Thursday, December 13, 2012

El Presidio Water Fountain

A long time a garden far far away......a gardener began to write a blog about the gardens he would create in Tucson, Arizona.  Along the way, he picked up many many other skills like photography, birding, becoming a docent for the local gardens, saving homeowners money and creating a blog about his work and adventures around the garden.  And then he began to bird and travel again:)
 But he still gardened through it all.  And he created a wildlife haven for birds among the canopy tree tops.  As the garden grew; so did he.  The homeowners would lose money from a faulty leaky pool.  It was draining their pockets......and the recession was in full gear.  No one used the pool and yet it cost 600 hundred dollars a month to run it.  Several homeowners were behind in their HOA payments.  Eventually they had to move out of their homes due to foreclosure and forced the remaining homeowners to make a decision. No more wasting money.  The pool had to go.
 Realizing the pool had a leak, the homeowners decided to shut it down.  And saved money they did.  But the process to restore this mammoth project would take over a year to begin.
The gardener,listening to his neighbors, put together a plan. An idea.  He would employ the help of others to create something special to replace the gleaming blue jewel of the courtyard at El Presidio.
The pool would be filled in with dirt.  It would take a year to settle.  No longer was it dangerous for guests to have outdoor dinners and watch their kids near the pool.  No more close calls with kids falling into the pool or slipping and hitting their heads on the cement.  And yet the area would be an eyesore.  The gardener realized that a water feature was still needed and so he planned and planned and planned.  Homeowners waited patiently as things like money and a plan came into being. 
 A measured and calculated plan was created with the idea of a fountain being placed at the center.  But what would fill in that space around it?  Several weeks of conversation and planning were held and finally a sketch was created and stored away for future gardening.  Money was the next step.
Meanwhile chaos happened.  Trees and plants grew tall and strong around the El Presidio Gardens. Birds began to nest and create a haven in the tree tops.  3 feral cats remained after escaping the gardener's live cat traps.  For many years these cats would breed and have many kittens around the gardens.  They would use pots and garden areas as their kitty litter. The gardener took back the lands.  He now fights the remaining 3, Greystoke, Bear, and Tubby, with his garden partner Donnie.  They still terrorize the birds, but as you can  see they have "issues".  Tubby is stuck in the tree.
And then....a water line, cobalt blue pot......several thousand dollars later.....the infrastructure was created allowing the gardener to finally complete his plan.  Homeowners of El Presidio worked hard.  In fact, it looked bad at first and many had their doubts. Rotting wooden beams were removed and pillars were cut in half.  Cobalt blue would be the central color scheme to counterbalance the reds and tans of El Presidio.
And the master plan?  You'll have to wait for the great reveal next year as the gardener/birder/adventure seeker puts it all together.  And maybe he'll actually start to write about plants again like he did when he created this blog.  Life is art.  Life is creation.  The running sounds of water can be heard again. Soon the heart of El Presidio will beat again. 


  1. Interesting to see the work in progress and I can't wait to see the final result next year :)

  2. You have a done a beautiful job on the El Presidio Gardens. Your neighbors should love you, I know the birds are probably happy. Well done!

  3. hi chris, what a delightful teasing ending of this post - and we just have to wait till next year for the next exciting episode to find out exactly what happens and how El Presidio re-awakens. I look forward to reading this blog next year too: will it about plants again, or more about birds, or travel adventures ?... no matter - it will all be awesome. cheers, catmint

  4. you are something.....I love what you have done...
    I just love reading your are informative and funny
    ..I have learned much from you....persistance paying of them.....I love the cobalt blue
    I hope you helped Tubby

  5. I really enjoyed this post Chris. Kudos to all of you for beginning to turn an eyesore into a thing of beauty. I can't wait to see it all finished.

  6. laughing at your terrorizing kitties, but i know it's not funny.

    i like the water fountain! can't wait to see more!

  7. Ok, now I can't wait for the rest of the story!!

  8. This is one busy gardener. Sure glad the homeowners were into this plan.

  9. Szkoda, że nie ma już basenu. Rozumiem, że nie może go już być. Czekam na realizację pomysłu :)
    It is a pity that there is no pool. I understand that it may not have been. Waiting for the implementation of the idea :)

  10. I wonder - do your birds enjoy the new fountain? That shallow layer of moving water looks ideal for a bird bath. Or a quick drink on a hot day.

    1. We're hoping that it does. The birds haven't noticed it yet but we think the birds will be coming:) Cross your fingers.

  11. Oh you are a tease.... now we have to wait for the new year? I am so glad that you seem to have kept the shape of the old pool. Our public area has not been doing well, but I am getting a load of mulch this weekend and hope it picks up after that.

  12. Chris, your neighbors are lucky to have a master planner and gardener willing to work until the water is flowing once again.
    I love the cobalt blue color of the unique water feature.

  13. What an inspiring story. Its great to have a champion in our midst to rectify and lift any predicament. Congratulations! Btw the cobalt blue pot is a real beauty.

  14. Oh, that is great. Some projects just take more time.

  15. wow!! what a project!
    cool fountain...your neighbors love do the birds & neighboring critters!

    about the feral cats. i wonder if they do there, like they do here...if someone takes a feral cat in to be fixed (for free!), they have to release it back to the SAME place they were caught!

  16. A stop in time. Lucky neighbors and lucky Creatures around the garden.

  17. I love your water fountain! I was fortunate to put in a water feature myself when we got here, but my back yard is very un-garden like and needs so much work to make it so. I look forward to your "great reveal."


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