32 inspiring garden fountains

Add a little water music to your yard with the just-right idea from our gallery of water features

Fountain in a pot

Rob D. Brodman

DIY fountain

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.

See how to make it

DIY bowl fountain

Photo by Art Gray

Cool water

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.

See more of this garden

John's stream

Steven Gunther

Mission-style stream

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.

Embellish water features

Steven Gunther

Perfectly simple

To give this small fountain more presence, the designer created a mini garden around it using billowy grasses, fleshy succulents, and showy orchids.

More ideas from this garden

 


Stylish details

Thomas J. Story

Spanish details

A pistachio nut carved in stone creates this fountain's centerpiece on a Santa Barbara, Calif. balcony; water runs into an urn below. 

See more of this house


Rock border

Norm Plate

Pathway focal point

A stone fountain adds interest to a gravel path through planting beds. 

In this garden, lady's-mantle with chartreuse blooms surrounds the fountain, while cape fuchsia (Phygelius) with orange-pink flowers spills into the path.

2. Muffle noise with fountains

Thomas J. Story

Stylish noise muffler

This garden is about two blocks from a freeway, but the owners hardly notice the sound thanks to their burbling fountain.

Falling waters

Steven Gunther

Urn of stone

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.

Planning a small garden

Small wonder

A tiled fountain pool surrounded with foliage is just big enough to make a splash in this tiny space.

More small-space lessons from this garden

Falling waters

Deidra Walpole

Oil jar classic

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. 

Full story and diagram

Falling waters

Steven Gunther

Big bowl fountain

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

San Francisco Idea House

Thomas J. Story

Steel fountain

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.

Tour the house

Private spa retreat

Rob D. Brodman

Private spa retreat

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.

Garden Awards Fountain

Thomas J. Story

Calming wall fountain

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)

Splashy wall fountain

Charles Mann

Splashy wall fountain

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.

Full story

Fountain with stone orb

Thomas J. Story

Small-scale water features

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.

Scotts Valley, California: South of the border

Thomas J. Story

Scotts Valley, California: South of the border

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.

More about this townhouse garden

A fountain accents the front yard

Steven Gunther

Fountain in front

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."

A fountain without water

Steven Gunther

A fountain without water

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.

Falling water

Steven Gunther

Falling water

Water spills from a turquoise Bauer oil jar. The glass balls are Japanese fishing-net floats.

More ideas from this yard

Water wisdom

Norm Plate

Water wisdom

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.

More tips from this garden

Portland, Oregon: Perfectly crafted

Allan Mandell

Perfectly crafted

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)

12 steps, from paper to party time

Janet Loughrey

Boulder fountain

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 .

What else makes a garden magical?

Claire Curran

Essential element

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.

Planting for butterflies

Thomas J. Story

A butterfly-friendly fountain

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.)

Get three great ideas from this garden

Water-wise patio

Steven Gunther

Water-wise patio

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.

Patio

Thomas J. Story   

Mediterranean accent

A cast limestone fountain with an antique finish adds a Mediterranean-inspired accent to this narrow front patio in Sacramento, Calif. The wall blocks the sight and sound of street traffic nearby.

Read more

Squares

Steven Gunther

Square fountain in planting bed

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.

Full story

Red Rocks

Steven Gunther

Red Rocks

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.  

Front-yard fountain

Steven Gunther

Front-yard fountain

Transform a bland garden with clever reuse of on-site materials. The fountain in this courtyard was made of recycled concrete.

tahoe-idea-house-water-feature

Thomas J. Story

A water feature for Gold Country

Recalling gold-mining flumes, this runnel-like recirculating fountain uses water from a buried cistern.

Tour this Tahoe house

Terrace fountain

Thomas J. Story

Terrace fountain

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

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/great-ideas-fountains-00400000045254/