"A wonderful way to enhance the beauty of your garden is to install a solar powered garden fountain. Compared to traditional electric fountains, solar powered garden fountains allow you to be gentle on the environment and to reduce your running costs to practically nothing. Maintenance is simple, too, with no wiring to look after. And yet a broad range of prices and styles are available.Setting up a solar powered garden fountain is easy and care of these fountains is minimal once installed. Want to use your solar powered garden fountain at an evening party? One option is to install a battery backup for working when the sun is not shining. Weekly maintenance is simple. Panels may accumulate dust or dirt, which can easily be wiped off.
Once installed, if you find the pumps' power is not to your satisfaction, you may need to reposition the solar panels somewhat to increase maximum solar energy. It's also possible to add extra solar panels if you want to increase power to the pumps. Just note that water jet intensity will fluctuate according to the presence of sun throughout the day, and of course be lower on cloudy days.
You can buy solar powered garden fountains with panels and fountain all in one unit, or purchase a model that allows you to place the panels at a distance, connected by a cord. Either way the panels' position needs to be where they can get maximum sunlight. If setup is separate, this allows you to place the fountain in any location, sunny or not.
The best benefit, once the solar powered garden fountain is installed, is sunlight is free and summer time use has no limits. Since there is no need to place the fountain close to an electric supply, installation can be at any distance. This is especially ideal for large gardens.
The only disadvantage is total dependence on sun; solar powered garden fountains work best on bright sunny days. Performance will slow down on cloudy days. Once the freezing chills of winter arrive, it's best to move the unit indoors to prevent damage from snow and frost. Extremely low temperatures could crack the bowls of the foundation.
Solar powered garden fountains are designed for sunny locales with mild winters. They come in a variety of styles; some float, others are placed on solid surfaces, but are the most cost-effective way to enhance your garden, harnessing one of the planets most renewable energy source, sunlight. Make your garden truly green, go solar".
Hessman, Scott. "New Gardening Trends: Solar Powered Garden Fountains." Yahoo Contributor Network. Voices.yahoo.com, 16 Nov. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://voices.yahoo.com/new-gardening-trends-solar-powered-garden-fountains-10428209.html?cat=32>.
"Garden fountains range in size and style from palatial to small, quirky units made from flower pots. The landscaping style around your fountain should remain consistent with the fountain style. Regardless of size and style, fountains are meant to be focal points in the garden, so the landscaping design should highlight rather than upstage the fountain. As a general rule, the fountain should always be taller than the surrounding plants, so you must pay attention to mature plant sizes when choosing the plants for your fountain landscape design.
1.) Measure the total fountain height, including any pedestals, then mark a circle with landscaping spray paint with a diameter two to three times the fountain height. Remove the sod layer with a sod cutter and spade, spray the soil with a pre-emergent herbicide, then fill in the circle with pea gravel. Plant a low hedge around the perimeter of the circle, using a short evergreen species, such as elegans boxwood (Buxus sempervirens "Elegantissima").
2.) Fill in a circle that has a diameter two to three times the fountain height with pea gravel. Place four curved, concrete benches in the circle spaced evenly around the fountain and halfway between the fountain and edge of the circle; this landscaping design enhances a formal fountain and requires very little maintenance.
3.) Install a small garden pond beside the fountain to carry the water theme from the fountain to ground level. Surround the fountain and pond with your choice of plants, arranging them in order of descending height so you can clearly see all the plants.
4.) Excavate the soil to a depth of 6 inches around the fountain, pack down 2 inches of gravel and top with 2 inches of level sand. Lay brick pavers over the sand foundation and fill in the cracks with sand to create a patio that highlights the fountain. Substitute used bricks or cobblestones to take the patio from formal to rustic.
5.) Place the fountain in the middle of your lawn and add four separate walkways leading to the path from different directions in your garden. You can simply place flagstones or stepping stones for a casual walkway, remove the sod layer and fill in the path with gravel or install formal brick paver walkways.
6.) Plant a hedge around the fountain that is 2 to 4 feet tall and about 5 feet out from the fountain. Plant a ring of small flowers another 2 feet out from the hedge plants; plant the same species around the hedge, but alternate colors, if desired. Fill in the empty space with a 2- to- 3-inch layer of shredded bark mulch to conceal the soil, prevent erosion and aid in moisture retention.
7.) Build a raised planter about 3 feet tall from concrete pavers, fill the planter with soil and place the fountain in the center. Use the soil around the fountain to plant seasonal annuals; simply pull out the old flowers at the end of the blooming period and replace with new seasonal annuals.
8.) Plant sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) or "Blue Cascade" lobelia (Lobelia erinus "Blue Cascade") densely around the base of a fountain that is set inside a raised bed planter. The sweet alyssum resembles churning water or bubbles around the fountain, while "Blue Cascade" gently cascades down the raised planter and looks like a living extension of the water fountain.
9.) Place large and medium rocks in the ground around the fountain; bury the lower one-third of each rock so they appear as natural features in your garden. Plant small flowers in the open spaces around the rocks or use the large boulders as the backdrop for group plantings. Fill in the empty space with shredded bark mulch or pea gravel mulch.
