Garden fountains


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So you’ve done your research on the benefits of outdoor water features and you’ve decided that your garden needs a fountain. The only question is: which one? Choosing the perfect fountain for your garden can be a daunting task–there are so many to choose from, and you’re not sure which one will prove to be a truly worthwhile investment for you. To give you some ideas, we’ve asked landscaping experts which fountains, in their opinions, are unforgettable. Here is their list of iconic fountains that attract admirers from all around the world.

Fountains of the Parc de Versailles (Versailles, France)

Versailles has long been renowned for the opulent beauty of the old French monarchy. Even now, its beauty is admired by tourists from all around the world, and no tour of Versailles would be complete without a stroll through its majestic gardens. Water features take the center stage in “French-style gardens”, and nowhere are more beautiful fountains found than in the gardens of Versailles. The numerous fountains here depict various scenes from classical Roman mythology. They are intricate with carefully-carved details that took years of expert masonry to create. Fountains in similar, classical styles can be found at and would look especially beautiful in orderly, European-style gardens. 

Buckingham Fountain (Chicago IL)

One of the largest fountains in the world, Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain features high sprays of water that disperse much-welcomed moisture to the nearby gardens in the park. The mist from the fountain also helps cool down the park and make it more pleasant for those enjoying long, leisurely walks during the summer. While its size and technology may make it seem like a too-Grande choice for a home garden, the Buckingham Fountain is, in fact, a type of tiered fountain. Smaller versions can easily be installed, and will undoubtedly prove beneficial for gardens in areas with long, dry summers. 

The Courtyard of the Lions at the Alhambra Palace (Granada, Spain)

Granada’s Alhambra is renowned for its magnificent architecture that reflects the height of Moorish civilization and technology. The fountain in the Courtyard of the Lions is especially impressive–its ornate beauty contains a complex hydraulic system that was considered one of the most advanced of its time. Placed in the heart of the Palace, the Courtyard of the Lions serves as one of its most cherished icons. While a courtyard may not look like a typical garden, it can become a retreat with just a few well-tended plants and a fountain to cool the surrounding space. Fountains like the Courtyard of Lions are well-suited to homes in more urban areas that do not have space for vast backyards or huge, elaborate gardens. They would look especially beautiful in smaller courtyard gardens or backyard areas, adding a sense of serenity that turns even the smallest of spaces into a private sanctuary.

El Alamein Memorial Fountain (Sydney, Australia)

Placed at the entrance of the Fitzroy Gardens, the El Alamein Memorial Fountain’s arresting aesthetic is a great example of a modern fountain that has been lauded for both its design and its practicality. Unlike traditional fountains which sit on a round, square, or rectangular basin, the El Alamein Memorial Fountain is placed on a hexagonal base. This base mirrors the shape of the fountain itself, which has been described as looking like a dandelion or a thistle. But this shape is not merely whimsical; it allows the fountain to hold many small-nozzled sprays that disperse it’s water in an extremely fine spray throughout the air (instead of causing it to flow downward) to be caught and re-circulated. This creates a mist to spread throughout the garden, cooling the air more effectively and providing better hydration for the surrounding plants. Commissioned to commemorate the soldiers of Australia’s 9th Division who died during the two battles at El Alamein During World War II, the El Alamein Memorial Fountain is an example of a customized fountain whose design was both unique and highly successful. Similarly, even if you only have a vague idea about the kind of shape, material, or functions you would like to see in your garden fountain, can design it, create it, and install it for maximum effect. 

Emperor Fountain (Chatsworth, UK)

Built in preparation for a visit from Czar Nicoholas I of Russia by the Duke of Chatsworth, the Emperor Fountain is an example of a garden fountain that is meant to impress. It’s also a fountain that’s easy to maintain. Instead of having a separate pump system, the Emperor Fountain is a gravity-fed fountain that gets its power from gravity and water pressure from the water source it was built on. This saves greatly on its operating costs. Gravity-fed fountains are ideal for those with garden ponds or other water sources. While the Emperor Fountain is widely celebrated as the largest of it’s kind in the world, smaller gravity-fed fountains are also very beautiful and have the added benefit of not needing to be plugged into an electrical outlet. This means you have more freedom in choosing your fountain’s placement and will not have to worry about its impact on your electricity bill.

Bethesda Fountain (New York City, NY)

Located in the iconic Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain is best known for the statuesque bronze angel holding a lily that crowns it. Also known as the Angel of the Waters, the fountain was designed to depict an angel blessing the waters that flow from her feet. The Bethesda Fountain has been featured in many ads, television shows, and movies as both a spot for a romantic rendezvous or a moment of meaningful introspection. Garden fountains cast from bronze are able to handle volatile weather conditions and tend to grow more beautiful with age as they form patinas that give them the look of a treasured heirloom. While they are usually pricier than fountains cast from other materials–such as resin or concrete–bronze fountains are valued for their durability and, if well cared for, can be enjoyed for generations. 

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