Maintenance of Garden Fountains

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By Clinton Nace

Garden Fountains add the relaxing sound of flowing water to any setting. Outdoor fountains allow water to spout, jet, pour or trickle into a basin before draining away. Fountains range in size from burbling rock gardens perfect for tabletops to large pieces of public art. If you live in an urban area or a busy apartment complex, you can use a fountain to create a sense of privacy by masking traffic as well as other noises.

Pyramid-shaped water fountains bring the water up toward the top of the fountain so that the water can then pour down the sides into several different basins. The water fills up in these basins and splatters over the edges. Eventually, the water reaches a final basin at the bottom where the water is drained and sucked back into the pump to begin the cycle once again. Other garden fountains are made to look like natural surroundings. These fountains are created with rock surrounds so that the water can be displayed like a miniature waterfall descending down the rocks.

For a good spot to put the fountain, it all depends upon design. If you have a very basic garden, with a path, you can place the fountain in the middle as the center feature. If your garden is large with many paths winding to and fro, a fountain can be stuck over in a corner of beside one of the paths. Wherever you decide to place it, you also need to be practical. A fountain has to have power to work so try to find a spot close to an outdoor outlet. If you have to dig a trench and bury a line, try not to destroy parts of your garden that are complete.

When choosing an outdoor fountain, first consider how much space you have. Many yards can accommodate large pedestal-style outdoor fountains while a smaller fountain will create a focal point in a petite flower garden. When feasible, use distilled water in a water fountain as it does not contain the minerals and additives found in local water supplies. Even bottled drinking water can contain minerals. Minerals in water can stick to the fountain surface and form a build up that changes the appearance of your water fountain. If you live in a place with "hard" water, you would be especially encouraged to use distilled water. If you don't wish to purchase distilled water, you might consider purchasing a water distiller of your own, they come in many sizes.

You have to keep algae from forming in your garden fountains. Get rid of all dead leaves and branches from your garden fountain to reduce the amount of nutrition feeding your algae. Utilize a net to pick up all debris. Use an algae eliminating product. Refrain from using if you have plants or fish in your garden fountain. Sprinkle salt in the top of your fountain to kill off your string algae. You can use salt once a week to prevent algae buildup. Plant large shade-producing plants around your fountain. Make use of the design of your fountain as a guide when planting and placing containers.

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