Guest Author - D. J. Herda
For many reasons, fountains are among life’s greatest joys. They are becoming increasingly popular, which makes them more widely available today than ever before. They are also simple to set up—simpler by far than creating a pond, a stream, or a waterfall. Some are even plug-and-go; you just hook them to a power source, add the water, and watch the magic.
Despite their simplicity (or perhaps because of it) fountains can raise the human psyche to new entrancing heights. Best of all, there’s a style and shape of fountain that will fit comfortably into any home or garden landscape.
Pre-constructed fountains, such as those designed to resemble an old-fashioned hand pump, work well in a casual setting, while Grecian-style fountains work better in a more stately or elegant setting.
Why such an allure for fountains? They pack a lot of charm into a small space. They propel a stream of water through the air to create a cooling effect. They’re great for enjoying close up, which is why you often find them on porches, patios, and decks. And, from a distance, they lend a stately elegance to nearly any setting.
Fountains can either stand alone or be attached to a wall. Some are designed to be used in or around pools and ponds, adding even more dramatic effect to the landscape. They range in size from tabletop to slightly smaller than the Sears Tower. Some are elaborate; others are simple. Nearly all take only a few minutes to set up.
You can choose from a wide variety of styles, colors, materials, and sizes for your fountain. But, try to choose a fountain in the overall style of your garden or home. You wouldn’t want to put a Rococo-style fountain in a Spanish adobe! And a wall fountain made from brick or stone would look awfully out-of-place against a cedar picket fence!
Most fountains today are made of pre-cast concrete. Other popular materials include reconstituted stone, resin, and fiberglass, which can be made to look remarkably stone-like at only a fraction of the weight.
Fountains come in numerous colors and surface finishes. Finding just the right one for your home or garden could take some research and more than one trip to your local garden center.
You might also want to run a search on the Internet. Or, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gem, ask around at art galleries and specialty shops for local artisans who might be willing to take on a new client and create a unique design from scratch.
Just remember that fountains in sunny locations will likely develop algae. Nearly anything in a sunny location will. If you don’t have fish or plants in your fountain, you can prevent algae by adding chlorine bleach to the water at the rate of 2 ounces for every 10 gallons of water once a month. Or, if you prefer, you can buy an inexpensive algae retardant at your local pond, home center, or nursery.