Wood Fountains Tips

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Types of Bamboo Wood Fountains

There are two primary types of bamboo water fountains: stationary bamboo and shishi odoshi (deer chaser) bamboo fountains. A traditional stationary bamboo wood fountain positions one of more hollow bamboo chutes uprights or angled along the edge of the fountain basin for water flow. In a shishi odoshi bamboo fountain, the bamboo chute moves back and forth as water flows through it creating a melodic clacking sound in addition to the soothing sound of falling water. (It is called the deer chaser because it was once used to chase nibbling deer away from gardens.)

Nayer Kazemi Tabletop Bamboo Fountains are among the leading choices for quality bamboo wood fountains. Each fountain is hand-crafted with bamboo chutes delicately balanced on the rim of a wide variety of gleaming copper or elegant black ceramic bowls.

Japanese Carved Granite Water Fountains like the Kiku Basin, Natsume Basin, Tehsubachi Basin and ZenneGata Basin offer a customized approach to bamboo fountains for indoor or outdoor settings. These unique bamboo fountains feature a carved granite basin, bamboo spout and pump. Choose a decorative bowl that complements your décor and place the carved granite basin in it atop smooth river stones. Position a fountain pump in the bottom bowl and enjoy the delightful resonance of water flowing through the bamboo chute into the basin. Once filled, the granite basin overflows back into the bottom bowl and recirculates.

How can I make a bamboo fountain?

An Eastern Oasis With A Bamboo Water Fountain

If you want to create a water fountain with an Eastern feel, consider a bamboo water fountain. Bamboo containers are commonly sold as planters and make the perfect starting point for a water fountain of Eastern influence. Make sure the one you find can be lined for waterproofing. Here's how you create your own bamboo water fountain:

What you'll need:

  • Rectangular bamboo container
  • Pool liner
  • Square container
  • Latticework container
  • Aquatic potting mix
  • Lime-free potting mix
  • Slate or granite stones
  • Bricks

What you need to do:
  • Secure the inside of the bamboo container with the pool liner.
  • Pack lime-free potting mix in the square pot and add Iris ensata. Place the pot into the bamboo container.
  • Use aquatic potting mix in the latticework container and place Japanese reedmace into the container.
  • Place the latticework container in the bamboo container, raising it with bricks to the appropriate height.
  • Add stones on top of the arrangement in the bamboo container to characterize landscaping.
  • Fill your container with water to complete your bamboo water fountain.


Types of Indoor Wood Fountains

Other than bamboo fountains, most people don't associate indoor water fountains with wood. However, wood fountains bring nature inside the home or office. With a variety of styles to choose from wood fountains complement most interior design themes.

Most wood fountains are indoor floor fountains or wood-framed wall or shelf fountains. Some tabletop fountains found at Serenity Health also incorporate wood elements like bamboo.

For instance:

  • The Savannah combines the effects of wood, light, water, leather, stone and metal in an enclosed intriguing diorama. An intricate hand-carved hippo rests in a savannah setting among eucalyptus and reed on polished stones at the base of the fountain. Water cascades gently down slate tile background into the reservoir below.
  • The Tuscan Ivy fountain brings visions of an Italian garden into the home.
  • And, The Stone Mountain Waterfall draws inspiration from the way water flows down Georgia 's Stone Mountain during a sunset rainfall. Sparkling water flows down background multi-colored slate tiles that gleam in the fountain's built-in light. And a choice of eight finishes for the wood cabinet complement virtually any indoor décor.

Meticulously designed by a talented artist, each of these unique wood fountains can be mounted on the wall, placed on a tabletop or stand alone as indoor floor fountains. Each fountain uses only about one gallon of water that sparkles day and night with built-in lighting. The rich distressed pine frames come in a choice of finishes to coordinate with interior décor. Kudos to the artist who requests that a portion of these fountain sales is donated to American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hosea Feed the Hungry, Atlanta, Georgia or American Arthritis Foundation.

What water fountain is versatile enough for changes and updates?

The Wood Water Garden Fountain Set

For a wood water garden fountain that can become a mobile water piece, make a set of three in varying sizes. These pieces will compliment each other or work as stand alone pieces when separated. They can also be rearranged to a new configuration from time to time for a new effect.

