Contemporary Garden Decoration: Fountains and their Beginnings

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

The central purpose of a fountain was originally strictly practical. Water fountains were connected to a spring or aqueduct to supply drinkable water as well as bathing water for cities, townships and villages. Until the late nineteenth, century most water fountains operated using gravity to allow water to flow or jet into the air, therefore, they needed a source of water such as a reservoir or aqueduct located higher than the fountain. Acting as an element of decoration and celebration, fountains also supplied clean, fresh drinking water. ft_196__04593.jpg The main materials used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly illustrating animals or heroes. To replicate the gardens of paradise, Muslim and Moorish garden planners of the Middle Ages added fountains to their designs. Fountains enjoyed a significant role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exert his power over nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to extol their positions by adding decorative baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Indoor plumbing became the key source of water by the end of the 19th century thereby restricting urban fountains to mere decorative elements. Fountains using mechanical pumps instead of gravity enabled fountains to provide recycled water into living spaces as well as create unique water effects.

Embellishing city parks, honoring people or events and entertaining, are some of the functions of modern-day fountains.

Keep Your Outdoor Garden Fountain Clean

Appropriate care and regular maintenance are important to the longevity of water fountains. It is important to clean it out and remove any debris or foreign objects that might have dropped into or onto it. Also, algae has a tendency to build up wherever natural light meets water. Either sea salt, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar can be dissolved into the water to prevent this issue. There are those who like to use bleach, but that is dangerous to any animals that might drink or bathe in the water - so should therefore be avoided.

No more than 3-4 months should really go by without an extensive maintaining of a fountain. Before you can start washing it you should empty out all of the water. Once it is empty, scrub inside the reservoir with a gentle cleanser. A helpful tip is to use a toothbrush if there are small hard-to-reach spots. Make sure all the soap is properly cleaned off.

It is highly suggested taking the pump apart to better clean the inside and eliminate any plankton or calcium. Soaking it in vinegar for a time will make it easier to scrub. Build-up can be a big problem, so use mineral or rain water over tap water, when possible, to reduce this dilemma.

One final tip for keeping your fountain in top working shape is to check the water level every day and make sure it is full. If the water level drops below the pump’s intake level, it can damage the pump and cause it to burn out - something you don't want to happen!

A Magnificent Example of Roman Expertise: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain

Archaeologists and restorers on the lookout for pagan and Christian antiquities in Rome have come across a wealth of them in the area of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Situated in the portico of the nearby basilica one can find the famous marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). When the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain was built in 1719, it was off the beaten track and mostly unknown as a result.

The part of town where it was located was forlorn and uninviting which generally kept people away. It was a this time that Pope Clement XI commissioned the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri to put up a water fountain to refurbish the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. August 11, 1717 marked the date when construction on the church’s foundation started. Medallions bearing the imagery of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were thrown in the foundation following the blessing of the first rock.

Classic Greece: The Origins of Outdoor Statue Design

Historically, the vast majority of sculptors were paid by the temples to decorate the involved columns and archways with renderings of the gods, however as the era came to a close it became more common for sculptors to present regular people as well because many Greeks had begun to think of their institution as superstitious rather than sacred. Wealthy individuals would occasionally commission a rendering of their forefathers for their big family tombs; portraiture additionally became frequent and would be appropriated by the Romans upon their acquisition of Greek civilization. It is incorrect to state that the arts had one aim during The Classical Greek period, a duration of innovative achievement during which the usage of sculpture and various other art forms changed. Whether to satisfy a visual yearning or to commemorate the figures of religion, Greek sculpture was actually an innovative method in the ancient world, which may well be what attracts our focus currently.

Liven Up Your Workaday Life with a Fountain

The movement and sound of water generated from a fountain have two effects: cleaning the air and proving a place of relaxation and tranquility, both of which will improve your quality of life.

There are many advantages to having an indoor or outdoor water fountain which you may not even recognize.

Water makes up a large portion of our body constitution, and populations world-wide tend to gravitate towards coastal areas. While you could invest in an extravagant beach house or jump in the ocean every day to enjoy the benefits of water, getting a water feature is much easier and more affordable!

If you want to make your porch, patio, or back yard even more relaxing, think about getting an outdoor garden fountain. However lovely it already is, your space will be even more beautiful if you add an outdoor water feature from the wide variety available. It could be a beautiful addition to the wall of your enclosed porch or outside the house above the veranda. If you have a flower bed, look into installing a beautiful tiered type there to add a feeling of peace. Due to the nonstop flow of water in a birdbath fountain, algae and bacteria do not build up, and birds come flocking to the pure water. Add the finishing touch with the enticing sound of running water in your garden.

The Spectacular Cascade Water Fountain at Chatsworth

The Cascade garden fountain creates an incredible garden centerpiece at the back of Chatsworth House. Twenty-four irregularly spread stone steps stretch down the hillside for 200 yards in the direction of the residence. Completely gravity fed, the Cascade too is founded on a 17th century French design. Created for the initial Duke of Devonshire in 1696, this water fountain has remained unaltered ever since. The Cascade House overlooks the fountain, where water slowly flows downward. Sea creatures in bas-relief beautify the outside of the dwelling which is a small construction. Prior to continuing down the Cascade, on unique occasions water pressure to the Cascade can be boosted, causing the Cascade House to become a part of the Cascade display, as water runs through ducts on its roof and from the jaws of its carved marine creatures. The sound of the water plunging differs as it descends down the Cascades, offering a wonderful and comforting accompaniment to a saunter through the gardens and created by the small difference of each step. In 2004, Chatsworth's Cascade, was voted England's best water feature.

Water Fountains: A Fascination for Your Pets and Visiting Birds

Wildlife and pets are by nature attracted to bird feeders and water fountains. Drinking, washing, and grooming are some of the things birds need to do. 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 dull to many birds, fountains are more inviting because of the moving water they generate. Birds are greatly attracted to the trickling and splashing music produced.

Dogs like fountains because they provide another place to drink fresh water. Hot days drive dogs and cats to anxiously look for the freshest water nearby. Because water in fountains is consistently moving, they do not need much cleaning, whereas the still water of birdbaths collect debris and require more attention.


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