How to convert a ‘water guzzler’ into a ‘no water’ fountain!
Here in Southern California we are faced with an unprecedented drought and resulting mandatory water conservation quotas. As I pondered how to conserve water in my own home and landscape, my backyard urn fountain caught my attention. Once summer arrives it turns into quite a water guzzler. Leaving it turned off saves water but isn’t very attractive.
Solution: Plant with succulents!
- Cactus mix potting ‘soil’.
- Pebbles, rocks or gravel.
- Assorted succulents. I used ‘Sticks on Fire’ (Euphorbia tirucalli) as the center plant to mimic water shooting up into the air, a small aeonium as a filler, and assorted trailing succulents and sedums to hang down the side of the urn to mimic water pouring over the edge. The basin at the base contains more aeonium and sedum as well as low growing geraniums with colorful leaves to add a splash of color.
How to Assemble:
- Fill urn halfway with rocks or gravel (for drainage).
- Fill the rest of the urn with cactus mix.
- Drill holes in the basin so that irrigation and rainwater can drain out.
- Fill the basin with cactus mix.
- Plant. Arrange succulents with tallest plants in the center, and trailing plants on the edges of the urn.
This can also be done in a tiered fountain, but remember to drill holes in each tier so that water can drain or you’ll end up with swimming (and rotting!) succulents if it ever rains!