  • Create three boxes out of plywood in the following sizes: 36”x 24”, 24”x 18”, and 18”x 12”. Your finished boxes should be 12” deep.
  • Use thin, round fence posts, split in half and cut to size to decorate the outside of each box. You can screw them into position with 1/2” nails.
  • Cut the half fence posts to size and trim the ends in a 45-degree angle to create a top edge for each of the boxes.
  • Line the boxes with pool liner to waterproof them.
  • Use aquatic planting mix in planting containers for plant aquatics of your choice. Place the containers in the boxes. Cover them with pea gravel to prevent water from clouding.
  • Add water and position your finished wood water garden containers in an arrangement.


Shopping for a Wood Fountain

When shopping for an indoor or outdoor water fountain, consider what type material fits your personal tastes, budget and enhances existing or planned interior décor or garden setting theme. If a wood fountain is your choice, rather than heading for the closest local discount store for a cedar barrel or handful of bamboo chutes, wait. A bargain is not always a bargain if it does not live up to expectations.

Inferior wood fountains that are not pressure-treated for outdoor use often do not stand up to outdoor humidity, rain, wind and temperature changes. Poor quality indoor fountains may actually be plastic with a wood-like finish. Do your homework. Shop with an online fountain specialist that offers detailed information about wood fountain materials, construction, installation, cleaning and maintenance. Compare prices and features of different models of wood fountains. Read customer reviews on pros and cons of different types of wood and fountain styles. Compare shipping costs. A high quality wood fountain is a focal point of an indoor or outdoor setting and an investment that will bring years of pleasure for your family and guests.


Building a Wood-Sided Garden Fountain Pond

Wood-sided above ground garden fountain ponds offer a custom approach to outdoor wood fountains. Although above ground, a sturdy concrete footing supported by wooden forms is required to support the weight of the water. Base the depth of the footing on local climate changes, in frigid climates, deeper footings are needed. The typical height of an above ground fountain pond is 24”-30.” Constructed with rot-resistant wood, such as redwood or pressure-treated lumber, once the frame is complete a pool liner is stapled into place and a cap of stones or trim along the top conceals the liner and offers a finished edge. Add water, a water fountain pump sized for the volume of the pond with a fountain spray head, landscaping plants and fountain accessories and enjoy your own personalized wood garden fountain.

For an easier approach, install wood-sided fountain using a preformed rigid pond liner. Put the rigid liner in place and trace the outline in the ground. Dig a hole to the depth you wish to bury the liner and line it with a few inches of sand and gravel for the base. Fill in sides with sand and enclose or edge the preformed liner with pressure-treated wood or landscaping timbers. Based on volume and voltage, order a submersible pump from a reliable online fountain retailer or add a pond side statuary fountain with a pump to the pond.


Wood Fountains Attract Positive Feng Shui

Wood is one of the Five Elements of Feng Shui. The wood element represents beginnings: early morning, spring, creation and growth. Houses built of wood are considered auspicious, especially in city settings where woodlands are scarce. When there is a lack of wood in a home or office, there is lack of permanence, an unsettling fear of change. Wood is associated with the color green, plants, paintings with a predominance of greenery, wood planters, indoor wood floor fountains, wood wall fountains, tabletop fountains with wood and wood fountain accessories add wood elements and enhance indoor and outdoor settings.

Combining the elements of wood and water bring attract more positive energy. Planting bamboo around an outdoor water fountain is considered lucky. However, bamboo is known for its rapid growth and tenacity. It can quickly take over a garden setting. If planting bamboo is not practical or desired, bamboo wood fountains are one of the most popular Zen-style water fountains and installing a bamboo fountain introduces the positive properties of wood and water to a backyard garden.


Submersing Wood Water Fountains

Many sunken barrels come in wood, surrounded by a metal strap. If you decide to submerge these wood water fountains, it's best to leave an edge above ground because this creates a more interesting design aesthetic. In addition, the raised edge helps prevent wildlife like mice from falling into the water fountains if they decide to take a drink. The sunken barrel water fountains work well for colder climates, where water has less chance of freezing below ground. When completed, these water fountains provide years of years of beauty to your garden with only basic care.


