Fountains & Birdbaths - Part Two in a Series on adding Personal Touches to your Landscape Design.
It’s summertime in San Diego. As temperatures continue to soar, the cooling sights and sounds of water seem as satisfying as an ice cold drink. Fountains become particularly appealing this time of year, dripping, gurgling, splashing, or in some cases, spilling to put us under the mesmerizing spell of water. It’s the perfect time to dream about adding water features to our gardens: fountains and birdbaths.
Precast concrete fountains offer the most affordable options to set into our landscapes. This type of fountain is cast from concrete molds, then stained or painted to then be sold at retail outlets. For an upgrade to a more elegant look, check out Haddonstone’s products, made similarly but formed out of limestone to mimic the classic sculptural pieces of Europe.
Homeowners that want a natural, higher-end look will be interested in fountains with one or more boulders as centerpieces – granite or basalt – that can be cored with a high-speed drill and set up to weep and spill water into a basin that is set unseen below grade. These fountain pieces are extremely heavy, and set up can be tricky, requiring a crew of professionals for installation. But since each rock centerpiece is unique, no two rock fountains are ever the same.
Elaborate fountains are designed and built from scratch, undoubtedly at a far greater expense. These custom fountains are typically created from block and mortar, and then faced in stone. For a more modern look, structural concrete fountains are formed and poured onsite to a designer’s specs. Custom fountains, because they are much more labor intensive, requiring days of work to piece together as well as the need for more elaborate pumps and equipment, are likely to jump the cost, typically costing $5000 and up.
Birdbaths are easily within every budget, costing much less than fountains. These landscape additions are most often purchased from retailers as cast and stained concrete bird baths, although they are sometimes available when made from fired ceramic or rust-resistant metal materials. Granted, fountains do not create the sounds of cascading water. But they most certainly attract birds to your yard. San Diego has more bird species within its borders than any other county in the United States. It’s the birds, not the water, that add lyrical sounds in the garden.