Thursday, September 22, 2011

Winterizing The Well Head

I have joined the stock tank gardening craze, albeit in my own inverted fashion. I had spent way to much mental energy trying to come up with a way to winterize my well head without using one of those hideous fake plastic rocks. I ran through all sorts of notions. It was getting rather debilitating.

The final straw was researching the needed ingredients for a hypertufa head sculpture to cover the well head with a hole in the mouth for a hose bib. I would have had to go all over to gather them up and it probably would have ended up heavier than I wanted. Not to mention such a sculpture would have involved numerous processes. I just wasn't in the mood for numerous processes. I had already given up on the idea of a big pot to cover it. Would you believe that decorative plastic pots big enough to do the job started in the $250 range. I was aghast.

I had already fondled the stock tank idea, but wasn't quite sold. After a second try on the decorative pot idea, at $80, a stock tank it will be. Hideous fake plastic rocks cost the same or a bit more than the stock tank.

Next spring I will probably divide and rearrange the Feather Reed Grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora to screen the stock tank a bit more. It is attractive enough. I am more afraid it could be a public nuisance if it is highly visible. Scrap metal thieves are more and more rampant. Those big steel bars I brought home last year for the sculpture "Smoke' wandered off. I never should have left them unsecured.

There has also been a rash of loose cows in the last month. It is a normal enough occurrence that it is expected. The question becomes what kind of Pavlovian response will loose cows have to a stock tank? I am sure to find out.

The stock tank has the added benefit of an existing threaded drain hole that will make attaching a spigot for a hose bib a piece of cake for the summer months. All the well head needs now is a short section of the electric heat tape and it is set for winter. Local in stock items, purchased, plopped, threaded and taped. No major processes. I love it.

Strolling with Helen and Beth the other day and pointing out my favorite goldenrod that unlike most of the others stays short and will grow in the shade quite happily got me questioning its ID. I now think this is Solidago curtisii, Mountain Decumbent Goldenrod. Plant identification up here is always problematic. There is never just one species of anything. Maybe I have it right this time. I like how it blooms in whorls in the leaf axils making a nice yellow spike.

There is no shortage of asters either. I do my best trying to figure out whose who. One of the two more common white asters around here is the Frost Aster, Symphyotrichum pilosum, I think.

It works quite well with the galvanized silver of the new stock tank don't you think?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think it looks great with the stock tank. I hope those cows don't wander over to the tank thinking you have put out a liquid refreshment for them.They might just move in.

Lola said...

Wow, that was an ingenious idea. I do agree those fake rocks are just that,"fake". They look awful.
I think the Feather Reed & the asters do look fine.
Sure hope those roaming bovine don't think it was put there for them.

Siria said...

You are so creative! I just love it!

Christopher C. NC said...

I sure hope the next loose cows don't get any bright ideas. They always wander slowly through and end up on the great lawn across the scenic byway.

I already have two medium sized galvanized oval wash tubs to repeat this theme in the greater garden. And there is always the possibility of buying more stock tanks and using them for planters like everyone else has been doing.

Cheryl K. said...

Ingenious solution - but that's a very sad story about the "Smoke" sculpture walking away!

Anonymous said...

Great solution to the problem! And I like the idea of more of them for continuity!


Barry said...

Aloha, Chris,you solved a problem so neatly it squeaks!I was going to suggest making a papercrete or 'tufa thing, but you'd need to make a frame with chicken wire, then mix up the portland cement, perlite, peat mess, da kine, then be scuptural to make a totem head...ohhh, I'm already tired! You really be akamai!