Garden fountains

There is a wide range of fountains available, and your choice will enable you to introduce instant sound and movement to the garden or patio. The ornamental design of many pre-cast products will add charm and character to the area, while the fountain jet itself may be exploited as a form of living sculpture. Whether you choose to install a fountain as a feature on its own or as part of a larger water garden, the procedures to be followed are the same.

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For many centuries, fountains were an essential element of garden design They were found in the inner courtyards of ancient communities, often constructed as the focal point in Medieval gardens and they marked the centre point in many European towns and villages. A number of the great 16th and 17th Century castles, villas and mansions in Britain and Europe boasted spectacular designs.

Contemporary fountains are constructed on a much smaller scale, and are frequently found in gardens created in a particular style. Italianate gardens, for instance, invariably display lavish designs with flourishes of water, fountains incorporating statuary are the order of the day are those established in the Victorian genre, and simple bamboo fountains are frequent found in the Japanese-style garden Whatever its design, a fountain will introduce sound and movement to the garden or patio, and capture the exhilarating comb nation of light and water.

While most fountains are appropriate to the formal pool, many pre-cast units are equally suitable as a water feature on their own. Designs range from the grand and classical designs, which incorporate tiers and extravagant ornamentation, to simple bird-baths converted to accommodate a variety of fountain heads. There is a suitable fountain for every type of outdoor area, from the smallest townhouse patio to the largest property incorporate rolling lawns and lakes.

Although many pre-cast fountains are freestanding and, some of the most attractive designs may be wall mounted, creating ideal decorations for courtyards and patio areas. Alternatively, you may prefer to make your own feature using bowls, sealed plant pots, wooden tubs, or any other suitable containers You may prefer to dispense with ornamentation completely and install your fountain fittings so that the water jets out of the pond itself, or perhaps spurts over an expanse of pebbles. Whatever your choice, you will need a suitable pump, powerful enough to shoot the spray above the container to the desired height.

Submersible pumps are quite adequate for most garden fountains, and if you want to activate more than one at a time, it may be sensible to opt for a robust surface pump. You may have to utilise one of these larger pieces of equipment if a very high head of waters required, as in a sizable, multi-tiered construction. A fountain incorporated in a swimming pool arrangement may be operated by the pool pump.

Spurting wall-mounted fountains do not require a jet nozzle, but upward-spraying water features usually incorporate these simple mechanisms to add interest. The jet fitting chosen will depend on the particular effect you wish to achieve. There are many different spray patterns available including bel dome- and tulip-shaped jets, as well as multi-tiered spray lets which are designed to create a swirling effect, and foam lets which create the impression of a bubbling geyser

There is, of course, nothing to prevent you from a alternating one or two of these from time to time, depending on your mood or the occasion. Connection to the pump is simple, although you may need to attach an additional length of tubing between the two units to camouflage the pump properly. Although the appeal of most water features is their natural beauty, illuminated fountains can add something quite special to patios and other outdoor areas. An underwater lamp, for instance, may be hidden in such a way that it creates a dramatic effect at night.

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Self-contained illuminated designs may incorporate a spotlight encased in a waterproof container, with different coloured lenses so you can change the colour of the light. Some manufacturers have developed revolving lights which produce an interesting kaleidoscope of colour.