A Piece of Serenity in Your Own Backyard

Maybe it is the sight of it.

Picture a frothing river as it cascades wildly downstream, the expanding ripples on a glass smooth lake from a rock skipped across the surface, the sight of rhythmic rolling waves, the energy of a waterfall as its gravity driven waters bounce off the rocks below, the sheets of rain that pour from the sky that has opened up.

Maybe it is the sound of it.
If you listen you can hear it; rain beating on a tin roof, waves as they thunder and crash upon the rocks, the thundering of a waterfall, the plunk of a fishing lure breaking the surface of a lake, the splash of a child jumping into a pool.
There is just something about the sight and sound of water the goes right to the core of our being. There is a connection.
It is relaxing to hear and mesmerizing to watch. Soft trickling water can help your mind slip into an easy retreat while thundering whitewater is nature’s white noise that obliterates any distraction around you.
To give your already peaceful garden a new dimension of relaxation and stress reduction you should consider a fountain.
The use of fountains has been embedded since ancient times. The word fountain comes from the Latin “fontis” meaning a spring. Indeed, the early fountains were from natural sources of water. It seems as if every culture has used fountains for practical, aesthetic, spiritual or religious reasons.
Originally, fountains were used to supply water – the most basic of all necessities – to the local townspeople. The local town fountain was often free to all and became a central meeting place as water was gathered and clothes were washed. Only the wealthy had decorative, often spectacularly artistic fountains on their property.
Ancient Egyptian tombs contain pictures of garden fountains. It was the Roman’s use of plumbing that allowed wealthy private citizens to have spectacular gardens, fountains and courtyards. Roman aqueducts carried water to these villas and each property owner paid a tax depending upon the size of the pipe leading into their home.
The Japanese fountain or “water basin” has been a part of Japanese gardens for centuries. Basic fountains were found in ancient Japanese shrines as a place for the religious faithful to wash their hands and rinse their mouth before entering the shrine. This was a symbolic act of purifying both mind and body. Japanese fountains were often fed through bamboo spouts and used in Japanese teahouses.
Ancient Persian fountains often included enclosed gardens that were meticulously maintained and designed as representations of heaven. These heavenly inspired designs are still reflected in the Persian rugs of today.
With the French and Romans, fountains became spectacular and ornate works of art. The Romans are generally considered to have the most famous fountains in the world. Virtually every tour guide of Rome is replete with pictures of fountains as is almost every movie filmed in Rome.
Rome has often been described as the most religious city in the world. If religion could be measured by fountains, that might well be true. Rome has more public fountains than any other city. Since early times, Roman fountains have been adorned with religious statues and symbolism.
The list of Roman fountains seems endless but if you would like to see a truly awe inspiring, world famous work of art, take a look at the Trevi Fountain at www.italyguides.it/us/roma/trevi.htm. You can also take a virtual tour of the Fountain of the Four Rivers on that website.
What does this have to do with you and your small private garden fountain sanctuary? Just this – no garden can be complete without a fountain of some kind.
Getting a garden fountain does not have to be expensive. It can be, but does not have to be. You can purchase a simple water fountain for well under one hundred dollars. Simple fountains can be purchased locally from any of the big box stores, like Home Depot, Lowe’s or Wal-Mart. Or, you can just go garden-fountain-crazy and buy a gorgeous, but certainly not inexpensive one from nationally acclaimed Al’s Garden Art. You can find them online at www.alsgardenart.com/index.aspx but you will need to go to their local dealers to place the order. If you would like some inexpensive but more modern looking fountains, like cascading brushed copper water buckets, you might try looking at www.simplyfountains.com.
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Humans have always maintained a connection to water. The majority of our nation’s population lives close to some large body of water, whether it is an ocean, bay, river or lake. Bring this connection into your garden to make it complete.
So on those days that are filled with just a bit too much stress, stroll out into your garden with your iced tea, or other favorite beverage, and take a seat near your fountain. Just listen, relax and feel the tensions slip away – for at least a little while.


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