How to Make a Splash with a Simple Fountain

Our client had a lovely, traditional, brick home in Dawsonville, GA.  The home had some interesting architectural features, including unique stone accents across the front façade and elegant copper gutters and downspouts. But those special details were lost in the view from the curb. They receded into the background because there was nothing to draw the eye in toward the entrance.

The front landscape needed a splash of color to offset the earthy tones of the brick and stone. Something in the homeowner’s favorite color, teal, would certainly fit that bill. And we knew she liked the idea of a bubbling fountain that could be seen and heard on the approach to the front door.

We were all elated when we came across this magnificent, teal, ceramic fountain from a local supplier—complete with all the plumbing parts and the pump!

We installed the fountain for the client as part of our overall landscape plan, but it’s a job that a motivated do-it-yourselfer could tackle. Here’s how we did it.

Before fountain

First—and this is really important—we determined where it would go. Maybe this sounds like a no-brainer, but there are some points to think about in choosing the right spot if you’re trying to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Consider locating the fountain:

  • close enough to the home or walkway so people can hear and enjoy it as they approach the home or sit on the porch
  • where it can best enhance the view from the street. Place your fountain in a few different locations and walk out to the street, and drive by, too, to look at it from different vantage points.
  • where it won’t be dwarfed as trees or other plants around it mature
  • convenient to a source of electricity needed to run the pump
  • convenient to a water spigot or hose to replenish the water as needed
  • where playing kids and pets aren’t likely to knock it over.

With the location established, we dug a hole. It had to be wide enough to contain the reservoir, equipment and pump, and deep enough that the fountain would sit at ground level once installed. The bottom of the hole had to be level, too; some gravel in the bottom can help with that. Make sure to pull out any sticks or debris with sharp edges.

Next, we lined the hole with an underlayment fabric, followed by a rubber liner. The underlayment and liner should extend out a couple feet from the hole.

Building fountain with Eco Blox

We like to use a product called an Eco-Blox water matrix for the hidden reservoir. It can hold all the fountain and pump equipment and allows more than 30 gallons of water to move freely throughout the box. Its sturdy construction makes it a perfect, level base that’s strong enough to hold the weight of the fountain and the rocks around it. The top of the reservoir—where the fountain will sit—needs to be at ground level.

We had an irrigation crew involved in the landscape plan, and we had them install an autofill feature on our fountain so the client wouldn’t have to remember to add water to it. This is an important consideration. Adding a new fountain without an autofill feature on it will be like adding a new pet to the family. You’ve got to give it fresh water regularly. If you neglect your new pet fountain, evaporation will eventually deplete the water in the reservoir and blow out the pump.

If your fountain will be close to an electrical outlet, you may be able to just plug it in and camouflage the cord so it’s not obvious. For our client, we had an electrician run a line from the house to the pump.

Installing rocks around fountain

With all the technical parts assembled and installed, we were able to turn our attention to the artistic aspects of the project. We covered all the business parts of the fountain with large river rocks and a few strategically-placed boulders. These would tie in beautifully with the stone accents on the home.

Fountain and garden

There were already some grasses on the property and they were ready to be divided. So we started by dividing and planting those. The existing grass makes a fine backdrop for the vibrant splash of teal, and the swaying of the wispy plumes in the breeze plays off of the movement of the water. Finally, a new stone walkway balances the rock and stone on the home and in the garden bed, creating a unified, well-put-together, outdoor space.

Fountain adds curb appeal

With a dash more color from a few chartreuse shrubs, the traditional touch of some Annabelle hydrangeas and some time for the garden to grow out a bit, the front of the home is now warm and welcoming. The splash of color from the teal fountain provides a focal point that draws the eye toward the entrance and allows the home’s special architectural features to shine.

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