Hey there friends! I am excited to finally share the story and some photos of how I rescued a free vintage fountain and gave it a little refresh.
I rescued this sweet little garden fountain just a few days before my neighbor was hauling it off to the landfill.
As you know, my husband and I have spent the summer on new backyard cottage garden. We were wanting some of the very old rocks from the forest and hills around our neighborhood that were used to build rock walls along our street over 100 years ago. Our neighbor was tearing down his old deck and doing some major excavating on his hillside, which uncovered some of those amazing rocks we were hoping for. I mentioned to our neighbor that we were wanting quite a few, and he kindly invited us over to his house to pick out as many rocks as we needed since he just wanted to get them out of his way.
We ended up getting plenty of rocks to build a garden path in the backyard and 5 vintage concrete planters for FUHH-REE-HEE!!! While I was snoopipng around the junk pile I spotted what I thought was simply a vintage garden statue of a little girl and boy with an umbrella.
Our neighbor said he was throwing out the girl and boy because it was part of a fountain that was broken. Of course I had no shame in asking if I could give them a good home!
As it turned out, the fountain wasn’t in as bad of shape as I suspected. Only the bottom tier “shell” was broken. The fountain was large enough to fill in a gap between the herbs I had planted and the lilies behind them. This part of flower bed is a bit sloped and it needed something big. Since the fountain was so heavy and large it worked perfectly in keeping some of the pea gravel from getting washed away and it filled in the blank space nicely.
I wasn’t at all worried about the broken part because even if I wasn’t able to fix the bottom shell, I could still use the other pieces as a smaller fountain or statue.
I did some research and found that these types of concrete planters can be repaired if you have all the pieces, but I had another idea in mind. I did end up keeping the broken pieces in case I ever want to glue them together in the future. (By the way, take note of the size of the herbs in this photo which was taken about five weeks ago)
Over the years I have pinned so many beautiful photos of succulents spilling out of birdbaths and fountains. I had been wanting to try this idea for a long time, so the broken fountain was the perfect opportunity. Instead of gluing the fountain back together I decided to use it as a succulent planter. I finally actually tried out one of the thousands of ideas I had pinned!
Here is how the fountain looked shortly after planting the succulents about 3 weeks ago. As you can see, the herbs had already started growing up around the front and sides so that even if the succulents didn’t grow as profusely as I hoped, the herbs were already hiding most of the broken fountain. There has been a low stock of flowers and plants in our area during the pandemic, so I didn’t find the exact kinds of succulents I was looking for. I picked up a tray of various perennial succulents and used a few I already had in some old planters to fill in the bottom and middle tiers.
I put one of the blue glass rocks from my great grandmother’s garden on the top tier which kind of reminds me of water. A little .25 yard sale snail with only one antennae adds a bit more whimsy. Before planting the succulents I sprayed the old dirt off the fountain and painted the whole fountain a very watered down off-white acrylic glaze just age it a bit more. It is hardly noticeable in any photos but it really helped to make it look even more vintage.
I just realized I got a little ahead of myself in my excitement to show you the finished succulent fountain. Before planting it up I did give it a little TLC. First I sprayed the old dirt off the fountain and painted the whole fountain a very watered down off-white acrylic glaze just age it a bit more. It is hardly noticeable in any photos but it really helped to make it look even more vintage. My main goal was to make the fountain look as if it had been in my garden for years, so I painted on just a tiny bit of green to create faux”moss” in the cracks and crevices. It looks so real from a distance!
This is one of the free planters that I filled with succulents. It has some natural moss and algae in the cracks which is exactly how I was wanting the fountain to look.
I quickly found that creating faux moss on planters and any type of concrete is so simple using the Folk Art Painted Finishes Moss kit. While I was fixing up the fountain I also aged some clay pots with chalk paint, Plaster of Paris, and the moss kit.
I didn’t get any step-by-step pictures of painting the moss on the fountain, but I did snap some as I was aging my pots (DIY Painted Rusitc French Garden Pots post coming up soon.) First I added a bit of the dark green paint with a sponge (you can also use a chip brush) to any areas where pots would naturally weather, such as around the tops and edges or any crevices.
Then I sponged over it with the lighter green. The paints have texture to them and when they dry they create the perfect mossy finish.
The fountain fits right in with all of my other vintage garden junk! Here you can see some of the rocks we used along the border and a peek of the path. I am waiting just a few more weeks until all the grass is filled in around where we dug out the path to show you part two of the backyard cottage carden Makeover featuring the stone path.
In part one I shared my Vintage Sink Potting Bench, some before pictures, and how the flower bed was looking as of mid-June.
Here is a photo I took this morning, which is about five weeks after planting all the herbsm and flowers. They are huge! The succulents have filled out and there is no evidence of a broken fountain. I just noticed little snail must have slugged off somewhere in the hard rain storms we have had this week! Here you can also see some of the fishing line that we use to keep the deer out of the flower bed. It works pretty well in addition to bird netting. When the deer get up to the flowers and brush up against the line it spooks them off. You can obviously see it up close in the photos but in real life it is hardly noticeable when standing back and admiring the flowers.
It looks like I am not the only one enjoying the fountain!
I hope you have also enjoyed seeing my vintage fountain rescue and refresh too. I will be sharing many more posts about the back yard cottage garden all the way through summer and into fall, so I hope you will visit often or subscribe by email so you don’t miss a post.
It looks like I am not the only one enjoying the fountain! I hope you have also enjoyed seeing my vintage fountain rescue and refresh too. I will be sharing many more posts about the back yard cottage garden all the way through summer and into fall, so I hope you will visit often or subscribe by email so you don’t miss a post.
How is your garden growing in this hot july weather? I love hearing from you, dear readers! Thanks for visiting today!
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