Garden Pools, Page 3

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There are, of course, some things you should avoid in planning and building. Bridges are frequently seen over small pools and they are obviously out of place. Miniature lighthouses are in the same offending class and so are the so-called "garden ornaments", such as gnomes, elves, giant toad-stools, rabbits and similar abominations. They are about as desirable in present day gardens as would be the cast iron deer of our grandparents' time. Avoid the use of fancy stones, that is, stones of curious, gaudy, unnatural appearance. The rocks are not to be placed as curiosities but as parts of a natural setting.

Running water, in the form of streams, waterfalls or cascades, has a peculiar appeal to the garden lover who truly appreciates Nature. Where it dashes over a naturally appearing rock formation, it seems to be the ultimate in informal water garden construction. Such schemes in the past, however, have met almost insurmountable difficulties. Installations have been very costly where properly done, and cheap, makeshift schemes have proved troublesome from start to finish. But where one has the advantage of a practically unlimited water supply, such effects are comparatively simple of attainment.


To the uninitiated the first thought of stream-building would be a simple pump. Investigation, however, will teach that many factors must be considered when selecting and installing such a device. Pumps, even the best centrifugal varieties and they have generally been recommended are pieces of machinery with all the frailties and crankinesses heir to that type of invention. Their moving parts revolve upon metal bearings and these must receive regular lubrication. The water passing through such a pump must be kept free from dirt and other foreign matter by the use of screens or the pump will soon wear out. Many types of pumps are available, but with only one exception, all of them face the above difficulties. Amateur gardeners with mechanical inclinations have installed pumps from motor cars and, without exception, have experienced trouble.

There is one pump developed in the past few years primarily for garden installation, however, that seems to be absolutely fool-proof. It operates by compressed air upon what is known as the altered gravity system. The principle of the pump is extremely simple. It has no moving parts, no valves or screens, requires no lubrication; in fact, it is so simple in construction that one may operate it day after day for years with merely a weekly oiling of the tiny quarter horsepower motor and small compressor conveniently located in basement or garage. A couple of dollars a month for current and a few quarts of oil comprise the entire cost. It will raise twenty to thirty gallons of water per minute to a height of five feet or more, making possible water effects without exorbitant outlays.

In the western city where this pump was developed and introduced I saw many delightful installations. Some were tiny rivulets meandering down a slope. Others were miniature waterfalls with a sheer drop of several feet while still others were clever reproductions of natural cascades, with water bounding and tumbling as in a mountain stream. Ferns, mosses and wild flowers as well as carefully selected garden and rock plants make such creations delightfully naturalistic.

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