Guest Author - D. J. Herda
As fountains become increasingly popular with water gardeners, an ever-widening selection of fountains has appeared in the marketplace. Among the most popular are wall fountains, freestanding fountains, and statuary fountains. Here's a look at all three.
An increasingly popular type of water feature is the wall fountain. It takes up little space and is ideally suited to small areas. Most wall fountains are powered by a plug-in submersible pump capable of re-circulating water from the bowl or basin through a delivery pipe up to the spout. Designs are nearly infinite, but most wall fountains feature a jet of water spilling into a small trough or basin.
Plumbing some wall fountains can be complicated, depending upon the location and fountain design. Some require running the water line behind the wall (to hide the line that connects the bowl of the fountain to the spigot). Take that into consideration before you buy. If you’re less than handy with tools, that could be a problem.
Fortunately, you don’t need to bury your fountain’s water line behind a wall to make your wall fountain look “finished.” Some fountains have a water line that runs on the surface of the wall between the basin and the spigot. In order to make the fountain look more appealing, you can disguise the line with artificial or living vines or other plants.
You can also build a three-sided sleeve out of wooden 1 x 2s and attach it to the wall so that it covers the water line. Paint the sleeve to match the wall, and it will blend right in.
Although you can create a wall fountain from scratch, you might also consider purchasing a pre-manufactured kit with a single power cord running from the bowl to the receptacle. Since ease and cost of installation of pre-manufactured fountains varies widely, ask about the installation requirements before purchasing a wall fountain kit.
The bowl and spigot of most wall fountains can be attached to the wall in several ways, depending upon the size, weight, and construction material used in the bowl. Heavy stone fountains are usually attached with mortar and are supported with special T-blocks, or decorative braces that act as brackets. Lighter weight fountains, usually made out of synthetic resin, come with all the mounting hardware you’ll need.
Freestanding fountains are a popular fountain type because they provide a quick, easy focal point for a patio, lawn, or flowerbed. They feature a small, submersible pump housed within the lower pedestal, usually in the hollow base just beneath the bowl. Freestanding fountains have an advantage over wall fountains in that they can be placed anywhere you choose. Select a model whose design allows for easy access and cleaning and that accentuates the garden.
Ornamental statuary fountains have always been popular with fountain-lovers. They consist of a fountain whose centerpiece is a statue--often a Grecian urn, modern geometric shape, or a replica of a famous historic figure or an animal of some sort. They can be placed near a pond or pool or within a pond or other water feature. Such decorative statues have a water-supply line projecting from their bases. The lines connect to a pump and are usually made of flexible tubing.
As with most landscaping elements, large statues require a secure, level place on which to sit. If you want to install the fountain in a pond, you can mount it on an in-pond pedestal created specifically for that purpose or build your own with bricks or stone set to the required height below the water’s surface. If the statue is small, use a black plastic storage crate or a couple of stacked bricks to make a quick, easy-to-hide base.