Add a little water music to your yard with the just-right idea from our gallery of water features
The soft splash of a fountain brings life and motion to the backyard. It attracts more birds than still water alone, and its
soothing sound track transforms your space into a peaceful retreat.
We built the fountain pictured here for about $160 (not including stones), using two glazed pots (a shallow bowl nests snugly inside the larger pot), a bucket, and a small recirculating pump.
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This soothing bubbler is part of an entry garden for a home on the island of Oahu.
Its 30-inch-wide glazed and sealed stoneware bowl (find similar ones for around $100) is fitted with a small bubbler pump (from $20; thehomedepot.com).
Because the bubbler does little more than stir the water, there’s no need for a reservoir beneath the bowl.
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A shallow stream neatly bisects this San Luis Obispo backyard and cascades over a stone wall into a pool. Kangaroo paw adds a touch of drama to the palette of olive and gray-greens.
To give this small fountain more presence, the designer created a mini garden around it using billowy grasses, fleshy succulents,
and showy orchids.
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A pistachio nut carved in stone creates this fountain's centerpiece on a Santa Barbara, Calif. balcony; water runs into an
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This garden is about two blocks from a freeway, but the owners hardly notice the sound thanks to their burbling fountain.
Water spills from an antique French stone urn into a rectangular pool and a narrow, 18-inch-deep channel in this San Clemente,
Calif., garden. A pump recirculates the water.
The design, a joint effort of Larry Steinle, a Laguna Beach landscape architect, and Lew Whitney, chairman of Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar, is the focal point of a garden corner that invites quiet contemplation. Scented geraniums and other foliage plants grow nearby.
A tiled fountain pool surrounded with foliage is just big enough to make a splash in this tiny space.
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This glazed blue oil-jar fountain sits on a tile-covered concrete pedestal framed by a 20-inch-deep pool in Hollywood, Calif.
A submersible, recirculating pump housed within the pedestal pushes water through a galvanized pipe, which fits through a hole in the jar's bottom; the water then trickles over the jar's rim into the 3 1/2-foot-square, concrete-lined pool.
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This rough-textured pot would look as appropriate in an ancient village square in Italy, Greece, or Spain as it does in this
garden owned by Robert and Carolyn Volk of San Marino, Calif.
Water recirculates through a pump placed in a fiberglass pond liner beneath the pot; stones cover the liner. The pot is from Al's Garden Art in South El Monte, California. Design by Mark Bartos, BEM Design Group, South
Heath ceramic tile and a green stucco wall mingle with a Cor-ten steel fountain and recycled-wood fencing in this eco-minded
house in San Francisco.
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Well chosen accent pieces can help turn a tiny urban garden into a tranquil space. Here, a fountain acts as a visual transition between two areas of the yard. Its spherical shape is echoed by a trio of orbs on the deck.
This fountain and pool create a focal point near a dining area in Walnut Creek, Calif. The fountain's copper back and water
trough define the smooth stucco wall.
Design: Stefan Thuilot with Joseph Huettl, Huettl Thuilot Associates, Berkeley (510/848-3200)
A two-level fountain adds a lively splash to the shady part of this Denver backyard. Water spouts from the mouth of a cast-stone
ram's head into a shell-like bowl before spilling into the crescent-shaped basin below.
The fountain appears to extend from a 6-foot-tall dry-stacked stone wall. Actually, the stone is an artful façade that covers a conventional brick wall just behind.
Rustic fountains help make Mediterranean-style plantings look at home among California's golden hills.
Because water is a precious resource, using it respectfully in the garden is a tradition. Something lavish would have been out of character in this drought-tolerant landscape.
Against a rustic stucco wall, water trickles out of scalloped bowls into a colorful blue fountain bedecked with blazing bougainvillea.
Although it seems like a scene from a remote Mexican village, this 430-square-foot townhouse garden is actually located at the base of the mountains west of Silicon Valley.
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This fountain in a small front yard was designed to be enjoyed from the porch. "We love being out in the garden," says owner Marie De Lorenzo of Venice, Calif., "But looking out at it from indoors is almost as good."
Water used to spill from the conch shell on this cherub's shoulders, splashing into the giant clamshell beneath his feet.
But when Bill Anderson inherited the fountain and moved it to his home in Newport Beach, he and his wife, Dana, decided against the expense of added plumbing. Instead Dana planted a cascade.
The main spiller is white-flowered bacopa. The froth under the cherub's toes is campanula and Alpine strawberries.
Water spills from a turquoise Bauer oil jar. The glass balls are Japanese fishing-net floats.
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Water recirculates through a fountain in the back of this drought-tolerant garden in Clovis, Calif. Around its base are planted
unthirsty plants like acacia, chitalpa, and redbud.
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A handmade fountain is just one of the details that make this forested hillside garden such an experience.
Everywhere you turn there's something new to see, and as you wander beneath the lush tree canopy, you can hear the soothing sound of water running through creeks and cascading in fountains and waterfalls.
Design: John Pruden, Portland International Garden & Design, St. Helens, OR (503/780-3687)
In this garden, a stone is used instead of an urn to create a recirculating fountain. Water bubbles from the top, pumped up from a collecting basin at the base .
Water is an essential element of a garden, says designer Maria del Carmen Calvo. "I've created a garden where I'm never far
from its sound," she says.
Though Calvo's garden is not large, she has included seven fountains, most of her own design. Here, pots of purple fountain grass flank a gate leading to a cherub fountain in a charming outdoor room.
Multitiered raised beds and house walls protect this courtyard from breezes. The fountain in the center provides butterflies
with a necessary supply of water. (After spilling down the column, it moistens the rocks below before disappearing underground;
siphoning water from a puddle beneath wet rocks is a butterfly's preferred way to drink.)
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A large ceramic urn catches water pumped through a partition to create a simple trickle fountain. The inviting side yard acts as an outdoor extension of a family room.
A cast limestone fountain with an antique finish adds a Mediterranean-inspired accent to this front patio of a ranch-style
home in Sacramento, Calif. The wall blocks the sight and sound of street traffic nearby.
Eight of these custom-built squares are planters with drainage holes. The center square is a recirculating fountain.
The squares, 30 inches square by 14 inches tall, were designed to complement a contemporary kitchen garden in Santa Monica, Calif.
Color is one reason this landscape looks so at home in its setting. The reddish hue of the decomposed granite near this fountain reflects the rosy tones in the surrounding mountains. The fountain also helps direct visitors to the house's entry.
Transform a bland garden with clever reuse of on-site materials. The fountain in this courtyard was made of recycled concrete.
Recalling gold-mining flumes, this runnel-like recirculating fountain uses water from a buried cistern.
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The glistening celadon green urn creates a cool, eye-catching fountain on a rear terrace. The glazed terra-cotta jar was adapted
for use as a water feature.
See how to turn a pot into a fountain