Keeping fountains running well

March 04, 2006|By ANNE FARROW | ANNE FARROW,HARTFORD COURANT

Few things are more soothing than the sound of falling water. At the same time that outdoor fountains are popular again -- having been part of the garden landscape for at least 2,000 years -- the indoor fountain has made its way into bedrooms, living rooms and home offices.

Garden centers, gift shops and numerous Web sites offer fountains appropriate for the home environment. And whether you're looking for a small, table-size fountain with a bamboo pipe pouring water over stones, or a wall-size unit with water rippling in front of a Renaissance painting, it's out there.

Experts say indoor fountains are relatively easy to maintain, but there are a few pointers to keep in mind. If you are assembling your own fountain -- and there are Web sites that sell supplies for doing this -- make sure the bowl or receptacle is waterproof.

Melodie Elliott is the spokeswoman for Beckett Water Gardening in Dallas, a company that sells both fountain components and fully assembled fountains, and she emphasizes that the pump, which is what makes the water circulate, should be plugged into the kind of outlet that is now standard in bathrooms and kitchens. This ground fault circuit interrupter -- or GFCI -- is the safest thing to use with a system containing water.

In her step-by-step fountain book Simple Fountains, Dorcas Adkins offers plans and tips for building 20 fountains, many of them ideal for a tabletop. She provides information on how to work with different media and says one of the beneficial aspects of the indoor fountain is that it adds moisture to the home environment, which is especially nice during cold, dry weather. (Remember to keep an eye on the water in your fountain because it will evaporate and need replenishing.)

Adkins keeps a small table fountain next to her desktop computer, "where quiet is interrupted only by the occasional chirp and whir; the chuckle and burble of a bowlful of stones can be clearly heard."

The subject of peaceful sounds within the home brings one quickly to the subject of feng shui, the Chinese practice of placing objects and furnishings where they are most spiritually and emotionally beneficial.

Based on his constitution, natural affinity and the siting of his home, Branford, Conn.-based feng shui consultant Gregg Nodelman has found a tabletop fountain works best. But he cautions that feng shui is a very individual matter, and although "it always starts out seeming really simple, it's very specific to the person and the home itself."

"I have a fountain in the northern section of my home, because the north is nourished by water, and it's true that the northern area of the home is related to my life's journey. It also works quite well in relation to the southeast, which is related to wealth. But there are no absolutes," Nodelman says.

He unplugs the fountain at night because he finds it interferes with his sleep but says many people find the sound of running water very soothing.

Anne Farrow writes for the Hartford Courant.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.