I know a woman who worried so much that WRRYWRT was her vanity license plate. If the weather changed for the worse, then she worried about floods. If the weather changed for the better, why then she worried about drought. When the mailman rang the doorbell she worried about bills. When she drove into the city she worried about hills. This lady’s family, in an effort to save her sanity (and there’s), tried therapy, medication, and meditation, all to no good effect. Finally, her husband, an avid gardener, put a backyard fountain in place. Almost overnight, his wife’s mental and emotional state improved. The sound of running water was her answer. Is it yours? Gildshire’s Home and Garden Magazine examined the pros and cons of backyard fountains, and here is what we found.
Pro, Coming to Your Emotional Rescue In Two Ways: The auditory benefit secured by the woman in the above example was immediately apparent, and she isn’t alone. The white noise provided by the sound of flowing water blocks out urban sound pollution better than earplugs can. Many people love their water feature for the visual element, as well. The sight and sound of an outdoor water fountain has a Zen-like quality..
Con, Maintenance Time: The proper care and maintenance of a yard take a lot of time and energy. Adding a water feature at least doubles the T&E. There is no way to account for the leaves and debris that can get into your fountain without manually removing them. Do you have leaf-fall in the autumn? Pitch a tent, my friend. You’ll be out of the house for a couple of weeks.
Pro, Aesthetic Improvement: Let’s face it, your yard looks pretty much like the guy next door’s yard, and his looks like the one a half-block away. Add a backyard fountain, though, and the aesthetics police will give your place a wide berth. Also, we haven’t even talked about home value yet, but we’ll get there.
Con, Safety Concern: This is an often-overlooked concern, but it is a very real one. The rocks, foliage, and water that make up your fountain feature are magnets for children who see a place to play and maybe even a cool drink in the summer. If it includes an open pool, please include design features that prevent accidental entrance by children.
Pro, Gathering Place: Hot summer nights cry out for a place to gather in group relaxation. Your family will love the fountain-area, and the neighbors will appreciate an invitation to stop by, as well. Good friends, good conversation, and the soft bubbling in the background are memories in the making.
Con, Unwanted Visitors: No, this isn’t about the man across the street who belches. You need to be more accepting of him, because he may have acid reflux. These unwanted visitors are of the winged and four-footed variety. When people consider backyard fountains they always ask, “What about mosquitoes?” The answer is “yes.” All water attracts mosquitoes. Sure, a fast-moving water feature attracts fewer mosquitoes than does still water, but fewer isn’t none. Be prepared with citronella candles or a good personal repellant. “Did you say four-footed?” Of course, I did. If your fountain has koi and/or goldfish, birds will stop in and check out the menu. Even if you choose a no-fish option dogs, frogs, raccoons, and the occasional possum may drop by. The varmint problem will vary by your locale and geography, but know that the fauna will check out the flora.
Pro, Humidity: The water vapor that evaporates into the air can help clean the atmosphere. Some people in dry climates have even found they no longer need a humidifier.
Con, Humidity: Obviously, this one depends on where you live. Our eloquence about the advantages of humidity fell on deaf ears from New London, Missouri to New Orleans, Louisiana, and all points in-between.
Pro, Home Valuation: We told you we would get to it. There is almost nothing you can do with a thousand dollars or so to raise the value of your property by $5,000 like installing a backyard fountain or other water feature. Trust us, you want your home to stand out while you live in it, but even more when it’s time to sell. Your fountain is almost the first thing the realtor will checkmark in your favor.
So, what is the verdict? Are you angling for a cover photo on Sunset Magazine? Then backyard fountains are the way to go. Do you want a special place besides which to read, think or ponder the meaning of life? Backyard fountains are great for those.
Does the potential hard work keeping up your water feature seem daunting, because it can be? Without a doubt, they aren’t for everyone. Only you can answer these questions, and we know you’ll answer them in the best way possible for you and yours. Good luck with your decision.