The addition of a water feature will certainly improve the atmosphere of a garden, but not just any water feature will do, to bring out the best in your garden, it’s important to choose a fountain that complements it. Make sure to consider the design and material of the fountain since these elements not only affect the overall look of the space, they also determine the weight and durability of the piece.
To help you narrow down your options, here are some of the common materials garden fountains are made of and the pros and cons of using each.
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- Cast Stone Fountains
Water fountains made of cast stone are durable and versatile; they simply last for a long time. These are made of hardened concrete that has been molded to simulate the look and texture of natural stone. Cast stone fountains are best added to gardens that have the appearance of a verdant forest or one that’s been inspired by traditional Asian designs. The seemingly natural look of the fountain enhances the atmosphere of the garden, allowing people to feel as if they’re deep in the heart of the forest even if they’re really only a few steps away from the comfort of their home.
While a cast stone fountain looks heavy, it’s pretty lightweight. This makes it easy for owners to place or change the location of the fountain and store it in a safe place for winter. The latter is pretty important since cast stones are weak to cold. They can easily crack or break after they’ve been exposed to low temperatures. Once the season starts, you can completely drain your cast stone fountain of water and move it inside your garage or shed for safekeeping.
- Ceramic Fountains
Small gardens may have limited space, but they can still have enough room for a small water feature. Fountains made of ceramic come in all sizes, and they can definitely improve the look of any green space. This type of fountain is self-contained and can be placed in any safe surface, such as a deck or patio. Unlike cast stone fountains that evoke the idea of getting lost in the forest, ceramic fountains help create an intimate space for relaxation. Most ceramic fountains are made of terracotta or glazed ceramic. Many people also opt to design their own fountain by converting old pottery.
- Metal Fountains
Metal fountains are pretty heavy — they can easily weigh up to 90 kilos. Their formidable weight is often accompanied by a distinct look that reminds one of an Italian courtyard. The timeless look of a metal fountain makes it a perfect addition to formal gardens where events are typically held. Most of these fountains are decorated with elaborate statues of people and animals and are usually made with bronze, copper, steel, and aluminum.
Prized for their durability, these metal works are durable and enduring. But overtime, the surface of a metal fountain changes color, which can be a blessing or a bane depending on your perspective. Bronze and copper fountains oxidize and develop a green patina finish. This appearance can add even more character to your garden. If you prefer the original look, though, you can keep the fountain looking new by cleaning and maintaining it regularly.
- Plastic Fountains
Fountains made of plastic are also growing in popularity. These pieces are often labeled as plastic, resin, or polyresin, and they’re quite inexpensive and easy to mass produce. Since they’re pretty light, shipping and moving them around the house is almost never a problem. The downside is this: plastic fountains don’t age well. They are prone to fading, peeling, and cracking with prolonged sun exposure. Moreover, the quality of the sound they produce is incredibly low and the hollow construction is a nightmare if you live in a windy area.
But the more important consideration here is the environmental impact of plastic water fountains. Cheap resin is an environmental hazard. Its production, transportation, and disposal contribute to pollution. You are better off buying water fountains made of other materials that are more sustainable, friendlier to the environment, and have a longer lifespan.
Look at your garden and take special note of the available space in it, the climate, as well as the current arrangement of the plants. Considering all these, which material should your new water fountain be made of?
Author: Cassey Hathaway