I have written extensively about garden fountains and other water features that you can put in your yard. Water features are attractive, relatively maintenance free and provide the soothing sounds of running water. Birds like them, too, so many backyard fountains can double as a bird bath.
If you’re interested in adding a fountain to your yard, there are a few things that you should consider. Here are a few tips for buying a backyard fountain:
- What kind of fountain do you want? There are pedestal fountains, which are raised above the ground, ground-level fountains, which are probably what most people think about when a fountain comes to mind, and wall fountains. Wall fountains are best suited to people who have limited space, as they can fit in areas where others cannot.
A ground-level fountain will take up the most space, but if you have room, you can get them in surprisingly large sizes. Pedestal fountains are sort of an in-between size, and work well to double as a bird bath.
- What about power? The days when fountains were powered by actual running water are long gone, and today, nearly all garden fountains are powered by electricity. You’ll have the choice of models that are powered by an electrical outlet, or an increasingly large number of fountains that are powered by solar cells.
Larger fountains will likely require wall power, so you’ll either have to have an outlet handy where you install your fountain or you’ll have to call an electrician to ensure that power is available when and where you need it. Solar fountains are less trouble, but they do, as the name suggests, require that you have access to sunlight. That means that you probably can’t put a solar fountain in a shady area and depending on your yard, that may limit your locations.
- Maintenance – Keep in mind that all fountains will require occasional maintenance. If you live in a desert area, evaporation will make it necessary to keep an eye on the water level. You’ll occasionally have to add water to keep your fountain running smoothly. If you live in an area with a lot of leaves, you’ll likely have to clean debris from your fountain from time to time. Most people will also have to drain their fountains in the wintertime and possibly cover them with a tarp to protect them from the elements.
- What kind of material? Fountains are available in plastic, concrete, and various resins and composite materials. Concrete is the traditional material, but it can be expensive to buy and ship. They’re also more difficult to install, due to their weight. Composite materials are lighter and easier to work with, but may not last as long.
The other question is where to buy. You can find backyard fountains for sale at a variety of places, both in brick and mortar stores and online. Both types of stores have their pros and cons. Many online stores offer free shipping, but you might have to install it yourself. Buying locally may cost more, but you may have access to installation.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you buy or where you buy it. The addition of a garden fountain to your yard will make it a more pleasant place to spend your time.