From Fountains to Waterfalls – New Trends Make a Splash

March 15, 2010

Medici Ellipse Large Outdoor FountainSutton Place Outdoor Fountain

Water Lily Wall FountainLion Head Outdoor Wall Fountain

Integrating furnishings with natural surroundings continues to evolve in outdoor spaces and water features are taking a starring role.

“It is becoming more common for landscape professionals to incorporate water in their architectural design,” notes landscape designer Eric King. “Whether it’s a spouting fountain or a peaceful pond, water can reduce stress, block undesired noise, and create a tranquil environment.”  

 “Water features such as small fountains are popular with urban dwellers of condos, town homes, and apartments because they muffle and mask the sounds of traffic without being too intrusive,” says landscape architect Steven Verner.  “If you don’t want to spend big bucks for a pond or waterfall, a container garden or tabletop or wall fountain is an affordable option.”

 “We have a fundamental connection to water,” King adds. “Designed in creative ways to integrate with the landscape, water adds a ‘wow’ factor to any outdoor space.”

King notes that homeowners have more creativity if their fountain is located in the back. “A fountain in the front has to be visually consistent with the rest of the neighborhood.”

Whatever you choose, never locate a water feature in a low drainage area, Verner says. “It makes sense to place ponds and other water features on high ground out of the way of storm water, which carries silt and debris, and can clog and fill a pond pretty quickly. 

Fountains

As water restrictions become more common, fountains become more practical. They are designed to be light in weight and made from durable materials that are easy to move and much less costly to build than in the past. They are also easy to maintain — just keep them clean. 

Featured in a wide range of sizes, shapes and prices, fountains require a power supply and a water source for refilling as the need arises.  Location is also key — a fountain needs to be close at hand since the sound is just as important as the look.  Splatter can be a challenge if they are not installed on a level surface.

Waterfalls

While very beautiful, soothing and dramatic, waterfalls can be a real eyesore if you are experiencing water restrictions because of drought.  Get around this problem by creating a water ecosystem which includes plants and fish that can only survive with water. The pondless waterfall is lower in maintenance and is really just a recirculating fountain in the guise of a waterfall.  The advantage is the same sound and the movement without the maintenance component of ponds.

Ponds

The size and shape of this high-maintenance water feature is limited by imagination and available space.  If you have a yearning for Koi fish — their charm is undeniable — then you need a large pond since the Koi will grow to more than a foot in length.   Seeing them in a little backyard puddle is rather claustrophobic. 

Koi have been bred for color and friendliness and will come to the surface when people approach. Often a koi pond will be emptied when the fish inadvertently feed themselves to predator birds and animals, so it’s key to keep the two apart.  This is easier said than done, but doable. 

Bird Baths

This humble little water feature is indispensable when attempting to attract birds.  Some come with circulating water like a fountain. Locate your bird baths close at hand and near a water source so they can be cleaned and refreshed regularly. 

Bird baths tend to dry out or grow mosquito larvae quickly.  Either way frequent cleaning is best and better for the birds.

The Zen Effect

Consider adding a water feature to your urban patio or terrace. There is nothing quite as soothing as the sound of moving water to muffle the sound of traffic.

Whether you choose to start small with a bubbling table top or wall fountain or decide to put a pond in the garden within view of the patio, there are styles and sizes that will suit a small space, and make it even more intimate.

Visit Home Infatuation online today to view our entire collection of outdoor fountains and water features, as well as outdoor furniture, wall art, patio lights and fire pits and even artificial outdoor plants.

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