If you’re in search of that cool and calming effect of trickling water but your backyard doesn’t quite have the atmosphere of a babbling brook or peaceful pond, then a garden fountain is definitely for you. One of the most amazing things about a garden fountain is that you don’t have to commit to something you don’t completely like - you can easily find one that matches your personality and style.
Your garden is already beautiful, right? But what if I told you that you can enhance the look and feel of it, and even boost your curb appeal by having one installed. In addition, you will have a gorgeous and peaceful area made just for you.
When it comes to looks and style, your options are endless. From colorful glazed ceramics to fiberglass that has been elaborately shaped, to Tuscan colors and old Spanish Courtyard - you have the options. After reading this quick guide, you will have everything you need to know about garden fountains, and you’ll be ready to make your purchase!
As you may already know, garden fountains have been around for a very, very long time. In fact, one of the earliest recorded garden fountains in history was from roughly 3,000 BC in Iraq. As the centuries came and went, garden fountains never went out of style. They were a celebration - a status symbol of luxury, wealth, and plumbing! The ancient Romans and Greeks turned fountain creation into an art form with carved statues (some you can still visit today).
European water fountains became prominent around the 14th century and again, they were a status symbol in courtyards. The US finally became a part of the craze in the 19th century and now millions of people own one, whether it’s large and extravagant or a simple small ornamental fountain.
In reality, there are dozens of fountain styles. However, we are going to focus on the main styles you’ll see on the market today - trough, wall, waterfall, courtyard, and floating fountains. They all will make your garden even more of a special sanctuary than it already is, and they all have their own gorgeous ambiance.
These are barnyard-esque style fountains, and they are very simple in design and shape. They complement almost every garden style, so they are very popular for people who aren’t looking for anything too ‘loud’ or fancy. They have a unique and rustic look to them, and you can charm them up with multiple tiers. Easy to install and take care of, trough fountains usually range from $100-$700 on average.
These are one of the best choices for people who have a smaller garden area, thus looking for a smaller water feature. They are usually slim and can either be wall-mounted or free-standing. If you don’t want it to be the main attraction of your garden, they can be slipped into small areas and will add a simple and pretty touch to the space. Garden wall fountains are also easy to install, and they are on the cheaper side - anywhere from $40-$400.
Waterfall fountains work with gravity to spill water from the top tier to the bottom tier (or basin). More likely than not, the fountain will have multiple tiers and be a bit more, ‘showy’ than the last two we discussed. These beautiful garden features can be large and more on the pricey end - you can find them online from $500-$5,000.
Large, in charge, and making more of a classic historical statement, courtyard fountains are for people with a lot of extra space and the desire to enhance their yard completely. They are free-standing and are meant to be seen from every angle and from a distance. They also contain a self-circulating pump system, multiple tiers, and are usually anywhere from $800-$10,000- some even more expensive than that!
No, not in the air. Floating fountains sit inside a basin or a large pool of water and spray up into the sky. They are great at making a visual statement - think of the large water fountain show in Las Vegas, Nevada. the one in your garden will be so much smaller, but it will have a similar effect and make a fantastic accent. Also known as pond fountains, they generally cost between $300 and $10,000. The most expensive ones are made for the centerpiece of a large pond or body of water.
It might sound pretty simple, but there’s actually a method to it. Visually, one layer of water slips down to the next surface and so on, eventually leading to the basin (bottom of fountain). The pump is located in the basin usually beneath a decorative layer and pulls the water in, then pushes it out.
A fountain’s anatomy consists of water tubing that runs from the bottom of the fountain to the highest tier. The basin is the very bottom of the fountain that holds the pump, flow control, and the top portion of the power cord. Most fountains are connected to the house’s water source and it won’t go dry unless the power source is shut off. The running water pumping through the fountain is what creates the peaceful waterfall/trickling sound.
Depending on the size of your garden, you should be able to put your fountain in any free space that is clear of debris. As we mentioned earlier, there are garden fountains created extra small, medium, and all the way to extra-large for the largest of garden spaces. If you are wanting something very large, you might want to hire a professional landscaper to help you create space. If you’re planning on buying a smaller free-standing or wall-mounted garden fountain, check your ideal area and make sure it’s close to a power source.
One of the best methods for determining space is by measuring your desired fountain area. Then, multiply the length and width of the area by 2- that way you have double the wiggle room when your fountain arrives. Before purchasing a fountain online, look at the measurements and apply it to your designated space you created. This will give you a great answer and it’s a quick way to determine compatibility!
Go with your gut. Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you when it comes to decorating your garden (unless of course it is a professional’s opinion). More than likely, your first initial instinct on where your garden fountain will go is most likely where you’ll end up putting it, just make sure you follow the simple guidelines in this article.
There is a lot to prepare for, but it really is not an agonizing process (at least it shouldn’t be). Let’s take a quick look at the preparation process and what the general upkeep of a garden fountain will require from you.
There are three steps you need to adhere to if you plan on installing a medium or larger sized fountain - dig a footing, run electrical wires, and plan your water source.
Again, prepping for your fountain installation shouldn’t be something you’re dreading. You have an idea, a space, some wiggle room, and the last thing you will need to do is choose your fountain and the style you want the most - the best part of the process.
Upkeep is not a one-time strenuous action. It should be done very regularly, thus making it easy to keep up with (hence the word ‘upkeep’). Owning a garden fountain will be a small daily chore. But, if you invest in this, don’t you want it to always look its best? Smaller fountains (surprisingly) will need to be checked up on more often than larger ones, as they get dirtier faster and run out of water very quickly. For smaller fountains, check the water level every 8 hours.
Bugs. Gnats. Mosquitoes. Stagnant water attracts a ton of these pests, especially during the hot summer months. How do you get rid of these guys? Pro tip - make sure the water is always moving and when it’s not, add a few drops of pet-safe mosquito repellent or killer to the water during stagnant times.
Let’s take a look at a few more upkeep problems that are easily solved:
Don’t forget, you will also get a great list of tips and tricks for maintenance and cleaning for your specific fountain when your package arrives. Your owner’s manual will be included, and it will serve as a great guide when you need to learn more about your garden fountain.
Now that you know basically all there is to know about owning your own garden fountain, you get to do the fun part. Shopping! Staying within your budget and having the correct landscape for whichever fountain you choose (big or small) is vital, so always keep that in mind before purchasing.
When in doubt of anything, again, please contact a professional. Someone who truly understands landscaping and how a medium/large fountain will shift the way your garden looks will impact the way you choose. Other professionals will make sure that your fountain is supported correctly and won’t lean, as well as ensuring that electrical wiring is up to date and all connected to the right terminals.
Look at your space and visualize it there in front of you and consider how it will look in person. Will you really end up liking it? If the answer is something like “meh, I’m not sure,” then it is not the fountain for you.
Finding your fountain is a total ‘wow’ moment - you will know the perfect one for you when you see it. If you are not a professional fountain installer, please leave these difficult plumbing and electrical maintenance parts to the professionals, the bigger ones can be a longer installation process. While keeping these helpful tips in mind, start your shopping process then reap the benefits of owning your own slice of peace and tranquility.