The first thing to consider when you are planning a water fountain is what kind of fountain you want. You may have heard about the many different types of fountains available at home. There are several kinds of fountains that you can choose from. Some of them are simple, while others have some features like sprinklers or jets. Fountains with jets are designed to spray water over a wide area. These types of fountains provide more entertainment, but they may not be as attractive as other types like the ones with bowls.
You may want a still bowl for decoration. These types of fountains are perfect for a hot day when you just want to relax in the shade with a nice breeze and some cool water misting over you.
Fountain shapes come in many different forms. It all depends on your preferences and needs. Before you start looking around for what is available you should know what size fountain you want and where you plan to put it.
They can be as basic as a sphere or as complex as an urn. you might even choose a form that imitates something in nature like a bird or a shell.
All you need to do at this point is just look around at your options.
Locating the right fountain for you is easy; it just takes a little time and patience.
This is a very common question for people that are new to the idea of having a decorative water feature. For the most part, you just need to make sure you have the right amount of water in your fountain. You need to be sure that your pump (if you have one) can keep up with evaporation and regular use.
If you have a battery operated fountain, there is no need to worry because it will run as long as there are batteries in the remote.
You also want to be sure that you clean your fountain on a regular basis. Mineral deposits from the water will build up and clog the pipes of your fountain unless you do something about it. It’s a good idea to put screen over the intake valve to keep debris out of the pump.
You should also blow out the pipes now and then using an air compressor to prevent clogs.
Most people don’t think about it, but wind is a major factor when it comes to running a fountain. Even a small breeze can cause your water feature to go dry. If there is no cover, be sure to check on your fountain every once in a while to keep water topped up.
If it goes dry, your pump will burn out.
A great way to protect your pump from wind is to build a simple little shelter around it. You can even decorate the top to make it look nice. Just make sure that it is tall enough to keep the wind from getting to your pump.
When you are done, you should have a lovely little fountain. You might want to set up your own little seating area around it or put in some plants. It’s all up to you!
Whichever way you choose, you will need to be sure to use the best pump and fountain filter for the job. You also need to consider what kind of maintenance you are capable of doing.
If you want to keep it as simple as possible, go with a solar or battery operated fountain. They require no electricity or plumbing which makes them very easy to set up and maintain.
One option is to use a submersible pump. They are available in different sizes. The larger the pump, the more water it can move and the larger the fountain it can operate.
You will need to be sure there is enough electrical power available to run the pump.
If you need a small amount of water movement for a small fountain, you can also try a bubbler. These come in many shapes and sizes and have an air pump that sends water shooting up through a tube for a beautiful playful effect.
No matter what type of fountain you decide on, it’s important to keep it clean. Sediment, bits of leaves and insects can all build up in the pipes and clog it up. To prevent this from happening you will want to add a filter to your fountain.
The pump and filter will both need to be cleaned out regularly depending on how much water flow you have. This is a job for the whole family! To clean the pump, simply turn if off and drain out as much water as you can.
Then take a brush to the interior parts and clear out any dirt, grime or debris that has built up. Make sure none of it goes back into the tub and drainage area.
After the parts have been cleaned, you can replace the pump into the water. Turn it back on to make sure it is working correctly.
Cleaning a water filter is just as easy. You will want to clean this as often as you do your pump. Most filters will have 2 or 4 inch pipes that will be covered in a screen type material.
The water should flow freely through it. Sediment or other debris can build up and clog the pipes so you will need to clean this out as needed.
Take a screwdriver and carefully bang it against the material to break up any clogs. Then rinse out the pipes under a faucet to remove any larger bits of debris.
You want to take care not to bang the filter too much or you could end up breaking the pipes and having water leak out everywhere!
That’s all there is to setting up your own little part of paradise. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Find a sunny spot, dig a hole, and fill it with water.
Add some plants and you’re done!
You can even decorate the top with a little shelter and some furniture. Now you have your own little retreat right at home.
Doesn’t that sound more peaceful than building birdhouses?
You can build your little piece of paradise in a few different ways. You can even combine different ideas to create a unique paradise of your own.
