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What do we consider a fountain?

Fountains, or fountainscapes, are smaller decorative water features such as basalt columns, bubbling urns, or any type of spitting fountain where the water recirculates from a pump at the bottom of a reservoir. Wait, what? Well, here you go!


Basalt fountain


Pictured here is a triple basalt inside a larger basin with a retaining wall surrounding the whole thing. Most of the basalt work we do is not of this magnitude, meaning it typically is one basalt rock inside a gravel pit. The reservoir is usually sunk in the ground. However in some conditions the reservoirs can be built up and off of the ground.

Bubbling Urn:

Bubbling urn fountain

A bubbling urn works the same way as the basalt rock. These are unique because as you can see, you are able to put a light around the spout.

Fountainscapes are great for small spaces or if you just do not want a pond. They add that perfect sight and sound for that corner of your patio or by greeting visitors at your front door! They don’t just add beauty either, they give kids a fun way to learn about nature, and make a great starter “pond” for any young child interested in water. Most of all they are perfect for those who are interested in getting their feet wet with the water gardening hobby. Fountains and fountainscapes are a great place to start!

A benefit of getting one of these is you can leave work, and come home the same day with one of these fully installed and working. Pretty cool, huh?

For most installations

Fountain Diagram Maryland

Typical fountains are set above an underground reservoir (basin) that keeps re-circulating the water.  Once the urn fills with water, the water spills out and over into the underground basin. A submersed pump then directs the water back up through the urn.  The basin we use is called an AquaBasin. A large one can support up to 2,000 pounds and holds 75 gallons of water. The top of the aquabasin is generally covered in beautiful river gravel. Large basalt columns can be set atop the basin for a truly impressive decorative water feature in the landscape.  For a more formal look, brass sculptures can be very effective. On fountains that are very tall or have a lot of splashing water, the bottom area may need to be enlarged beyond the extent of the large Aquabasin size. This is seen in the example of the triple basalt on the first photo of this post! In such a scenario, we build the basin as we would on a pondless waterfall. We would excavate a wider hole, then place padding and liner and infrastructure. This will creates a larger bottom area and the splashing water will be contained. The bottom area for the fountain can either be a few inches of water or have a dry gravel look.

Plants in Fountains

Fountainscape features also have the capability of having aquatic plants. The aquatic plants can be added in pots located under splash to keep them wet and any visible part of plant pots can be covered with rock and gravel. Plants can also be set directly in rock and gravel as long as the roots can get wet. If you choose this method, make sure the plants are not fast growers. A water feature can be overtaken very fast by freely planted aquatic plants. 


Most fountains can be treated like a pondless waterfall. As soon as the weather gets too cold, it can simply be unplugged for the winter. On ceramic pieces or fountains made of a breakable material, it will need to be shut off and drained for the winter. Water left inside them can freeze, expand and crack the urn.

Read up on the benefits of installing a pondless water feature >>

Have a small space that you think would be perfect for a fountainscape? Just let us know!