“Water is the soul of the garden.” – Chinese proverb
Over the holidays I was sorting photos and made a discovery… after a decade of travel it seemed that a collection of fountain photos had developed.
[I had also developed collections of church/cemetery, food/flea market, micro European car, small dogs in coats and “Peter drinking beer” photos as well.]
This fountain realization shouldn’t really surprise because one of the first things we did after installing The Yarden was to fountain shop. Ostensibly the effort was prosaic – we thought running water would block out the sound of the teenagers from the high school up the street gunning their cars at the stop sign outside our garden gate.
Four fountains and one Chinese proverb later it clicked that water is, indeed, the car-noise-blocking soul of a garden… and it attracts birds… so much so that we quickly started calling our first and largest fountain “Bird TV”.
Lost for hours weekend after summer weekend in bird-watching-garden-futzing bliss we realized we had started to tell the time based on when each type of bird would stop by for a drink or a splash. Robins were first in the morning – it seemed they would give us dirty looks when we slept in and turned Bird TV on late. Sparrows mid-day indicated lunchtime. Robins back in the afternoon for another splash for them and a bevy break for us. When the wild canaries visited in the late afternoon/early evening it was time to start picking something for dinner.
MY POINT: For the next 21 Wednesdays, I’d like to share fountains we’ve loved with you. And without further blah blah I would like to present… I probably shouldn’t start with the BEST FOUNTAIN OF ALL TIME but I will… the Portuguese Fountain of the Moors
God bless its Moorish-influence-rip-off heart but this fountain was built in the early 1900’s so it’s not really Moorish. I don’t care I love it anyway. When we saw it I almost stopped dead in my tracks. I love everything about it: the orgy of tile, the shape of the arches, the pillars, the orderly semi-circle curvyness, even the moss… if I could get away with it I would put a replica in the measly part of our backyard that doesn’t have vegetables. Luckily my husband is sane.
[Yes, that’s a tiny me to show you how massive the thing is… and yes, it took awhile to decide to use this vs one of the other shots I took.]
After the extended moment of fountain adoration (aka Peter finally dragging me away around picture #27), this day also contained an amazing walk to the castle at the top of the hill in Sintra… the Prince Consort to a certain Portuguese queen spent his lifetime of leisure landscaping the hill. The entire, very large hill. Aside from the amazing flora, the trek is full of fancies, ponds, mini-towers and – perhaps one of my other garden related favorite things of all time – The Moss Couch
However, it isn’t the moss couch’s time to shine – but I had to show it to you! – this series is about fountains – vessels of “garden soul”, noise blockers, bird bringers and happiness producers.
See you Water Wednesday #2 for a before/after mischievous looking Viennese spitter man…