Deciding WHERE in your yard the bubbling boulder should be placed is an important decision.
Once the site has been constructed (an upcoming how-to post), and the boulder set in-place, it’s pretty much a done deal. It’s not like flowers where you can whimsically decide to move them elsewhere – just pluck ‘em out of the ground, and plop ‘em into the other end of the garden bed. After all, the boulder will weigh hundreds, maybe even thousands, of pounds. (I don’t know about you, but we don’t have a bobcat or forklift just sitting around the property. ;))
In choosing the location, there are five things you’ll want to think through:
1. Proximity to Electricity
Know where your power lines, cable/satellite lines, and any other lines are BEFORE you settle on a location. Some may be above ground, while others are buried. You don’t want to start digging without knowing their location.
On the flip side, you will need SAFE access to electricity.
In an upcoming post, I’ll explain how to run power to the boulder area to operate the water pump. Fortunately, that post will be heavily guided by my husband’s knowledge and experience. If you relied on my [lack of] knowledge and experience, you’d end up in the emergency room or … six feet in the ground.
It’s possible to simply use a GFI extension cord, but I’ll walk you through a more aesthetically pleasing installation where you’ll tap into the electrical power from your house, garage, barn, or whatever the case may be.
Also, there are a number of safety hazards with the use of an extension cord: tripping over the cord; running over it with the lawnmower; an animal chewing through it (harming or killing itself), leaving behind an unsafe cord; etc.
2. Proximity to Running Water
There’s not a lot to say about this point. As long as your water hose(s) will reach the boulder, you’re good.
3. Sun or Shade
As far as sun versus shade, there’s no right or wrong place to put the boulder. Knowing a couple things will better equip you to make the right choice for YOU.
Algae LOVE the SUN. The more sun exposure, the more algae – and frustration – you’ll have.
Under a tree provides its own set of challenges. Directly below a tree canopy falls … I don’t know what it is … pollen? Then there are the piles of leaves you have to keep out of all the nooks and crannies of the boulder and between all the river rocks. A few leaves in the summer is no biggie, but come autumn …
4. Pathways / Clearance
John reminded me ahead of time that I’d need to keep at least x’ of a pathway behind the boulder for our quad and trailer. I either went a little too far back, or we simply did not plan enough clearance. We can get the trailer behind the boulder, but just barely. We have to place a board on part of the river rocks to keep one of the trailer tires from slipping into the pit. (You can walk on the rocks, but the weight of the trailer is a different story.)
Does the location you’re considering provide enough clearance for the mower, trailer, vehicle, etc.?
5. Multiple Viewpoints
If possible, choose a location that will provide a good view from two or more places. Being able to sit, view, and listen to the bubbling boulder from various places around the house and property will maximize your enjoyment of the beautiful, serene ambiance you’ve created.
A few places to consider are the front or back porch, patio, kitchen table, and living room.
Tip: Once you have an idea of the size of boulder you’ll be getting, use a prop to test various viewpoints. Try to find something (e.g., a cardboard box, a tricycle, etc.) that’s about the same height and width of the boulder.
Place the prop in the location you’re considering. Then, sit in different places to see what the view looks like. You might learn the prop/boulder is too short to be seen in that location. Maybe if it’s moved a few feet in a different direction the view will improve.