|From suburban backyards to formal manor estates, water in the garden is a welcome feature for any style garden. Today’s garden centers offer a diverse range of materials for constructing water fountains and simple cascades that may be incorporated into any landscape to great effect. The following article discusses garden fountains and cascades and how to install the right choice for your garden.
The most successful water features are those that are in keeping with their surroundings; scale-to-scale, they should match their garden space for best results. Even a very limited space like the corner of a courtyard garden can benefit from the sweet music of a trickling spring flowing from a small wall-mounted fountain. Likewise, a large space could do with a grand fountain or cascade that might even be the focal point of your garden. Consider your own space and how you landscape can best celebrate its own water feature.
When assessing your space, besides the lay of the land, consider the architecture of your home and other buildings on your property. If your home is a Victorian style building than you should try to limit your fountain style to something from that era. Of course, there are many non-descript styles that may be adapted to any type of architecture. For example, a European street fountain generally consists of three or four cascades rippling down into a small pool; if this is constructed with rustic stone, it gives an enchanting old-world appeal. This same design when constructed with smooth planes of granite will also adapt to a strict modern garden design. Construction materials also contribute to the statement your fountain and cascade will make.
The shape of your fountain is also important. A circular design can relieve a highly formalized garden. A long narrow style can add length to a space. The number of fountain jets will also need to be considered. That same long narrow fountain may be arched with ten or twelve jets while a small circular fountain may only employ one. Also, you may want to make special considerations for how you landscape around your fountain. A classical Italian fountain set out on a flat space may not be as attractive as if you were able to provide an elegant backdrop for it with a faux grotto or cypress grove; even a framework of hedges might set it off in a pleasing manor.
When choosing a design and construction materials it may be helpful to decide initially whether you are opting stylistically for a classical or old-world fountain or something entirely modern. You will have a staggering array of fountains to choose from no matter what camp you place yourself in. When hunting for a classical fountain, you will see many fountains boasting classical or mythological figures like Greek and Roman gods and goddess, fairies, cherubs or simply ancient faces from whence water pours from the lips of the statuette. Lions and other animals also ornament many classical fountains.
One classical design for a fountain could be a marble face mounted to the wall of your house and tucked within a blanket of ivy. For a focal point, consider a large bronze bowl fixed atop an ornamental base; water could jet up from the bowl but also out through jets installed within the pedestal.
For more modern types of fountains and cascades, consider very plain naturalistic features like a simple square basin that sends a thick stream of water into a small pool. This style also works well in Japanese style gardens that always aim for the most natural seeming of features. A glazed ceramic urn transformed into a fountain works well for a modern garden as does a fountain with unique tiles that rim the base. Again, choose a style that appeals to you and suits the overall design of your garden.
While a still garden pool offers a tranquil beauty to any landscape, a fountain or cascade adds life to a still setting. The bubbling of a splashing fountain is both peaceful and natural and even a single jet in a garden pond will help maintain the health of the pond and aid in preventing algae growth. There is also a wide range of lighting features to install so you fountain can be admired throughout the evening as well.