Balconies and Yards

Types of Water Fountains for Gardens

Traditionally, water fountains are considered as one of the most versatile decorative piece in the garden, usually placed as a centerpiece in a garden landscape. It can beautify a home and enhance its curb appeal for the front yard of a property. You can add plants, trees and paving, but nothing can enhance a front yard like a water feature such as a fountain. Water fountains can change the entire look and feel of a garden. What seems ordinary landscaping at first can become an outdoor oasis once a fountain is added, as the sound of flowing water has a relaxing effect that also attracts birds and other animals.

If you want to decorate your garden with a fountain, you must first know what the types of water fountains you can build for your garden:

1. Self-contained fountains

Self-contained fountains

Self-contained fountains are one of the most popular types of fountains because they are affordable and can be installed easily. These fountains have their own water pond or reservoir, plumbing and pump to function on its own, so you don’t have to install it in a pool or pond. These are usually placed on decks, patios or on a side of a garden, but they can be placed anywhere in the garden, as these doesn’t need a big, dedicated place to be and it doesn’t require any kind of major construction. They can be made of stone, ceramic or fiberglass. Because they don’t need any major installation, you can move this type of fountain to any location, although it may be heavy, depending on the size and material.

2. Spouting fountains

Spouting fountains

When you think of garden fountains, the spouting kind is most probably what comes to mind first. It’s a fountain that is considered to be dramatic, as it features a pipe that sprays water up into the air that generates a striking, plume-like effect. This is easy to add in an existing body of water like a pond or a pool, as it only requires a submersible pump to allow the fountain to spout water properly. The spouting patterns vary due to the varieties of nozzles and pump power. There are grandiose, spouting fountains in complex variants that you can find in large parks and mansions, but most of the types of spouting fountains in residential areas are simpler. It’s a popular choice for water fountain as it’s not so expensive to build or install.

3. Tiered fountains

Tiered fountains

Tiered fountains are the more traditional type of fountain. As the name suggests, the tiered fountain consists of tiers (caused by the basins placed level with each other) that give shape to the water and create subtle, relaxing sounds. The further apart the tiers are, the louder the water sounds will be, because the water has to fall further. Tiered fountains are popular in Mediterranean countries and are often found installed in the courtyards or plazas. They quickly create a traditional or classical feel to a landscape setting.

4. Wall fountains

Wall fountains

A wall fountain is integrated into an existing wall or built into a new wall. It’s a smart choice if you have a small backyard, or if you simply don’t have enough space that is required for a decent spouting or cascading fountain. A wall fountain requires a spout, a water basin, a pump and internal tubing. The spout will spit out water down into the basin that is placed below.

For a wall fountain, you can opt for a freestanding or a wall-mounted one. Freestanding wall fountains have a flat back and attached basin that you place flush against a wall, while a wall-mounted fountain is a self-contained unit that can be hanged on the wall.

5. Cascading fountains

Cascading fountains

Cascading fountains are elegant and subtle. Unlike the spouting kind, the water gently flows down from one level to the next. The traditional tiered fountain is a type of cascading fountain, but it’s more often used to refer to fountains that have “steps” or rocks that are placed downward, so you can enjoy the sight of flowing water to different levels. The top part of the fountain is usually where the water flows from, then the water steadily cascades downwards to the bottom level. If your main goal is to create a relaxation hub in your garden, then a cascading fountain is the best one to install.

6. Disappearing or pondless fountains

A disappearing fountain, which is also known as pondless fountain, is a more modern type of fountain. The unique thing about it is that they don’t need a pond, a pool, basin or any sort of visible water feature to work. Instead, you will need to install their water source underground. This adds an impressive feature in your garden that can wow your guests. Pondless fountains usually feature stunning works of art like a sculpture, urns or within columns, which is one of the most popular pondless fountain style.

This type of fountain has a lot of advantages besides aesthetic appeal and impressiveness. One major pro is since the water reservoir is underground, you don’t have to worry about algae growth that is a common downside to owning fountains. This means there’s less maintenance. It also means the water doesn’t evaporate, and it poses no drowning risk to children.

7. Japanese fountain

Japanese fountain

Fountains are common in Japanese gardens, as they have spiritual significance. Fountains have been a symbol of physical and spiritual cleansing, which dates back to ancient times. Bamboo is a commonly used material in Japanese fountains, and you will often see a bamboo spout trickling water down a basin, and then surrounded by rocks, evergreen plants and ferns. Adding a Japanese style fountain can add a sense of Zen into your garden.  If you have a wide open space (and a bigger budget to spend) you may create a pond or stream with stones, then add koi fishes to achieve the Japanese style.

8. Swimming pool fountain

Swimming pool fountain

If you have a swimming pool or are planning to install a swimming pool in your backyard, then you may be interested in adding a fountain. This makes a regular, plain household pool into a more exciting swimming area. Installing a fountain can be relatively easy and fun to play around with.

There are different types of fountains that can be fitted to a swimming pool. There are some that are placed on the side of the pool, and can shoot water as you expect. Some are placed in the middle of the pool, like a centerpiece. Some can even make the water appear to be in different colors by the use of special LED lighting effects.

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