Our home’s exteriors are not defined by the walls alone. Outdoor living spaces have become wildly popular. With all the screen time in our everyday lives, it’s even more important to be able to relax and get close to nature. Something that makes it even more pleasurable is the soothing sound of a water feature or fountain. These backyard additions can be centerpieces of your outdoor oasis, where you can cool off and enjoy the calm.
For hundreds of years, stately homes have enjoyed the beauty of fountains to grace their entries and gardens. Even in the past 100 years, having a fountain was still mainly a privilege of those who owned mansions and estates. However, the outdoor living space concept of the past 20 or so years has made fountains within reach of almost any homeowner.
Fountains can be purchased at your local home center and hardware store or via online merchants like Amazon or Wayfair. Some fountains can be purchased and installed in an afternoon. Kits usually include the fountain, pump and, sometimes, lighting.
Features and scale
Water features can run the gamut, from simple whiskey barrels with a pump to whole streams, ponds and waterfalls with multiple levels. A water feature can be made in almost a limitless variety of designs and sizes. Water features can be constructed using a liner and adding it to a hole dug in the ground, or they can be purchased with a preformed plastic liner that’s put into the ground.
When planning for your water feature or adding a fountain, consider the scale of the space where you’ll put it. It’s important to keep the size of the feature or fountain in proportion to the space it goes in, or it could look out of place. A tiny fountain or water feature will be lost against a large house, and conversely, an oversized fountain near a small home will overpower the house.
Another consideration is whether to use collecting water or disappearing water. Some fountains appear to have water that flows into rocks and disappears. This is helpful, especially if you have raccoons or animals that will disturb your fountain. Feng shui enthusiasts often say that disappearing water is like disappearing money, and fountains and water features should have a generating portion such as the bubbler or pump and a collecting feature such as a bowl.
Lighting is a wonderful addition to your fountain or water feature for enjoying the outdoors at night. If your pump comes with a light feature in it, you can usually just plug it in and enjoy your fountain. However, if you need to run electricity to your fountain, you will need to get an electrician to put in the wiring to make sure it is suitable for outdoors and is grounded.
Adding a water feature or fountain to your home will imbue your garden with soft, relaxing sounds, create a spot for birds to drink or splash, and make your home and garden a peaceful respite from the world.