Talking About Agricultural Practices

Bubbling Over -- 4 Tips For Buying Your First Outdoor Fountain

If you're a newbie gardener and looking for the perfect focal point for your garden or yard, outdoor fountains can be just what the doctor ordered. Fountains add vibrancy to a space, soothe guests and create a conversation piece. But since this is your first time, it's important to know how to select the right one. Here are 4 tips for the beginning gardener.

Feel the Power. When you look at existing fountains in other yards or parks, you may not realize that they usually require a power source to keep the water flowing. So think about the spot you want to install the fountain and how you will power it. If you can't get to an easy power source, you may want to stick with solar powered fountains. But if you do, be sure the location gets at least 6 or 7 hours of sunlight each day.

Real or Faux? Another decision you'll need to make early on will be whether you will purchase a cast stone fountain or a fiberglass one. Fiberglass has the advantage of being cheaper and easier to move. However, it generally won't last as long. Price both options to determine if they are equally within the budget and then consider how long you want that fountain to be in your garden.

Engage Your Senses. Running water is often soothing to humans and can also block out unwelcome noises. But to enjoy those effects, the fountain should be close enough to make a difference. Many amateur gardeners think about the visual effect of the fountain without considering their other senses. To get the maximum enjoyment of any water feature, place it near a seating or lounge area or between your guests and the source of any traffic noise. Raise it up and away from pets to attracts birds as well.  

Keep it in Proportion. No matter what type of fountain you want to use, make sure it fits the size and context of the garden. If you're creating a focal point for a large yard, for example, the fountain should be large enough to draw the eye or perhaps be complemented with a second focal point. Using a fountain that's too small may merely draw unwanted attention to the size of the spot. Conversely, a big fountain in a small garden can overwhelm the rest of the yard. Consider the height of surrounding buildings and keep the fountain less than about 1/3 of their sizes. 

By following these tips when choosing your fountain and its location, you can create a garden focal point that will make you look and feel like an experienced gardener.