Fountains are one of the most comforting and beautiful elements found in garden design. Any time you think of a world-class garden that you have seen and been impressed by, it almost certainly will include some sort of fountain or other water element. Whether it is in Italy, Japan, Spain or any other country, everyone around the world understands the need for a beautiful garden to also be a place of relaxation and meditation. Not just visually relaxing, but every bit as important if not more so — calming and soothing to the ear. Nothing accomplishes that more than water in motion.
The Japanese, especially, seem to have a deep understanding of how important water elements are because they blend it so magically with the calm of their beautiful and serene gardens. They immediately bring to mind Koi ponds and the art of Feng Shui.
The types of garden fountains today are almost endless. They include every material and every design imaginable. From indoor to outdoor, floor to wall, tabletop to pedestal; you will find them in virtually every natural and man-made substance known to man. Some of the most popular are natural stone, brass, copper, etched glass, slate and stainless steel.
If you have a large estate or lot, they are especially beautiful in ponds and lakes. On smaller lots, simple backyard fountains or swimming pool fountains can also be very attractive.
Something new to me and absolutely charming is a “rain chain”. You add them to your gutter system and they become linked funnels that channel the rain gently from the roof to the ground, sparkling and bubbling as it flows.
A favorite of mine is a small pedestal-type garden fountain made of either mosaic tiles or beautifully patterned ceramic. They can bring a delightful and unexpected burst of color and fun to an otherwise rather mundane rock or ground cover garden.
How to Choose the Right Style of Fountain for Your Home:
Contemporary – stainless, slate, or maybe a fountain sculpture that can double as a piece of art would all work well. Cascading, flat wall or free-standing fountains of a very simple “tablet” design are naturals for contemporary homes.
Eclectic (combines several styles and bold colors) – copper and granite would make good choices. Mosaic is also charming with this style home.
Asian (Feng Shui) – Stone, bamboo, ceramic, slate would all look great, and there are many specific styles for Asian designs that will perfectly complete the exotic look and feel of your fountain.
Traditional – Classic style fountains of stone or resin are great for traditional homes. Tiered garden fountains or wall fountains with scroll work or 18th century style designs with lions or gargoyles for example, look really great with traditional homes. Greek mythology or Italian themes are also perfect.
No matter what your budget, what your style, or what your space, nothing says style, sophistication and serenity more than a fountain.