cuculatta
B. Viola species (possibly V. renifolia)
C. Viola fimbriatula
D. Viola sororia
E. Viola species (possibly V. mackloskyi)
             Starting the fountain flow, before the facing stone arrived, allowed for relatively easy adjustment of the shape of the wire armature and resulting falls, pool and run forms.  Once again, I have to confess, that this was not the result of my "plan" but due to the fact that we had a delay in the delivery of the 1-1/2 tons of field stone, needed to face the fountain.  Once we were satisfied with the functionality and form of the fountain and  pond, we added our first goldfish to the pond.  We lost a few of them initially to either a raccoon or the neighbor's cat.  We suspect the later since we saw it at the pond edge with paws in the water several times, but it could have been the coon or both.  The addition of  boulders, purchased aquatic plants and creative arrangement of the marsh plants, eliminated the predator problem by limiting the area available for the animal to stalk, and by providing adequate cover for the fish.  We ran our fountain for nearly a month, before the stone arrived.  It took another month of evenings and week ends to do the masonry work, but the results were worth the wait.  Uncle Chuck would be proud.  (He taught me how to lay and face stone.)

© Gary W. Sherwin American Violet Society 2000

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