The Q&A Archives: Maintaining a Fountain and Ornamental Grasses

Question: Last summer I planted 6 different types of perennial ornamental grass to create a "magical garden" in the western corner of my yard. After seeing a wonderful fountain and pond display, I thought this would be an added touch to this corner of heaven. The problem is, when should I transplant the grasses (they are planted close together)? I'm also afraid I won't have room for the fountain. I also have a chimenea in that section which would not be difficult to move, but before I do, I'd like to know if a fountain is difficult to maintain.

Answer: The grasses can be divided and/or transplanted in early spring. Be sure to leave plenty of space between plants, as they can grow quite huge, and it is quite a job to dig and divide mature grasses. Keep the chimenea well away from the dried grasses in the fall to avoid fire risk.

Fountains aren't difficult to maintain. You might need to place some sort of screening over the basin to keep larger bits of debris such as leaves from entering and clogging the pump, and the pump will need some regular maintenance cleaning, but all in all there's not much to it. Keep ample water in the basin so the pump never runs dry. For safety, have a licensed electrician install the electrical line with a ground fault interrupter on it for safety.

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