August 8, 2014
Everlasting Beauty…Sculptures & Fountains in the Landscape
If your garden needs a little pizzazz or if you’d like to take it up a notch, consider adding a sculptural element. When deciding where to place a sculpture, quickly draw your eye around your garden. Look for areas that you can add some visual interest, highlight your favorite plants, fill an out-of-the way corner or identify a hard-to-plant location.
As far back as the mid-1600’s, The Gardens of Versailles in France began to incorporate sculptures and fountains into their design, many of which are still in place today. So it’s no wonder that garden statuary has remained a constant element in garden design, no matter how big or small the garden space. Garden sculptures are stand-alone artistic pieces that can accent or add a theme to your landscape or garden beds. Garden accents can inspire you to spend more time in the garden and you may even find yourself proudly sharing your garden with others. Plants, architecture and sculpture each contribute to the dynamic nature of a garden and influence its changing silhouette. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the process of creating your own unique garden.
Garden sculptures are available in a variety of material and themes. It can be small or life-size, abstract or realistic. It can contain living plants, take the form of an animal, be a statue of religious significance, a birdbath, a planter, a gazing ball, an obelisk, a trellis, an architectural piece… a weathervane–whatever you want it to be. Sculptures for the garden can be made from iron, clay, glass, stone, wood or combinations of materials. And in keeping with today’s design trends, recycled materials and repurposed objects can easily have a new home within your flower gardens.
I still remember that while growing up, there was a garden sculpture of St. Francis in my mother’s hosta garden along with a birdbath placed nearby that brought her many hours of enjoyment. Garden sculptures can create lasting memories.
Fountains can be another fantastic focal point in any area. The original meaning of fountain (from the Latin ‘fontana’) is a natural spring or pool from which water flowed. Surprisingly, the first man-made structure that could spout water into the air in a controlled manner wasn’t first recorded until around 1500 AD in England. I thought it would have been much earlier than that! You can enjoy a fountain for its lyrical sound of water music as well as for its aesthetic beauty. The sound of running water adds peace and serenity to a garden making it a relaxing element in our hectic lives. Water feature designs can be whimsical or natural; simply choose one according to your taste and style. Fountains need only minimal maintance. As fountains recirculate water, a certain amount of evaporation will occur. It is important to keep the proper water level so the pump does not burn out. In our geographical region, drain fountains for the winter to keep them from freezing. Sometimes, fountains can be attractive for mosquitoes to breed in the hot, summer months. Simply toss in a mosquito dunk every now and again to keep them at bay. These are eco-friendly and safe for pets and wildlife.
Fountains sizes range from tabletop to large sculptures and everything in between. Most traditional fountains are made from clay, concrete or fiberglass. But don’t hesitate to think outside the box! Pump kits are available to make a fountain from a pot or any other container of your choice in almost any material that will hold water: ceramic, cement, resin or stone. And just like the recycle and repurpose trend that is infiltrating every aspect of design, you can use any old items like a watering can, clawfoot bathtub or any other object you desire. Have fun and go with the flow!
Here’s a simple project that will turn any pot into a water feature to get your feet wet with water gardening. To make a fountain, simply:
1. Choose 3–4 glazed pots ranging in size from small to extra-large.
2. Use silicone to seal the drainage hole at the bottom of the largest pot. Let it dry over night.
3. Using a container fountain kit (contains 70 gph pump with filter box and 3 fountain heads), place the pump in the bottom pot and drape cord over the side. Attach the tubing to the pump and then feed the tubing upward through the drainage holes of each of the smaller, stacked pots. Lastly, if you want a spray fountain, attach the fountain head to the end of the tube.
4. Place one large bag of small round stone place under and around the pots to help stabilize them.
5. Fill the fountain with water and plug in the pump. Now you’re ready to turn it on!
Nancy McIlvaine | Dry Goods Manager