Fountains come in many forms. It can be integrated with a water garden or it can be a stand-alone system. A fountain can make a subtle statement or it can be a main focal point in the landscape. Statuary placed at the edge of a pond or out in the water is a way to personalize a garden to you.
A disappearing fountain has quickly become a popular way to have the sound of moving water and the visual effect of the flowing water without having a water garden with plants and fish. This type of fountain is a result of people who want a water element in the garden, but don’t have time or desire to build a complete water garden system. The disappearing fountain has all of the reasons to include water in a garden, sound and motion, but without the additional care a garden pond requires. It is perfectly suited to a faster paced lifestyle!
What does a disappearing fountain consist of?
The ornamental part will typically be a vase, urn, bowl, statue, drilled boulder or even a fountain head nestled among decorative stone. This is the part that is seen, the focal point; all else is hidden from sight. Most things that can have water flowing through them can be made into a disappearing fountain. As long as the container that is hidden under the ground is large enough to catch the splash from the fountain, the ornament can be virtually anything.
A basin assembly is the container for the water and pump. This is buried to the rim in the ground with the pump installed inside below an access door. Pre-manufactured assemblies make the installation quick and easy. They are made in round and square basins from 2 to 4 feet in size. At one foot deep, they hold enough water to minimize the amount of time between filling. Support inside the basins give enough strength to support heavy fountain pieces on top. A cover of grating on top of the basin assembly allows for a layer of ornamental stone to complete the hiding of the “works” of the disappearing fountain.
The pump is chosen to match the fountain piece. This may require a little help from us! There are many pump sizes and brands, let us help you choose the correct one for you particular vase or statue.
Regular maintenance is minimal. Use of a regular weekly application of Fountec keeps the algae in check and prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs. This product is safe for birds, dogs and cats. Our fountains here at Springdale are our dog’s favorite drinking bowl. Clean fallen leaves from the stones that cover the grate regularly to keep the water clean beneath the grate. Weekly check in the Fall is recommended.
In Winter you may want to keep the fountain running as long as possible to enjoy the interesting ice formations that build up around the stone and vase or statue. In extreme cold temperatures, turn off the fountain, and drain all water from the vase. Standing water will freeze and break the pottery if not drained out. Remove the standpipe inside of the vase to ensure complete draining. Consider covering the fountain to keep water and snow from filling the vase during freezing months.
Here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we turn on the fountains in March and leave them on through October. In a mild winter or climate, it is possible to operate the fountain much longer. Keep a close watch on the temperatures and turn off if necessary and drain the vase or statue. The basin below can remain filled with water and the pump in place, unless you are in the coldest parts of the U.S.