Because the custom-made copper fountain is shaped like the pond. Because Boston ivy drapes over the sides of the spout during summer, making it appear to float on the water. Because the ivy changes color with the season, creating a crimson curtain in autumn months. Because the copper basin stands unadorned during winter, giving it a different look altogether. Because the hefty basin anchors the entire garden. Because at the base of the fountain is a plant called Robb’s spurge, which stays green all year long. Because the pond contains an ecosystem that nourishes the fish without human assistance.
Rob McFarland wanted to create a garden for his landscape design firm and retail store that would inspire anyone entering the building. He had a vacant lot and needed something bold to serve as a focal point.
McFarland prefers working with strong lines and figured he’d include a geometrically shaped fishpond.
“The lot didn’t have a house or structure to anchor it,” says the owner of Ward & Child/The Garden Store in Salt Lake City. “I wanted a very bold architectural element that would become the anchor of the entire garden.”
To that end, he decided to build a fountain using a custom-sculpted copper basin inspired by the irregular rectangle of the pond. “It’s two differently shaped triangles put back to back,” McFarland says. “It has a point at both ends: One is very exaggerated and elongated, and the other is short and squatty.” The elongated point serves as a spout.
The basin, approximately 6 feet long and as deep as 30 inches, was specially engineered and then constructed by a local blacksmith.
Cloaking the fountain’s sides in Boston ivy was a no-brainer for McFarland. “I love anything that suggests the passage of time and I have a tendency to drape everything in vines for that reason,” he says, so that it takes on different looks each season. “In the wintertime, without the vines, it’s kind of heavy and chunky feeling. But it almost feels like it’s floating in the summertime. It takes on a whole different personality.”