A solar water feature for your garden
Perhaps your goal is to create a soothing, relaxing, retreat for the human members of the household? If so I recommend one of the cascading fountains. These are usually sold partially assembled for easy shipping, but don’t be put off, most models only require you to fit the cascade bowl assemblies directly into a pre-made form. The cascade style fountain is a little louder than a bird bath type fountain making it an excellent choice for patios and decks. the sound can serve as a type of ‘white noise’ to block out the noise of traffic, lawn mowers and other distractions contrary to relaxation. A special note here for apartment or condo dwellers, smaller models of these fountains can help you create that special place of relaxation right on your balcony; because it is solar powered your garden fountain can live anywhere outdoors. For more examples take a look at solarpoweredgardenguide.co.uk
Another use for solar garden fountains is to create a big splash. (Sorry could not resist the pun.) What I mean is a well placed and flashy fountain can immediately improve that all important ‘curb appeal’. Garden fountains are often seen as ’special’ and sometimes extravagant; this is a ‘left over’ attitude from when fountains were very expensive, not only to purchase but to maintain. The fact is that a solar garden fountain, what ever it’s size, is no longer expensive to purchase or maintain. Many of these new larger fountains rely on resins in their construction so they are no longer heavy or unwieldy to install like the classic concrete styles. If you are considering this type of solar fountian it is important to know that you can purchase fountain base and solar fountain pump seperately. In fact any fountain can be turned into a solar fountain with the availability of modern solar pumps.
Moving on, I want to discuss the size of your solar fountain. I realize that size is often dictated by the budget and in turn size will often dictate where you want to place your solar garden fountain. The rule is simple, a large area needs a large fountain, a small area needs a small fountain. Think of your fountain as an accessory to your garden or patio. Just like accessories in your home, they need to be sized to be noticed, but not to overwhelm. And like accessories, garden fountains can be collected over time and showcased in different parts of your garden and/or patio and deck areas. Don’t be put off if you feel your area needs a large fountain but your budget dictates a small one. Consider breaking up your garden into smaller vignettes and featuring a different solar fountain in each area.
Speaking of placement of your solar garden fountain, I want to be the first to bust a common misconception. Not all solar fountains need to be placed in full sun in order to operate. Available on the market today are several models that come with a separate solar panel. This means that people with covered balconies, screened in porches, covered decks and shady gardens can now enjoy the benefits of solar garden fountains. A cord is run from the pump through a sealed opening in the bottom of the fountain and the solar panel can be placed typically from 4′ to 6′ away (be sure to check cord lengths when ordering).
However, also available today are solar fountains with rechargeable batteries built into the solar panels. Unlike the original solar garden fountains these models have on/off switches so the fountain can be run at any time on battery power. The solar panel recharges the batteries on sunny days. This is great news for those of us who like to enjoy our gardens in the cool of the evening. If this is the type of solar fountain you are looking for be sure to carefully read the fountain descriptions before ordering. If you do not see the words ‘recharge’ or ‘battery powered’ consider the fountain to be of the ’sun only’ type. Also be prepared to pay a little more for these type of solar garden fountains.
I hope this article has given you some good ideas and tips for choosing a solar garden fountain for your home. For more ideas click on the links to the right to view some of the more popular (and best priced) solar fountains available. And stay tuned in for future articles I will be talking to you about creating solar fountains from existing materials and caring for your solar fountain. Who knows? We might even build a solar fish pond together….