"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>.