An outdoor fountain is probably the most recognisable type of fountain. Aside from the classic features often found in city squares and parks, you’ll often see smaller versions in the gardens of friends, family and neighbours. Outdoor fountains tend to be the most versatile and widely produced type of water fountain. They cover a wide scope of materials, styles and sizes to suit any patio, deck or yard.
Choosing An Outdoor Fountain
A fountain is a fantastic way of adding an interesting design element to the garden. Styles include floor fountains, pond fountains and even wall fountains. With such broad variety, it’s easy to get lost when searching for your perfect garden fountain. So it’s helpful to keep the following things in mind.
You’d be hard pressed to find a material which cannot be used in the production of a fountain but the more commonly used options are steel, resin, stone, ceramic and acrylic. The important thing to consider is the finish and the durability of the material.
Steel offers a beautiful shine, especially when reflecting the sunlight. It’s often used for stylish, modern shapes such as tube fountains, sphere fountains and spillways. It’s particularly weather resistant making it a low maintenance material. It shouldn’t rust if properly finished and a good polish should restore any nicks or marks that might be sustained over the years.
Resin is becoming very popular for use in the production of outdoor fountains as a substitute for all kinds of other materials. A compound, resin fountains are easy to set and finish in almost any shape using moulds. Other materials can be added to the resin to bring their own individual qualities to the table. Stone is often added to increase the durability and strength of the finished fountain. As a result the fountain is as sturdy as stone and even takes on the same appearance. But it will neither weigh as much nor degrade in the same manner stone will over time.
Ceramic has been a popular material for decorative outdoor goods dating right back to the Ancient Greeks. The process of repeatedly heating and cooling during production ensures the ceramic takes on a durable quality. It’s also a great material for glazing which results in a smooth, shiny finish reminiscent of the best chinaware.
Stone is an all natural material and lends a strength and weight rarely found in other materials. It is perhaps the most elegant of all materials used for fountain production. The traditional fountains found in the piazzas and plazas of Europe are almost all intricately carved from stone. However, stone is subject to slow degradation over time as the water wears away at the surface of the material.
Running Your Outdoor Fountain
By their very nature and name, an outdoor fountain is intended for use in the garden or yard. Therefore, you’ll need to take into account how you will power the fountain since a power outlet is not often readily available in the garden. If you intend to place the fountain within reach of an existing power outlet then, at most, all you should need is an extension cord.
Alternatively, outdoor power sockets are commonly available in most hardware stores which allow you to place the fountain in some of the more difficult to reach areas of your yard.
However, an increasingly popular option is that of a solar fountain. The technology behind solar fountains is always improving and is already at a stage where a single 12” x 12” panel can generate enough electricity to run a 6ft fountain throughout the day. Since there is no need for an external power outlet, the fountain can be placed anywhere as long as it will see the sun.