I’ve wanted to make this fountain for a while. It’s been one of those projects I think about while I lay awake at night. Finally got up the nerve (and budget) to make it happen.
|It started with seeing
copper water fountains
at the Chelsea Flower
Show last spring.
At the Chelsea Flower Show last spring, I walked straight from the display of copper fountains that looked like trees into a display of Coral Bells (heuchera) (below right) and I decided I wanted a bed of just heuchera. With a fountain. Heuchera come in such great colors now – I’ve been telling anyone that’ll listen that heuchea are the new coleus. They have the added benefit of being a perennial – and last WAY into the fall, and seem to be already there once snow melts in the spring.
|Heuchera come in such
great colors – including copper!
And, sadly, my Royal Purple Smoke tree died last year. The raised bed it was in is filled with a mish-mash of plants — iris, tulips, violets, anemone, grasses, hosta and invasive mint. This spring I intend to take everything out, replant what’s worth saving into other areas, plant all heucheras and curse myself for ever having considered mint.
I already went out, a few weeks back, to all my usual nurseries and bought as many heuchera as I could find — on late season sale and slapped them in the ground. I now have two each of “Green Spice,” “Key Lime Pie, “Mocha,” and another couple with no name. Add those to the few heuchera out there already and I’ve got a start on a collection. This spring, buying excursions will now be a heuchera hunt.
So the space is ripe for a fountain, so why not one based on a heuchera? A few weekends in the basement and you can see what I’ve done here. Most heuchera have a more mounding nature, but the huechera I’ve had in the garden for years IS tall and gangly, with pointed leaves. The only thing left to do on the fountain is to add flowers & their perky stems. I already have the copper wire I’ll use, and the “flowers” may end up being just loops in the wire. I probably won’t get to that until after the holidays at this point. It’ll be ready for a spring debut. If I can then figure out how to get it carefully out of the basement.
|Started with photographing a heuchera leaf. I tried to pay attention to the veining.|
|Scanned it in and made a template in three sizes.|
|Bought a roll of copper flashing.
About $125 got me a roll 10′ long and 14″ tall.
|I then cut out a leaf shape and experimented
with folds, texture and such.
|I determined they looked best if I hammered the hell out of them
for a rough texture, then folded them over the edge of the workbench to get veins.
|I did three different sizes. There are a total of 26 leaves.
Cripes did my hands hurt from using the tin snips.
I went through just about all the roll of copper flashing.
|I experimented with heating them with a flame to get some colors going.
I couldn’t do it to look consistent, so I gave up. They’ll weather and age to a nice coppery,
green-y patina as long as they’re not coated with a sealant.
|Started with the “stand.”|
|The three top leaves all have their own water source, thin copper
tubing emanating from the main copper pipe.
My high school soldering lessons really came in handy.
|Bought the smallest pump I could buy.
The tub is 2′ wide.
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