How to Design an Outdoor Fountain

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    • 1). Assess the location for the outdoor fountain. A location distant from the street and other noise sources such as the workshop and play areas will make the most of the fountain's tranquil effect. A spot with clear sky above it will result in a lower maintenance fountain. Placing a fountain under plants that shed leaves and flowers results in more debris in the fountain. Choose a place with room for a seating area or bench nearby, if possible.

    • 2). Draw a plan for the landscape for the vicinity of the fountain. A landscape plan, even a simple sketch, assists in creating the fountain design to suit the available space and features of the part of the yard.

    • 3). Measure the space and make a note of the measurements. For example, to design a fountain to install between two sidewalks in the back yard, measure the distance between the two sidewalks and make a note of it on the plan. Measure the distance from the front of the area for the fountain location to the back; for example from the flowerbed border at the rear of the house to the back fence. This will help determine a size for the fountain. For example, if there is only 6 feet between the sidewalks, keep the fountain less than 4 feet in diameter to avoid crowding the area. Plan to have at least a foot of space open all the way around the fountain to assist in maintenance and set off the fountain.

    • 4). Select materials for the fountain based on the desired landscape and the features of the home and property. For a country cottage or ranch style home, rustic wooden fountains such as those made from a half wine barrel with a pond liner work well. For a European look, tiered fountains or fountains with statues create a classic statement in the yard, though these may appear too formal for some settings. Natural stones that echo the colors in the landscape work well for many types of designs. For example, create a fountain with stones that resemble the stone used in the patio, retaining walls or walkways on the property.

    • 5). Assemble the necessary materials. The basic elements for the outdoor fountain consist of a waterproof basin, a submersible pump of sufficient size for the volume of water the basin holds, tubing to eject the fountain water at the desired level on the surface of the water fountain and any desired decorative elements, such as a statue, smooth rocks or mineral specimens.

    • 6). Select a container based on the size you decided on. For example, buy a half wine barrel and a waterproof liner for it from a landscaping supplier. Buy a medium sized submersible pump and 18 inches of 5/8-inch tubing or a fountain pump kit that includes tubing and a fountain head. Different kinds of fountain heads create different water effects.

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