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Landscaping Ideas and Resources

water fountain in yardWhat to Consider When Adding a Water Fountain to Your Yard

No aspect of landscaping is more fascinating to the human eye than a water fountain. The addition of one creates a new focal point to your landscape.

Many property owners prefer statuary fountains for their European charm, while others love to spend time watching the fountain water spray and pierce the air with its flow. Apart from these designs, landscaping companies also can provide you with simpler styles like bubling rock water fountains and large-scale wall fountains which can still mesmerize your guests despite their simplicity.

Before Adding a Water Fountain:

Before installing one, home owners having fish need to bear in mind two aspects of a water fountain. A small fountain will definitely help circulate the water having fish in it and help its environment but, on the other hand, a large displacement of water can upset the environment as well as impact aquatic plants in the pond. Let us now study the basic types of fountains:

Simply put, a water fountain in a residential yard can be of two types: Spray water fountain and Spill type water fountains.

Spray fountains, as the name suggests, consist of a spray mechanism having a pipe and a nozzle. A pump circulates the water through this setup and the type of nozzle chosen determines the pattern of the spray. Based on this you can have 

  • A geyser fountain that shoots a straight column of water in the air 
  • A bell fountain that has more of a shorter spray and rounder appearance. 

water fountain in yard

The great thing about Spray water fountains is that most landscaping companies sell these in the form of kits which include the nozzle, the pump, the cable and the pre-filters which clean the water prior to pumping it. Bear in mind that the nozzle requires cleaning every now and then so it keeps spraying properly. This can be done by the lawn care services. Care should also be taken when you install the pump directly on the bottom of your pond. This is because debris and dirt are more likely to clog the pre-filter and the pump in this region.

Spill fountains basically consist of a tap and basin design and use gravity for aiding the water in its intended course. The water falls into the basin, below which there is a tube-pump arrangement that forces the water back up to the tap. Landscaping companies can vary the basic designs of these fountains and use a ceramic vase and vinyl tubing or even stack containers and rocks to create an effect of water moving over steps.

Now that we are clear about the two basic styles of water fountains, let us consider the terms you need to understand prior to installing them:

  • You need to understand the mathematical terms like fountain’s head-height which directly determines the fountain output. The fountain’s head height is the distance from the nozzle to the water’s surface. 
  • Every water fountain requires one of two kinds of pumps:

- Submersible pumps - these are easier to install, energy efficient and quieter in operation.

- External pumps - these sit outside the water body and are more complicated and noisier. 

  • While both the pumps have their pros and cons, it still pays to take a moment to consider which one will suit your needs better. Submersible pumps might seem like an ideal choice, and they are, as far as ease of installation is concerned. But if you want more power to the fountain then external pumps are better. That being said, external pumps need some sort of housing unit for protection from the elements. 
  • Owners having a pond also need to measure their pond volume which can be done with the help of a landscaping contractor.  You can choose a pump that displaces half of the pond’s volume.  When you are out to purchase such a pump, ensure that it displaces at least this much volume in an hour’s time. A larger pump proves safer in this regard as you can always turn it down to a lower setting. 
  • You can even purchase the ready made water fountain kits from most landscaping companies and you need only review and read the instructions for assembly. 

To maximize your fountain’s effect and draw attention to it as the focal point of your yard, you need to keep trees around it trimmed to a proper height, use edges in simpler colors and finishes, and even consider adding submersible lights for enhanced visual effects.

Statuary Water Fountains

Statuary water fountains can impart an Italian look and feel to your garden. You can have a woman statue tipping water out of a vase’, or an ‘animal figure shooting water from its mouth’. The basic principle of the statuary fountain is based on spray type water fountains. The landscaping services provider can give you options like cement, concrete or ceramic statues for your particular landscape. 

The thing to note in statuary fountains is the weight element. Concrete reinforcements need to be added when the statuary fountain weighs over 100 pounds. This is because, over time, the structure starts sinking and can damage the pond. Your landscaping company can provide you with a thick concrete pad that has to be at least 4 to 5 inches thick and also wider than the statue base. This pad has to be placed in the area between the liner and the underlayment. Bear in mind that the pad raises the statue and may spoil the look in which case you may decide to  dig deeper hole for the pad so the fountain can be level to the ground.

Wall Water Fountains

For wall water fountains, the mechanism is similar to statuary fountain except there is a fountain mask instead of a statue. The pump connects to the tubing which in turn connects to the mask that is hung on the wall with a basin underneath. In such a design the piping gets exposed and one needs to use his creativity in camouflaging it. Covering it with plants or painting it in dark shades can do the trick. 

These are the basic considerations before installing water fountains. Apart from these designs one can even have container based fountains and Japanese style Shishi-Odoshi type water fountains that were used in the past to repel fish-eating predatory birds. Getting a quote from landscaping companies is the best way to get started on your water fountain project.  

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