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Just one of the features that can add mystique to your yard.Fountains provide a means to enhance many different outdoor spaces.They will provide a unique spot of interest and activity in your garden. Properly designed and constructed, these fountains can operate year-round, depending on the materials you choose. Whether originally conceived as a courtyard accent or as part of a larger backyard habitat, the sight and sound of moving water will call all kinds of wildlife. The basic structure of a fountain is simple and can be adapted in size, shape and/or to incorporate a wide variety of materials -- So, be creative.

Aesthetic Considerations
The sight and bubble-gurgle-trickle sound of your water feature creates an engaging focal point. If possible, place your fountain where it can be viewed frequently, from indoors or out. Choosethe ornamental feature and related materials, and modify the basic design to fit the style of your home and garden (formal, informal, country cottage, Japanese or English garden ...) Stone, pebbles, brick, tile, wood ...natural, architectural, sculptural... all are options and will fit better if they echo already existing structures. Although algae will form anywhere that sunlight and water come together, if you choose dark colored materials, the algae will blend and make the feature look more “natural." The footprint of this feature can vary greatly. The reservoir must be large enough to accommodate fountain height, width and splash. The visual border can be tight or extend well beyond the edge of the basin by simply spreading the pebbles out ont
o "dry" land.

Maintenance Considerations
Routine mantenance is very simple! Top up the water level weekly or bi-weekly with a garden hose, or install an autofill device. Check the flow of your pump regularly - when it slows significantly, it's time to clean it. Cleaning may be necessary 1 to 2 times per year. Disappearing fountains usually require less frequent tending because there is no pool to catch blown-in debris. Refer to the section on grating for details relating to accessibility. Winter care differs from fountain to fountain, depending on basin depth and the nature of the ornamental fountain piece you have chosen. Pumps can stay in containers 16" or deeper - if the container is more shallow, pull the pump for winter and store inside in a bucket of water. Clay pots which hold water should be drained and turned upside down for the winter.

Environmental Considerations
Moving water inhibits mosquito breeding and the pebbles create a natural filter which keeps the water fresh and healthy. No need for chemical treatment. If algae is a concern (E.G. on formal, light-colored features), pet-safe algaecides are available and easy to use.


Basin - Can be made of plastic, fiberglass, concrete, or flexible rubber liner. Can be any size or shape, however keep in mind:

- Depth - 16-24” is best for wintering and creates a reservoir large enough to minimize “topping up”.
- Breadth - As a general rule of thumb, the diameter or width of the basin should be twice the height of the fountain piece, large enough to accommodate splash, keeping the water in the system. This will vary based on the dimensions of the fountain piece, the flow rate, and the windiness of your location.
- Placement - The top edge or lip of the basin shoul be level. To ensure a "closed system" and prevent run-off from muddying the water, place the basin approximately 1" above the surrounding grade. In the case of the disappearing fountains and waterfalls, the basin must be hidden from sight - that is to say, buried so that the top edge or lip is 1 or more inches below the final grade of pebbles. Leveling in IMPORTANT ! It will hold more water and make leveling the fountain piece much easier!!

Grating & Grating Supports - Create a false bottom for pebbles, minimizing building materials and maximizing the capacity of the reservoir. Grates should be non-corrosive with openings large enough to allow water to easily pass through. To hold pebbles and gravel, use a small plastic or fiberglass mesh on top of the grate to prevent them from falling through the grate into the basin below. Cut a “trap door” in the grating to allow easy access to the pump without dismantling the whole structure. This opening can also be used for quick clean-outs wutg a wet/dry shop vac. Use bricks, blocks, anything strong enough to support the fountain piece. In our small Pooling Fountain diagram we've used a 3.5 gal. plastic bucket. Holes drilled in the bucket allow for full water flow, maximizing water capacity. Lighter fountain pieces can sit on the grate; place heavier pieces directly on cinder blocks below, cutting the grate out around the piece to fit; use several blocks for support.

Pump - is usually a small submersible pump with the capacity of 120 gallons per hour(gph) ($0.50/mo) up
to 1200 gph ($8.00/mo). In selecting the pump, consider manufacturer's warranty, cord length, built-in filtering and flow control features.

Power Source - A standard GFCI electrical outlet should be located 5-20' from the basin to meet code. Pump cord lengths vary from 6-20'. So plan accordingly (no extension cords, please).


Water splashes and dances onto shiny pebbles and into the water. The sound of falling water draws attention to it. Water makes the most sound as it falls through air into the water. Locate your fountain in your existing landscape or bring it close or onto the patio. Use natural stone, or bring drama into the picture using elements which compliment the garden design - the choice is yours!! Splash, dance, gurgle. . .

Build it and They will Come
Natural fountains look better, work better and are easier to care for than classic birdbaths. Wildlife will instinctively find your pooling water feature - critters you didn't even know were in the neighborhood! Make sure all objects are well-seated or anchored -- no precarious perches. Provide enough space in your basin to "dish out" the pebbles for a shallow bathing area (usually 1-2" deep). The pebbles in the pool act as a natural filter, so there is less maintenance than in a classic birdbath. Landscape with nearby trees, bushes and grasses to provide protection and perching spots for a cautious approach. Now, sit back, watch, listen, and enjoy. . .


Now you see it, now you don't ! The contrast of the wet and dry highlights the glistening of the water on smooth and rough surfaces in the sunshine. The water disappears into the hidden basin below. This type of fountain is easily incorporated into walkways and patios. Give it lots of space if you can - making it easy for children of all ages to stop and play with the water as it travels downward. Gurgle, glisten, glimmer . . .

No Pool, No Problem!

Disapperaing fountains require a bare minimum of maintenance. They tend to stay cleaner because there is no pool of water to catch debris. Keeping the reservoir topped up is just about the only chore. Since ther is no way to check the water level from above, an auto-fill device is particularly handy and is easy to hide below the grate.

Tall sculptural elements and/or groupings of colorful pots lend themselves very well to this style of construction. Especially stunning as a "Welcome" at front doors and entry ways, or as a guidepost midway through the garden. Every garden should have 1, or 2 or 3.

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