Flower Bed Contest Second Place
We had a patch of grass between our retaining wall and our walkway that was too small to mow with a riding mower, so I decided to turn it into a water feature flower bed. Not wanting a water feature that little children could drown in, we settled on a bubbling rock.
The first step was to select a large nicely shaped rock. Using a large drill bit, we drilled a 1½-inch hole all the way through the rock. Next we dug a hole at least twice the size of our big rock and lined it with heavy pond liner. Then came the fun of collecting medium-sized rocks to fill the hole. We tried to select round, smooth ones so as not to tear the liner. After putting a nice layer of rocks across the bottom, we set up the pump.
Using a water feature pump (available at any pond store), we placed it in a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. We drilled small holes on the sides and lid of the bucket so water could get in. We also cut a hole in the side of the bucket. We fastened a hose to the pump and then pushed it up through the hole in the rock to the surface. Then we filled the gap between the rock and the hose with caulk.
After the rocks and bucket were positioned where we wanted them, we put more rocks around them until the hole was level full. Then we fitted landscaping fabric over the top and around the big rock, and made a small hole for the pump cord. We covered the fabric with decorative pond stone. Last we plugged the cord in, waited a few seconds, and watched the water bubble out of the rock.
Next came the fun part of doing the flower bed. Considering the shape of the flower bed, we decided on a formal design. We planted a row of roses along the top of the wall to act as a fence to keep children away from the edge.
We decided to keep our colors to mostly pink, yellow, orange, and red. Not wanting anything so tall as to hide the rock, we started with planting a row of different shades of coral-bells along the walks at the front. Behind that we put yellow and red petunias, and dark and light pink petunias along the front of the roses to provide color all summer long. We stuck some pink and yellow daisies on each side behind the petunias, along with large elephant ears.
On each side of the rock toward the back, we planted two bunches of red fountain grass. We selected two bushes for each side, one with red foliage and one with yellow. At the one side along the walkway where there were no roses, we planted red and green sweet potato vines. We completed it with a bird feeder.
We enjoy the sound of the water and the beauty of the birds and flowers from our front porch and kitchen window.