If you really want to have a lush green paradise, you will need to plant some grass. This can be as easy or difficult as you make it. You can use soil and plant real grass seed.
This will eventually grow into lush green fields just like you see on a golf course.
As great as that sounds, it does take a lot of time and effort. There’s the initial setup, watering and weeding on a regular basis. It can be a full time job just taking care of your grass!
You can also use “instant” grass instead. This is a plastic sheet product that you lay over the dirt to give it a grassy look. You can buy different varieties to match the real thing or go with a green or brown shale pattern.
Instep is a popular brand but there are several others as well. This is a lot easier to set up but still requires some watering every couple days or so.
I have combined these two ideas and had decent results. I used the instant grass mats and a few bags of soil to fill in the empty spaces. Then I planted grass seed (in the spring) over the entire area.
It looks good and requires very little maintenance.
You can also use large rocks as a mulch source for your paradise. Just collect a lot of medium to large sized rocks and spread them out over the dirt. This helps keep weeds from growing and provides a nice base for your grass (or instant mat).
Of course, rocks can also be used as building materials. By constructing rock walls and other barriers you can divide up your paradise and give it a more enclosed feeling. This also prevents the neighbors dogs from coming on to your property!
3. Your Very Own Greenhouse
Now that you have a great location and the basics of your garden set up, it’s time to start planting some real plants.
Dirt and water aren’t enough to grow anything. Your plants need sunlight to survive. When choosing your plants, keep in mind that not all of them will survive in the conditions you provide.
If you are trying to grow something that needs a lot of sunlight, you will need to do some rearranging to provide enough light for it to survive.
You should also watch the water you’re using. Don’t just use any old water from the hose. It is best if you collect rain water in large buckets or any other container you have on hand.
Not only is it free, but it will provide the best nutrients for your plants. If you use water from the hose, make sure to let it sit for at least a day first. This will let the chemicals in it settle to the bottom of the bucket so it won’t kill your plants.
If you have a lot of plants and don’t want to water them all individually, you can build a self-watering garden. This consists of a large bucket with a hole in the bottom. Put your plants in the bucket and fill it up with dirt.
Then add a tube halfway down filled with gravel and finally fill to the top with water. The water will seep out through the holes in the bucket and be absorbed by the plants’ roots. You can regulate how much water the plants get by adding or removing gravel from the tube.
You can get an estimate of how much sunlight your plants need by using a light meter app for your phone. Point the phone’s light sensor at your plants or where they will be and see how much it reads. Then adjust your sun reflectors (or whole garden) until it shows around 6500K for full sunlight.
This step is completely optional but it does make gardening a lot easier. A greenhouse not only keeps your plants safe from harmful insects and wildlife, but also helps protects them from unexpected weather. This allows you to grow plants that require a specific climate to grow.
If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, it might be a good idea to build your greenhouse a few feet off the ground to keep it from getting buried. You can also place large rocks or cement blocks around the bottom of the walls to keep the snow from piling up against it.
If you have a lot of trees on your property, consider placing your greenhouse in the sunniest spot under them. Not only will this give the greenhouse a nice shade in the day, but it will also protect it from heavy winds.
4. Adding a Pond
Now that you have your home and garden set up, you need to take care of a few things to keep them running smoothly.
Ponds are a great way to keep your water needs down in the summer and can also double as a water source in dry seasons. You can build one in an old wheelbarrow, a child’s wading pool or even an old trash can. Just make sure that you don’t fill it all the way to the top because it will expand as it freezes in the winter.
Do your research before you start digging because where you dig can be crucial. If your pond is close enough to your house, you can run a hose to it and not worry about pumping it dry in the winter.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Protecting an ecosystem service: approaches to understanding and mitigating threats to wild insect pollinators (…, JE Cresswell, LV Dicks, MT Fountain… – Advances in ecological …, 2016 – Elsevier)
- Garden fountain and planter (JO Yeiser IV – US Patent 9,873,134, 2018 – Google Patents)
- Planting design (TD Walker – 1991 – books.google.com)
- Aquarium having aquaculture pot and fountain (CS Kim – US Patent 5,127,366, 1992 – Google Patents)