Simple Fountains for Indoors and Outdoors: 20 Step-by-Step Projects


Everything readers need to know to create elegant, soothing water fountains. Easy-to-follow instructions explain choosing and installing pumps and constructing fountains.

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Everything readers need to know to create elegant, soothing water fountains. Easy-to-follow instructions explain choosing and installing pumps and constructing fountains.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A wonderful reference book on fountains…includes 20 projects ranging from simple dish fountains to large landscape fountains and goes into great detail about pumps, filters, and designs. The photographs alone will inspire you to get building.” – Sacramento Bee

“…full of ideas on what to use and how to do it, provides directions for a full range of fountains from simple to complex.” – Elizabeth McDonald in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580171908
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorcas Adkins lives in Washington, D.C., with Pat Munoz and their two cats, Harrie and Sushi. They share a large garden boasting a pond and five fountains with innumerable tadpoles, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. With her partner, Steve Meyer, Dorcas can usually be found running Adams & Adkins, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, making fountains and other garden ornaments for sale to catalogs, retail stores, and individuals.

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Read an Excerpt


Of all nature's elements, water is perhaps the most essential to life, health, and happiness. For many species of plants and animals, falling water provides increased oxygen. This all-important ingredient combines with carbon, enabling waste from these organisms to decompose quickly. For aquatic animals such as fish, snails, and crayfish, adequate dissolved oxygen in the water is required for life itself.

Since the earliest times, we humans have acknowledged the vital importance of water in our lives. Our bodies are made up mostly of water, and without sufficient water to drink or to humidify the air around us, we quickly become uncomfortable.

When water is in motion, it humidifies the surrounding air more readily. It also produces sounds that relax us. Nothing smoothes the furrowed brow like the soft lap of wavelets on a lake-shore, the thunder of surf on a barrier island, or the silvery tinkle of a stream falling through the spring forest.

The Sound of Moving Water

Modern life is very busy. Technological advances have resulted in a world where sensory overload is common. Many of us recognize that the only antidote is frequent communion with natural forces, yet too often we cannot spare the time to go into the wild to find the peace and relaxation we need. Instead, we create increasingly elaborate garden refuges for this purpose. For many reasons, not the least of which is that the splash of falling water can be used to mask traffic sounds, fountains enhance these gardens, both indoors and out.

The indoor fountain can provide the melodic sound of falling water in the workplace. By setting this piece of the outdoors beside your computer, you can add humidity to air often dried by heaters and monitor fans. The release of negative ions that takes place in falling water is thought by many to soothe the human spirit as well.

In the outdoor garden nothing could be more natural than the inclusion of a water feature. Even the most formal fountain - one in which the water decorates an elaborate sculpture and falls into a pool scoured clean of life forms - contributes cooling humidity to the garden environment while masking the noise of the street. A more natural fountain bubbling into a pond full of fish, frogs, snails, and water lilies quickly becomes a successful and sustainable ecosystem. The lessons we all can learn in such a classroom are invaluable as we face the challenges of sustaining our own planet's environment into a complex and crowded future.

Modern Fountain Design

The convenience of the electric pump, recently developed in tiny yet reliable models, allows all of us to easily create small fountains for our own gardens. The style we choose for a water feature can range from a formal pool, soothingly geometric in form, to a natural mountain cataract. Or a spare and simple Zen garden, complete with koi pond and bridge, can appear in what was once an unused alley.

And the same small pumps allow us to

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Materials and Supplies

Chapter 2: Tabletop Fountains

Chapter 3: Projects in Bamboo and Wood

Chapter 4: Projects in Ceramic, Concrete, Stone, and Metal

Chapter 5: Building a Full-Sized Waterfall

Appendix A: Bringing Life to Your Fountain

Appendix B: Maintenance

Appendix C: Mail-Order Suppliers


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