Fountains add life and motion to any garden setting. Whether you opt for a single percolating bubbler or a cascading multi-tiered rock waterfall, a fountain is a rewarding project that can be completed in a weekend, often without a major investment. Following are a few considerations to think about before adding a fountain to your backyard garden.
Designing the Fountain to Fit the Function
Do you want your fountain to sparkle and enliven a front entry? Or will it be designed to provide a soothing cadence near a seating area to enhance and deepen conversation? Knowing the purpose and size of the area you’re considering for your fountain will help determine your choice of design. Even a funky yard-sale container can make an interesting fountain that adds the finishing touch to your garden.
Selecting Materials for a Cascading Waterfall or Zen Bowl
The main ingredients for a DIY fountain are a waterproof catch basin, a screen mesh filter, a submersible pump with copper pipe, and a piece of sculpture. Whether you’re making a bowl-style fountain to provide a resonant murmur, or a natural rock ledge with a splashing waterfall, the supplies are easy to find. For the rustic or cottage look, use a balanced stack of flat river rocks. Metal and slate provide clean contemporary lines for the modern garden. A sculptured water nymph or mythical creatures can create a touch of whimsy. Or reflect an elegant theme with a Grecian urn or classical Old-World tiered fountain.
Lush Plantings around the Fountain
Grasses and tropicals are a natural fit for your fountain or water garden. An overflow area from a pond or fountain, typically called a bog garden, is perfect for water cannas, irises and marsh marigolds. Cattails, sedge and bulrush can be left in the pond for the winter, provided that no salt is added. Children love fountains, and can be involved in learning about the type of plants and wildlife that the water attracts. In fact, one requirement for creating a certified wildlife garden in your own back yard is having a water feature, birdbath or fountain to supply water. A bio-swale can help manage rainwater runoff.
Adding a fountain to your garden adds a dynamic dimension to your landscaping. It is a delight for the soul. The helpful gardening advisors at Millcreek Gardens can offer both inspiration and expertise. With their knowledge of our regional climate, the staff can recommend the ideal plants and products to create the perfect garden fountain.