Adding a water feature to your garden is an effective design element, complex hydroengineering system, which can be installed in pools, ponds or lakes. Fountains consist of pump, water reservoir, insulating materials, filters, wiring and pipes. They are generally classified into two groups: indoor and outdoor fountains. The second ones are easily subjected to serious contamination. Litter and foliage leftovers may clog water reservoirs, that’s why having a good filtration system is crucial. Indoor fountains are quite small and as a rule have less complex structure.
Choosing garden water fountains
Fountains humidify the air and generally create better microclimate conditions in the garden; they are also used as a strong design element working in accord with given garden style and main garden buildings. Ornamental fountains are used as a focal point in the centre of gardens or parks. In summer they become relaxing outdoor retreat. Garden fountains can be either ground-based (consisting of main water reservoir and hydroengineering elements) or subsurfaced (when water reservoir is underground). Ground-based fountains, in turn, are divided into sculptural ones (they spurt streams of water from the sculpture itself), wall fountains (installed near or in the walls) and bowls (water flows down along the walls).
Relative difference consists in pressure head force and water jets shape, created with the help of differenthead pieces and sprayers. Thanks to them, garden fountains can imitate such natural phenomena as geysers- producing great amount of bubbles, or being ring, bell or dome-shaped. There is a huge variety of garden fountain designs: they can be stepped (spurting streams of water at different heights), extended upwards, flowing down in a circle (tulips) or even being water walls. As far as technical characteristics are concerned, fountains can be static or dynamic (musical), simple or illuminated.
Image source: IL Nature
Garden water features should be taken into account in the initial designing stage. For trouble-free fountain service competent layout drawing is a must, as well as the right equipment and mounting. Prompt maintenance techniques, includingwinter time preservation and withdrawing from storage in summer, cleaning water facilities and water fall system are also required. If necessary, fountain elements should be changed as well.
Modern water features can be designed in various styles: classic, landscape, vanguard, minimalist or oriental. Such fountains can have strict geometric forms (sphere, pyramid, cylinder or cone water features). Fountains can create an illusion of water flowing in the air (water walls), being really a work of art. Water wall base can be made of glass, stone or metal. Water flows through the surface with hypnotizing movement of trickling water and restorative sound. It plays a big role in creating unique garden atmosphere, serving as a zoning element as well.
Country house water features
Having a fountain at your country house brings a whole new experience to your garden. It is usually placed far from trees and shrubs to prevent the foliage getting into water reservoir.
Country fountains are made from high-strength materials, proof against temperature drops and sunlight. They look great with flower clusters, rockeries, Alpine rock gardens and come in a variety of sizes and forms. If you add illumination, for example light emitting diode lights (LED), you can extend the daily enjoyment time of your fountain into the evening hours. If water feature is placed in a pond, floating lights will provide a decorative glow to your fountain and the whole garden area.
Types of water fountains
Bamboo water feature
Bamboo water feature consists of hollow bamboo pipe for water passing, medium/small sized stones and boulders. Water reservoir is made of solid stone. This type of fountains is rather simple to construct and is traditionally found in Japanese gardens. It will look great if you plant ferns and hostas around the fountain.
Solar fountains are usually placed in open spaces, on the lawn, in front of the main entrance to the house, in ponds or lakes. The solar panel is either separately mounted or can form a part of the fountain. They are self contained water features, powered by solar energy. The setup might not work in overcast conditions, but still remains a popular trend in private landscaping.
Patio water feature
Patio is an outdoor paved space near the house, generally used for recreation purposes. It is traditionally decorated with flowers, fragrant herbaceous plants and ornamental water features. Patio water feature come in a wide range of sizes, choosing between self contained mini fountains, sculptural or wall water features.
Image source: IL Nature
Stone fountains made of marble or granite look grand and monumental and are traditionally used in French style gardens. Materials used here, such as cast stone (granite sphere shaped fountains), are quite expensive. Tile-facing is another less expensive option, used in big fountains designs.
Wall fountains provide beautiful addition to existing walls in the garden, works great with patio and other recreation garden areas. Depending on the house architecture and given garden style, the fountain sculpture can portrait ancient gods, animals and jars. It is usually made of natural stone.
Image source: Flickr
Garden cascades and waterfalls help to turn sloping garden ground to advantage, to link together ornamental pond or Alpine rock garden. In order to construct such waterfall you can purchase ready made sandstone elements or boulders of different sizes. The desired height determines how powerful your pump should be. Once you have designed a cascade or a waterfall, plant herbaceous plants and shrubs around it, adding some stones (for example pebbles or crushed stone). Cascade is a series ofsmall waterfalls. Water flows smoothly, descending a series of steps, making less noise compared to waterfalls. Cascade water features require hydraulic insulating surface (for example butyl rubber tape) and enough space for water to descend at both fast and slow rates.