Tips about Fountains from a Landscape Designer and Garden Writer

Guest Blog Post by: Jane Gates of Gates & Croft Horticultural Design

As a landscape designer, I love fountains in the garden. Garden décor is not only one of the more fun aspects of landscape design, it can set the whole mood of your garden. A fountain can be a pivotal focal point. It will add the refreshing sound of water on hot summer days and can define a style theme. You can either slot it into the overall garden area to accent a special spot, or you can find a fountain you love and design your garden around it.

A garden fountain will draw the eye wherever you place it. Make it large for a bold statement and build seating around it or nearby. Or make it more gentle as an accompaniment to a dining area. Set a wall fountain against a dull wall to transform it into a piece of fine art. Integrate a fountain into a potted garden, a balcony or a patio where space is at a premium.

Don’t think you can’t have a fountain because you don’t have a lot of room. There are all shapes and forms of fountains made of diverse materials that will fit on a tabletop. Not only can these decorate a small outdoor space, but the right table fountain can find its way into a home, a small apartment, or hang out with you on your desk top at work where the gentle cascade of water will help neutralize daily stress.

Fountains are both visual and audio. The sound of cascading water can calm nerves, wash away tension and even create white sound that will distract from neighboring noises – a great way to counter outdoor noise pollution that may be beyond your control.

Choose a garden fountain that blends with the style or theme of either your house or your garden — preferably both. Make sure your fountain is the right size; too big a fountain can look overpowering and oppressive while one that is too small might be overwhelmed by the rest of the landscape.

I like to design fountains into gardens to underscore a theme. Look for interesting sculptures or characteristic forms to illustrate the style of a contemporary, Mediterranean, Japanese, classical or natural looking garden. You can surround the fountain with flowers, trees, rocks, stone, tumbled glass, bark, tiles or many other settings.

As I said, I love designing with fountains. You can, too.

Take the time to choose your fountain carefully and to design it into the whole area. A fountain can make your whole landscape, your garden area, or even just a small patio area into something really special.

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