Wall-fountains run the gamut from classical Greek figures and wall mounted gargoyles to sleek modern art forms and spouting frogs and fish. A wall fountain usually spills water through–such as a mask or a decorative plaque–into a basin which hides a small pump. The statuary can be terra cotta, plastic, fiberglass, cast concrete (often designed to mimic terra-cotta or stone), or metal. Stone and cast-concrete wall fountains require a wall strong enough to support their weight, as well as sturdy, well-secured mounting hardware.
Hiding the Return Pipe and Cord on a Wall-Fountain
Wall-fountains look best if the return pipe doesn’t show. Thus, the best place for these fountains is a freestanding wall that allows you to run the plumbing behind it. However, this is rarely practical for many situations. Small features work best, such as on a townhouse patio. Alternatives include hiding the tubing with vines or chiseling a vertical niche down the wall to run the tubing and then mortaring over it. A more satisfactory option is to build out the wall using similar material–a new line of bricks, for instance, or an enclosure covered with clapboards to match your home’s siding. Mount the wall-fountain on the new surface, and run the pipe behind it.
If the wall-fountain doesn’t come with its own basin, homemade options range from building an elaborate brick or concrete reservoir to recycling a half-barrel or an old sink or trough. Don’t make the catch basin too small or rapid evaporation will necessitate frequent topping off. To keep splashing to a minimum, mount the fountain no higher above the catch basin than the diameter of the catch basin.
Wall-Fountains Are Not Difficult to Install
Taking up no floor room, wall fountains are ideal for gardens or seating areas that are tight on space. A submersed pump that recirculates water from the basin to a delivery pipe up to the spout powers most wall-fountains. Designs are nearly infinite, but most have a jet of water spilling into a trough or basin. The plumbing on some wall fountains can be rather complicated, often requiring pipes behind the wall. In other cases, the water lines run up the wall surface and must be disguised with vines or other plants. However, simple-to-install, preformed kits are now available with only a cord running from them. Because the ease and cost of installation varies widely, consider the installation when buying a wall fountain.
Wall fountains attach in several ways. Stone fountains attach with mortar and are supported with special T-blocks, decorative braces that act as brackets. Lighter weight fountain kits come with mounting hardware.
Wall fountains are commonly sold as separate units. They are designed to be installed with a pump. They will almost always come with complete instructions. As with any moving water feature, it is a good idea to be able to turn the wall fountain on and off from an indoor switch. Wall fountains are well suited for the small garden. They require a little more work to install, but installation is still straightforward if you have a wall with access to the back.