Bathroom fixtures find new life outdoors
by Jacqueline Soule
When presented with the task of finding bathroom fixtures utilized in the landscape, I only had to walk into my own backyard in Tucson, Ariz. I have a 1940s bathroom sink, which came out of my home during a remodel, and a cabinet, which I use as a potting and storage bench. It works well for mixing and moistening potting blends and saves my aching back from hours hunched over a wheelbarrow of potting soil. Excess water or rain goes down the drainpipe into a graveled area beneath the sink.
I also showcase a living sculpture made of antique sinks. Three cast-iron sinks mounted on cast-iron pipe are set on a concrete pad inlaid with countless sparkling black glass beads. The sinks were recycled from curbside bulky trash pickup and are planted with seasonal annuals for year-round color. I found inspiration for my creation in the works of abstract artist Robert M. Fisher, who recombined everyday objects into pieces of art.
Jacqueline A. Soule, Ph.D. is a botanist, writer and educator. A member of the Garden Writers Association, she writes gardening columns for a number of newspapers throughout the Southwest. A self-avowed "Darwinistic" gardener, Jacqueline prefers plants that need as little care as possible while providing color, texture and movement in the landscape.