By Teresa Odle
If you’re not lucky enough to live next to a river, creek, waterfall or other natural water feature, you can add one to your landscape easily. The reason fountains are so popular is that they block out city sounds and add what I think is one of the most beautiful and calming sounds in nature — the sound of water.
Think about where you’d like to place your fountain. Aesthetics are important, but so are practicalities. You’ll want your fountain near where you normally sit and relax outside, such as close to the patio table, or place a bench or chair near the pond once you install it. Consider how your fountain’s water pump is powered. You either have to place it near electricity or if it’s solar powered, in the sun.
And you need a water source for the fountain, so be sure your hose can reach the reservoir or if you choose to use gray
water or rain water, place the fountain where it can fill easily. Most commercially purchased fountains don’t waste a great deal of water, but your city may have water use rules. Water features with large waterfalls or long, shallow areas of standing water waste the most. If you set up your fountain to minimize splatter and ensure there are no leaks, you actually cool down the area around the fountain for you and the birds. Of course, you also provide a nice place for birds to drink.
You can further conserve water by placing your fountain in the shade. If you live in a warmer climate, the shade probably makes it more likely you’ll sit by fountain and enjoy the lovely sounds the water makes. Add drought-tolerant plants nearby. Just beware that certain trees and plants are messier than others and may drop lots of gunk into your fountain. Be sure to purchase a skimmer that’s the appropriate size. Then sit back and enjoy.