a bird with a golden belly in a fountain with the text "Beat the Summer Heat with water features!" on a white background to the right

How Water Features Can Help You Escape the Heat

What’s your favorite garden accessory or feature? Do you love fun ornaments or wind chimes? Around here, we love decorative water fountains; they offer many wonderful benefits for your yard and can enhance your space. Why do you need to add one to your garden? Keep reading to find out.

Benefits of Water Fountains  

Patio with Fountain1. Stress Relief

One of the wonderful benefits of water fountains is the sound of water flowing, which can provide relaxation and offer stress relief.

A study at the Brighton Sussex Medical School in England, reported by Health, compared two groups completing tasks: one in a natural environment and one in a man-made setting. Researchers found:

Slight differences in heart rate were detected, indicating a shift in the body’s autonomic nervous system response. Overall, nature sounds were associated with a decrease in the body’s sympathetic response (which causes that “fight-or-flight” feeling) and an increase in parasympathetic response—the one that helps the body relax and function in normal circumstances and is sometimes referred to as the “rest-digest” response.

Three FountainWhen choosing a water fountain for your garden, choose the one that sounds the best to you; do you prefer one that is quieter or a louder?

As a bonus, if you leave near a busy street or have unwanted surrounding noise, you can drown some of those manmade sounds out with your water fountain. 

Along with placing them in your garden, you can also receive the relaxing benefits of water fountains indoors. There are many wonderful small water features that can be placed on desks, table tops or even in the corner of your bedroom. They’re also wonderful additions inside of your home; learn how to create your own indoor sanctuary here.

2. Natural Humidity

Water fountains have the wonderful benefit of adding moisture to the air and providing increased humidity. This can be especially beneficial when used on your patio. Group plants around the fountain so they can benefit from the extra moisture in the air.

3. Attracts Wildlife

Bird with FountainWhen you add a wonderful water feature to your garden, you may soon see more nature and wildlife in your backyard, which helps your local ecosystem; birds and dragonflies often show up (more on birdbaths below). As My Green Impressions puts it, “All living creatures need water to survive, so you'll be supporting life in your little corner of the world. The plants you include in your landscaping plan, along with your water features, bring your property into harmony with the habitat around you.”

4. A Variety of Sizes

If you have a smaller yard, don’t worry! There are many different types and sizes that can be perfect for your space and still provide the benefits above.


Different Types of Water Fountains

Now that you know the benefits of a water fountain, it’s time to take a look at your different options. What does your dream water feature look like? Here are a few descriptions of water fountains from Beyond the Veranda. Many of the styles below are available at your local SummerWinds.  Additional styles can be special ordered.

Tiered Fountain1. Tiered Fountain

This could be one of the most popular and traditional water fountains found in many gardens. They generally have beautiful carvings of people or animals with incredible detail involved. This type of fountain is often placed in traditional or classical landscape environment.

2. Japanese Fountain

Japanese fountains represent spiritual and physical cleansing, and are often placed at the entrance of Japanese temples or homes.  

Plus, did you know you don’t need to have water in your Japanese fountain? Many homeowners place sand, gravel or stone in the basin to represent water.

Disappearing Fountain3. Disappearing Fountain

This fountain is also often called the pondless fountain. How does it work? As Beyond the Veranda describes, “The water reservoir in this type is hidden beneath the ground. This feature looks good when it is positioned close to a patio or path, as it adds an attractive appearance and sound to the area.”

Wall Fountain

 

4. Wall Fountain

If you have a solid wall in your garden, a wall fountain can add a regal look and be seen as a work of art. As Beyond the Veranda notes, “It requires a spout, water basin, internal tubing, and a pump. It can be either freestanding or mounted.”

 

5. Self-Contained Fountain

This type of fountain is popular because they aren’t too expensive and can be easily installed. These fountains, “Contain all the working parts including the plumbing and pump required to function. ‘Self-contained’ can also refer to fountains that have their own water reservoir and therefore don’t need to be placed in a pond or pool.”


Water Feature: Birdbaths

Along with active water fountains, another wonderful way to add a decorative water feature to your garden is through a birdbath. They are especially pleasant to have around if you love seeing feathered friends flit around your yard.

Why should you add a birdbath to your garden? Here are a few benefits outlined by Care2:

  • Bird BathAttracting birds will help aerate the surrounding soil
  • Birds will eat bugs, helping with garden pest control
  • A birdbath will also attract wasps, which are predators of pests like cabbage worms that love to eat your garden crops
  • You’ll attract useful insects that help with crop pollination
  • Surrounding yourself with fun, beautiful birds can add another relaxing element to your garden

Surprisingly, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding birdbaths! Here are a few myths and answers to common questions about birdbaths from the Spruce:

MYTH: Only certain birds will use a bath, so what’s the point of having one?
Truth: All birds need clean water, not only for drinking but also bathing and preening; you don’t just need a bird feeder to attract flying friends. What are some different types of birds you can expect to use your birdbath? Look out for hawks, warblers, owls, hummingbirds and more.

MYTH: Good quality birdbaths are too expensive.
Truth: While big, beautiful birdbaths can be costly, the good thing about birds is that they won’t (and can’t) judge you for the price of your water feature. Even if you use a plastic container over a heavy stone one, a thirsty bird will be equally appreciative.

MYTH: Birdbath fountains are too awkward because they require electricity.
Truth: Don’t worry about electrocuting your bird friends because many birdbaths are battery-operated and can keep water circulating without needing a cord and a plug-in.  As the Spruce suggests, “Adding a simple homemade dripper to the bath can be easy and effective, with no power source needed. Solar birdbath fountains or simple water wigglers are other easy options for moving water without needing an electrical outlet.”


How Can You Get Birds to Your Garden?

Bird Watcher’s Digest offers these wonderful tips to attract birds to your birdbath:

Birds Bathing1. Keep the Water Shallow

Birds don’t expect or need a deep, claw tub to splash around in. Keep the water in your birdbath low enough for your visitors to wade in. If you find your bowl is too deep, add rocks or gravel to create a high bottom in the bath.

2. Add Shade

No one wants to cool off in the sun; you look for the shade, right? The same goes for birds. Help keep the water in your birdbath cool by placing it in a shady area of your yard.

3. Keep it Clean

A birdbath may have leaves, sticks, flowers, feathers and other nature debris inside of it and that needs to be cleaned. Birds won’t want to go for a dip in a small, water garbage bowl. If you need to give the birdbath a good cleaning, use non-toxic chemicals and make sure it is rinsed out thoroughly with clean, fresh water.

4. Keep it Moving

If you really want to attract birds to your birdbath, add moving water. When the water moves, it sparkles in the sunlight, catching the attention of neighboring birds. As we mentioned above, many battery-operated birdbaths have water-circulating features, without needing electricity. 

If you’re worried about mosquitoes being around your garden, we have a number of amazing options to help keep them away, too; click here to see what we have to offer.

Adding Water Fountains to Your Garden

Fountains The hot, summer sun gets to all of us, even birds! Water features are decorative, relaxing solution for your garden. Visit your local SummerWinds Nursery and speak to one of our garden experts to select the perfect water fountain and birdbath for your space; which type will you choose? 

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