Fountainscapes are small decorative water features such as tabletop fountains, container water gardens, stand-alone fountains, bubbling urns, spitters, and fountains that incorporate an in-ground reservoir.
Container Water Gardens
If you're interested in "testing the waters" of the water gardening hobby, a container water garden is a great place to start! They are generally used to add the sound of water to a deck or patio, but they also look great greeting visitors by the front door. But they don't just add beauty, they also give kids a fun way to learn about nature, and make a great starter "pond" for any young children interested in water.
A container water garden can be created using virtually any type of container ... as long as it has the ability to hold water. An old clawfoot tub, a galvanized bucket, your favorite terra cotta pot, or an old whiskey barrel all make great containers for your new water garden! Once you've chosen the container, you need to make sure it will hold water. Any un-glazed pottery will need to be sealed and drain holes will need to be plugged. A wooden container such as a whiskey barrel can be lined with a piece of rubber liner that is affixed to the rim. Make sure the sealant you use safe for plants and fish.
A container water garden wouldn't be a garden without out the plants. When planting a container water garden, the same principals apply as with a regular container garden. A balance of plants that are different shapes and sizes means you'll have a planter that is pleasing to the eye. Or, highlighting just one special plant, such as a lotus plant if you have a large container, or a single, pigmy water lily if you have a smaller container, makes a striking garden and a much simpler approach.
If you add fish to your container water garden, consider the water volume of the container. The water in smaller containers goes through extreme temperature changes, which has a negative effect on most fish. Mosquito fish however, can tolerate warm water quite well. If your container holds more than 20 gallons of water you can add any type of goldfish.
Since mosquitoes will lay eggs in stagnant water, you'll need a small 75 gph statuary pump fitted with a spitter or fountain head to keep them away from your container water garden. If you don't want a fountain effect, you can position the pump discharge just under the surface of the water to create water movement.
Maintenance is easy! To keep the pump operating properly and the plants submerged at the correct level, you'll need to occasionally add water to make up for evaporation. Now that you're enjoying your container water garden, be careful. Once the water gardening bites you, there's no going back! Next, you'll be reading how to build your own in-ground pond.
Standalone Fountains are gaining popularity due to their ease of set-up and maintenance. Found at garden centers and home improvement stores across America, a wide range of styles and finishes are available to fit everyone's taste and budget. From impressive brass to simple resin fountains, these features are made to "stand alone," meaning they don't need any counterparts to make them function. Much like a tabletop fountain, all you need to do is add water, plug it in, and enjoy. Some larger units may require a bit of simple assembly.
Once you find a fountain that fits your style and budget, all you need to do is find the perfect location for it. You can place it in the foyer of your home to greet guests, or set it outside on the back deck to enjoy during a cool summer evening. Tuck one near a garden path or by the front entrance of your home. You'll soon find you want more than just one fountain to grace your landscape. The sound of water draws visitors into your garden and provides a place for the eyes to rest while enjoying the outdoor spaces.
Bubbling Urns and Spitters
These larger water features are typically set atop an underground reservoir that keeps re-circulating the water. Once the urn fills with water, the water spills out and over into the underground basin, which pumps the water back up through the urn. If a spitter or decorative fountain is more to your liking, you can still set it on the reservoir and a pipe will transfer the water from the basin up through the center of the spitter or fountain.