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Outdoor Fountains and Ponds

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The soft trickle of a fountain can add a sense of allure and relaxation to almost any backyard. Water features like ponds and fountains create perfect focal points and add a layer of interest. They also provide a natural waypoint or habitat for creatures like birds and fish, which can provide hours of entertainment as you watch them frolic and play. If your outdoor area is just begging for a water feature, here are a few important tips to consider:

What types of outdoor water fountains are there?

You might be surprised by the number of different styles you can choose from when it comes to outdoor garden fountains. When browsing, keep in mind where you want to place your fountain and the amount of space you have available.
• Tiered: Perhaps the epitome of elegance, a tiered design typically features two to three levels that water flows down from. They’re perfect for adding a sense of height and depth to your backyard area.
• Tabletop: If you lack a spacious backyard or would like to decorate an outdoor dining area, a tabletop style works great. The beautiful thing about a tabletop fountain is it can incorporate several of the other styles, including tiered and urn designs.
• Urn: The urn design features a bowl-like vessel that water flows into. They should be placed on a level area, and look great next to a path or at the edge of a patio.
• Wall: If you don’t have much outdoor space or want to decorate your vertical surfaces, a wall design will fit snugly into a slim space. Just be sure it’s mounted securely so you can enjoy the ambiance without worrying about your fountain taking a plunge.
• Spitter: Though their name may sound a bit odd, spitter styles can be fun and add movement to a garden pond or backyard. They feature a decorative element that shoots water into another reservoir.

What features can garden fountains come with?

When searching for your new fountain, keep in mind a design that’s easy to take apart will be easier to clean. That said, there are a few other options a fountain can have that may appeal to you:
• Power source: While some designs may require a few batteries or need to be plugged in, others are solar-powered. If you do choose a style with a power cord, be sure it doesn’t cross walkways or paths and won’t become a tripping hazard.
• Flow control: If you want the ability to change the sound of your fountain, look for a design with a flow control. This will allow you to speed up or slow down the flow.
• Lights: You can create ethereal nighttime ambiance with an illuminated design. Some automatically turn on when it gets dark, while others have a switch to let you control when the lights are on or off.
• Fog: You can create an even more mesmerizing ambience with a fogging feature. This element turns a portion of the water into fog, which can drift lazily around your garden. Imagine pairing this with some lights!

What should I know about adding a garden pond?

Garden ponds can add a touch of whimsy to your backyard. Many come in preformed styles that make them easy to install, however there are still some tips you’ll want to know beforehand:
• Avoid placing your new garden pond in an area that’s always wet.
• Nearby trees may shed leaves that can contaminate ponds, so it’s best to place them in open areas.
• Check with your city to determine where power cords and pipes are before you dig.
• Choose an area that’s level and receives sunlight for at least half of the day.
• Make sure you have a circuit breaker or Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) installed.
• Have a pump and filter installed as well. It’s advised that your pump circulates the water in your garden pond at least once every two hours.

How do you add plants and fish to garden ponds?

Koi ponds are delightful as they provide additional color, movement and, of course, entertainment thanks to these large carp that originated from Japan. Plants can help enhance ponds and blend them into your landscape design. If you plan on adding any kind of fish or plants to your garden pond, keep these tips in mind:

Creating elegant koi ponds:
• Treat your fish carefully and try to limit handling and transportation as much as possible to avoid stressing them out. A soft net is recommended if you need to handle them.
• Start with a small number of fish to begin with since large amounts of waste can be toxic. Besides, a healthy habitat will often produce surprises in the form of baby fish!
• Introduce your new fish slowly. It’s best to do this by floating the bag they’re in on top of the pond’s surface for about 20 minutes to let them grow accustomed to the temperature.
• Add aquatic plants to offer shade and places to hide from predators.

Decorating your garden pond with plants:
• Decide what types of plants best fit your pond:
Submerged plants grow underwater and transform carbon dioxide into oxygen. They also provide great hiding places for fish.
Marginal or bog plants, such as cattails, are colorful and prefer to grow around the edges of your pond. They extract nutrients that are detrimental to your aquatic environment.
Deep water emergent plants, like lilies, grow their roots deep underwater and spread leaves and flowers on the water’s surface. They provide shade and cover for your fish and other inhabitants.
Floating plants, including water hyacinths, sit on the surface and dangle their roots below. They help improve the water’s clarity and provide shade and cover for fish.
• Use specially made planting baskets to plant submerged and emergent plants.
• After packing planting media around the roots, top it with pebbles or gravel to help plants blend in.
• Look for plant species that are local to your area and can withstand any temperature fluctuations you may experience.