Family Fountain and Gardens
1965 - 2012
OK this story goes back to 1965, my family built a home in Algiers, Louisiana and installed the fountain in the front courtyard. It stood there for 10 years until my parents divorced and sold the house.
Well my brother and Mike T, liberated the fountain after the sale of the house saying, "Ya bought the house, but not the Family Fountain!!" They installed the fountain in the back yard of Mike T's. During that tenure it was set up and torn down several times. Last year, I called Mrs. T and asked if I could have it back. She graciously said yes!! SOOOO, here goes!
This is the condition of the cherub and (right) the main column as I found it in September of 2010. My parents had painted it a dark grey, 45 years later...... most of the paint had worn off. Also the bowl on the top has broken off and was lost.
The main bowl is 42 inches across and was in poor shape when it got it. Several cracks had formed and three holes were drill in it so it could be used as a planter.
I sandblasted the bowls and pillars. Then plugged the holes and painted the fountain in a concrete waterproof paint that is used to seal cinderblocks in basements.
I hired several Home Depot campers, and off we went! Chef Ricky donated two 2' X 2' concrete pads to be used as the slab for the fountain. And Chef Ricky's son-in-law donated 2 loads of dirt that he had in the backyard of his Metairie home!! (Thanks Dean and Dina!!)
The above is Chef Ricky supervising the HD Campers!
The first task in construction was to remove the oleanders from the construction site!!
(Two will be used later in another garden!)
We moved in about 2 yards of dirt to make the basin. Installed Ricky's concrete pads, under liner and lined the basin with waterproof pond liner (from Pondliner.com).
We filled the basin with water to make sure that the liner was pushed up against the dirt walls of the basin.
My brother Marc helped set the slate perimeter for the concrete cap. We leveled the base column and installed the main bowl. Pretty cool!! You can see, that the concrete is still wet and setting.
We then assembled the fountain and installed a new top bowl. We hooked up a pump and "there ya go" a working fountain!!
And YES! The cherub is mooning the neighbors!
I cut the pond liner flush with the edge of the concrete cap, but extended the underlay all the way to the lower level of the front lawn. This would make a good weed barrier. We then installed a concrete edging that Dean and Dina had also given me.
We planted 6 Knock Out Roses.
I know now that is about 3 too many!! See Pics below in 3 months!
Ann planted several Snow Princesses to complete the lower foliage.
I had an antique concrete planter from my Nan Nan, and Ann had one from her mother. So we planted some floral in them to complete the back of the garden.
When we were building the basin, I leveled a mud shelf that would only make the depth of the water about 8 inches. I used this to install 2 buckets of water irises. As the plants grow, their roots will grow through the holes in the buckets and give the goldfish something to chew on!
November 26, 2010, Completed Fountain and Garden!!
OR, So I thought!! Ann also had from her mother a cast iron wall hanger. I cleaned it up, spray painted black. Then drove some mollies into the mortar and used tie wraps to secure it to the back brick wall.
About a month later the Snow Princess have tripled in size!! We also bought a couple of teak rockers to enjoy the front porch!
We now have a new concrete siding column!! See the new siding webpage!
And a hanging basket where the old column brace was.
The Knock Outs have taken over!! OMG
May 2011, the algae has formed in the basins. Goldfish have grown and we have started to mount bromeliads to driftwood.
All are in bloom!
The above was taken in January of 2012, the roses have grown, but are somewhat sparse in blooms because of winter. Wait for spring!
July 5, 2012 we have two baby dove chicks hatched in the staghorn fern above the fountain!
They are the two grey fluffs of feathers at about 5 o'clock in the basket.
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
4016 Red Cypress Dr., Harvey, LA 70058 Phone (504) -329-1344
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Revised: July 05, 2012.