Modern Garden Decor: Fountains and their Roots

A fountain, an incredible piece of engineering, not only supplies drinking water as it pours into a basin, it can also propel water high into the air for a noteworthy effect.

Pure functionality was the original role of fountains. Inhabitants of urban areas, townships and small towns used them as a source of drinking water and a place to wash up, which meant that fountains needed to be linked to nearby aqueduct or spring. Up until the 19th century, fountains had to be more elevated and closer to a water supply, such as aqueducts and reservoirs, in order to benefit from gravity which fed the fountains. su2025_1__66107.jpg Serving as an element of adornment and celebration, fountains also provided clean, fresh drinking water. Bronze or stone masks of wildlife and heroes were frequently seen on Roman fountains. Muslims and Moorish landscaping designers of the Middle Ages included fountains to re-create smaller models of the gardens of paradise. Fountains played a significant role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exercise his power over nature. The Romans of the 17th and 18th centuries created baroque decorative fountains to glorify the Popes who commissioned them as well as to mark the spot where the restored Roman aqueducts entered the city.

Urban fountains built at the end of the 19th century served only as decorative and celebratory ornaments since indoor plumbing provided the essential drinking water. Gravity was substituted by mechanical pumps in order to permit fountains to bring in clean water and allow for beautiful water displays.

Nowadays, fountains decorate public areas and are used to pay tribute to individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

Early Crete & The Minoans: Garden Fountains

Various types and designs of conduits have been discovered through archaeological excavations on the island of Crete, the birthplace of Minoan civilization. These delivered water and removed it, including water from waste and deluges. The primary components utilized were stone or clay. There were terracotta pipelines, both circular and rectangular as well as waterways made from the same material. There are a couple of good examples of Minoan clay piping, those with a shortened cone form and a U-shape that haven’t been observed in any civilization since that time. The water availability at Knossos Palace was handled with a system of terracotta piping that was located beneath the floor, at depths going from a couple of centimeters to a number of meters. The water pipes also had other uses including collecting water and conveying it to a centralized area for storage.

Hence, these piping had to be ready to: Underground Water Transportation: the hidden system for water distribution may have been chosen to give water to certain people or events. Quality Water Transportation: There is also evidence that concludes the piping being employed to supply water features separately from the domestic system.

Recommendations for Setting Up a Garden Fountain

A water source and an electrical socket are two important items that many people do not think about when determining where they want to place their garden fountain. Occasionally new owners get so caught up in the thrill of their new purchase that they forget important details. If you require an extension cord to reach a 120v wall socket, feel free to use one, as standard power cords are only 12 feet long. You will need to refill your fountain with water so make sure there is a source of water nearby. Carrying water is hard and laborious. A nearby hose can make filling the fountain a lot less demanding. A water fountain autofill is an even better solution, but will require the help of someone who knows how to set it up since the water has to go through an external line.

Build it and They Will Come: Water Features and Wildlife

Putting in an outdoor water fountain or a bird feeder will allow you to delight in the natural presence of wildlife or pets. All birds need a place to drink, bathe and preen.

There are some birds, like robins, thrushes, orioles, or warblers, which are not attracted to bird feeders, but are drawn to fountains because of the moving water. While bowl-shaped bird baths can be uninteresting to many birds, fountains are more inviting because of the moving water they produce. Birds are greatly attracted to the trickling and splashing sounds produced.

Dogs are attracted to fountains because they provide refreshing water to drink. During the sweltering summer months, dogs and cats will be outside searching for fresh water. Also, regularly flowing water fountains require less upkeep than the still water of a birdbath that tend to get dirtier.

Anglo-Saxon Grounds During the Norman Conquest

The arrival of the Normans in the 2nd half of the 11th century irreparably altered The Anglo-Saxon lifestyle. At the time of the conquest, the Normans surpassed the Anglo-Saxons in building design and cultivation. But before centering on home-life or having the occasion to think about domestic architecture or decoration, the Normans had to subjugate an entire society. Because of this, castles were cruder constructions than monasteries: Monasteries were often immense stone buildings located in the biggest and most fertile valleys, while castles were constructed on windy crests where their residents devoted time and space to projects for offense and defense. The serene method of gardening was not viable in these dismal bastions. The finest specimen of the early Anglo-Norman style of architecture existent today is Berkeley Castle. The keep is said to date from the time of William the Conqueror. A spacious terrace recommended for exercising and as a means to stop attackers from mining under the walls runs about the building. On one of these terraces sits a quaint bowling green: it is covered in grass and flanked by an old yew hedge that is created into the shape of rough ramparts.

Musical Fountains: Rhythms and Notes

A musical or dancing fountain, creates an aesthetic design with three-dimensional images, and is a type of animated water feature used to entertain audiences. Using timed sound waves and light, as well as lasers, against water molecules produces this effect. The three-dimensional images are created by the water refracting and reflecting the light.

To create such an installation, hundreds of lights and water jets are needed, and can end up costing millions of dollars. The technical, hydraulic, and electrical elements needed to construct a complex musical feature may be just as spectacular as the show itself.

The musical fountain project in Dubai is considered the largest in the world. Spanning the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, it was the brainchild of California-based company WET Design, who was launched to fame for their striking fountain design at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. This fantastic feature makes use of 6,600 lights, 25 colored projectors, as well as fire an fog. Sending water 150 meters (490 feet, comparable to a 50-story building) into the air, it measures 207-meters (902 feet) and incorporates music such as classical pieces, modern Arabic music as well as world music. The total cost was estimated at 218 million dollars. May 8, 2009 saw the formal opening of the fountain and the Dubai Mall by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. One has the best glimpse of the fountain, located in front of the Burj Khalifa, from the Souk Al Bahar or the Dubai Mall.

The Benefits of Pond Fountains

Most people think of the impressive masterpieces that adorn the front of public buildings when they think of fountains. That said, in reality they can be made of any style and size, and do not only belong in public places. A pond fountain can be a great accessory to your own yard.

By installing your one of your own, two things can take place. To begin with, fountains add charm and help everyone relax. There is nothing better at the end of an extremely tiring day than the relaxing nature of trickling water. You will notice your environment benefitting from its elegance, too. What’s more, your lovely fountain will interest your guests and you will find your parties more enjoyable.

The second reason for a water feature is to ensure a healthy environment for the fish in your pond. A pond fountain will oxygenate the water by keeping it circulating, which is great for fish. The better-oxygenated and constantly circulating water will ensure your fish are alive for a long time. You will see an improvement in your plants as well.


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