10.) Plant two or three medium shrubs, such as gardenia (Gardenia spp.), in an arc on opposite sides of the fountain, with each shrub arc covering approximately one-fourth of circumference around the fountain. Plant small flowers on the outside of the medium shrubs. Place three or four flagstones to create a path to the fountain on the two sides between the shrub arcs.
Plant wildflowers such as California poppies in a flower bed around the fountain; this simple landscaping design is low-maintenance and coordinates well with rustic fountains, such as a simple fountain made from a watering can or flower pot.
Mahoney, Jessica, and Demand Media. "Home Guides." Home Guides. Http://homeguides.sfgate.com, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://homeguides.sfgate.com/landscape-around-garden-fountain-49580.html>.
"There are many benefits to installing garden water fountains in your yard or garden area. Some of them are as simple as the soothing sound of water, but others are as important as providing an area for pollinating birds to bathe themselves. There is even the very real justification that it can increase the value of your home while improving the attractiveness of the yard.
With either the sound of a rushing waterfall or a light patter of rain, the sound of water has always been useful in helping people relax. There are even meditation exercises that require the subject to imagine a still pond of water with a slow drip hitting. Having a fountain in the yard can provide the relaxation benefits of the sound of running water.
The second benefit of having garden water fountains is that they provide bathing for many types of birds. People think that having a bird bath is enough. However, the fact is that most bird baths are a single container with standing water. The water must be changed on a regular basis or it can start to grow many types of bacteria and fungus. This can cause the water to smell and be more of a distraction than a pleasure. Additionally, the stagnant water can actually harm the birds, causing disease and forcing the birds to find a new place to bathe.
Having a fountain is a great benefit to the wildlife in your yard. Birds will appreciate the running water and will bathe with more frequency and for longer periods. This will allow you time to view the birds and enjoy their presence. It is also great for flowering plants, because the birds will pollinate the plants while in the garden. This can cause flowering plants to produce more flowers over a longer period of time.
Finally, having garden water fountain can increase in the value of your home. Water fountains add a peaceful sound to the garden and can even provide decorative accents to your home. Fountains can be constructed out of a variety of materials to complement the look of the home. Copper fountains, with their gradual patina of green, provide a European flair to the garden. A fiberglass fountain can be tinted to look like aged granite, providing a slightly medieval flair to an otherwise modern garden setting".
"CelebrityGardens." Zillow. Zillow.com, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.zillow.com/digs/celebrity-gardens/>.
Admin. "Benefits of Installing Water Garden Fountains." Beckett Pumps. Beckettpumps.com, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.beckettpumps.com/index.php/2013/01/18/benefits-of-installing-water-garden-fountains/>.
"A beautiful outdoor fountain can make a great focal piece for any garden or patio. Through proper care and good cleaning, your garden fountain can run smoothly through the test of time. There are several types of outdoor fountains to choose from depending on your personal taste, the size of your patio or garden area and how much time and maintenance you are willing to invest.
Outdoor Fountain Care 101
Keeping your outdoor fountain clean is just as important as maintaining the proper water level. Routinely wiping the inner bowl of your outdoor fountain with a non-abrasive cloth not only keeps it looking shiny and beautiful, but also prevents the build-up of dirt and dust. Additionally, it is vital to remember to refill and clean your outdoor fountain pump on a regular basis as a dry pump will most likely result in the purchase of a new one.
Cleaning your Garden Fountain
Cleaning the bowl and pump is essential to the life of your garden fountain. The bowl should be emptied and lightly scrubbed with a toothbrush and dish detergent every one to three months. Before beginning your outdoor fountain cleaning, be sure and consult your manual in case your garden fountain requires a special cleaning method. For some garden fountains, algae additives and filtered water are needed to break down the build up of mold and calcium.
Outdoor Fountain Pump Maintenance
Before removing the pump, consult the manufacturer’s guide on proper cleaning and detaching methods. Once the pump is removed and opened, place it in a solution of vinegar for an easy-clean solution.
Preventing the Growth of Algae
Along with replacing the water on a monthly basis, you can also purchase an algae cleaner to decrease the growth of algae and keep the outdoor fountain’s water fresh. In addition, it is important to remember that algae, much like all growing organisms, experience increased growth when placed in well-lit areas. If algae continues to be a problem for you, you might want to consider moving your garden fountain to a shady area.
Appropriate Water Levels for Your Garden Fountain
As mentioned earlier, water levels are key to maintaining a healthy pump. The water level of your outdoor fountains should be checked daily, with small amounts of water added at each interval. Each month, you should drain and re-fill your outdoor fountain with fresh water to prevent stagnant water. Additionally, dry summer months can cause the water in your outdoor fountain’s bowl to evaporate more quickly, so be sure and check the water levels more frequently.
Let it Snow: Winter Outdoor Fountain Care
In seasonal climates and severe winter regions, outdoor fountains should be transported indoors to prevent cracking and freezing, especially marble garden fountains. Should removing the garden fountain from the outdoors prove to be too great of an undertaking, drain the outdoor fountain completely, dry it with a non-abrasive cloth and place a garden fountain cover over it as a protective shield from the weather".
"Tips for Year-Round Outdoor Fountain Maintenance." Improvements Blog. Improvementscatalogblog.com, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2014. <http://www.improvementscatalog.com/RoomForImprovements/tips-for-year-round-outdoor-fountain-maintenance/>.