The Barrel As A Wood Water Fountain

A wood water fountain is an excellent choice to add charm to any garden or indoor area. One choice for the wood water fountain is a durable cedar wood construction. You can find a barrel version ready-made to become a central feature in your landscape. Or find a tiered-corner version, which can become a delightful focal point for any garden. Many of these units continuously recycle the fountain water, so they require no plumbing. Set-up is a breeze and no extra parts are necessary.

What wood fountain would work well in a small space?

The Miniature Wood Water Garden

For a water oasis that works in a limited space, create your own miniature wood water garden. A miniature wood water garden works well in any area with lots of sunlight to nourish the plant life. Here's what you need to do.

  • Create a wood box about 36” x 18” in size. The box should be about 10” deep.
  • Paint the exterior and finish off the top edge of the box with wood moldings.
  • Waterproof the box with liner. You can attach it with a staple gun.
  • On one side of the box, insert a square waterproof container which will house the pump.
  • Fill the wood box around the square container with aquatic planting mix.
  • Insert plants like Queen Victoria, Flore Pleno and Iris into the aquatic planting mix.
  • Fill the waterproof container with water and place the submersible pump inside.
  • Plug the pump in and your miniature wood water garden is complete.

How can you create a waterfall with barrels?

The Barrel Waterfall Fountain

You can make a charming variation on the barrel fountain by using two to create a barrel water fountain. This project is relatively simple and only involves a few materials. All you need are two half barrels of varying heights, a fabricated ornamental pump, a submersible pump, planting baskets and aquatic potting mix.

You need to place the half barrel with the smaller diameter into the larger one. The smaller diameter barrel should stand somewhat taller than the large diameter barrel. Attach the ornamental pump to the smaller barrel. Position the submersible pump into the larger barrel and ready it to run the water up and out through the ornamental pump.

For plant life, you can select a number of varieties and put them into planting baskets with the potting mix. Some choices include Aurea, Variegatus, Marsh Marigold and the Variegated Sweet Flag. Fill the base with water and your barrel water fountain is complete.

How do I create a sunken fountain?

Submersing Wood Water Fountains

Submersing wood water fountains is one way to take a rustic water feature and have it compliment the landscape, rather than become a central piece among the landscape. In order to create these subtle wood water fountains, you can start with a half barrel.

What you'll need:

  • Half barrel
  • Pool liner
  • Wood preservative
  • Aquatic planter
  • Aquatic potting mix
  • Pantyhose
  • Bricks

What you'll need to do:
  • Provide a waterproof seal for the half barrel with the pool liner.
  • Paint the outside of the barrel with a wood preservative to prolong its lifespan.
  • Dig a hole allowing the barrel to protrude 4” above ground level.
  • Put a water lily into an aquatic planter with the potting mix and use it as a centerpiece.
  • Create small bags out of pantyhose to house marginal plants such as Iris. Raise them to the desired water depth using bricks.
  • Add Calypso outside of the barrel for a dash of color.

What’s a simple idea for a wood water fountain?

The Barrel As A Wood Water Fountain

One version of the wood water fountain that can help create a rustic look in your garden is the barrel. It's an attractive water fountain you can create with just a few simple materials. Here's how.

What you'll need:

  • Wood barrel
  • Pea Gravel
  • Bricks
  • Plant containers
  • Aquatic potting mix

What you'll need to do:
  • First raise the level within the barrel with a shelf, as few aquatic plants can survive in water over three feet deep.
  • Top off the base with gravel to create a level surface. The gravel also allows you to arrange the plants more easily while giving your wood water fountain an attractive appearance.
  • Marginal plants, like parrot feather and hornwort, can populate the edge. Put them in aquatic potting mix into baskets raised on bricks.
  • A water lily can grow in a container filled with potting mix in the deeper part of the barrel.
  • Fill the barrel with water to just a few inches from the top edge.

What is a Shishi-odoshi?

The Shishi-odoshi

The Shishi-odoshi is much simpler than its namesake. It is a traditional water feature made of bamboo which operates by moving water. The Shishi-odoshi has a hollow tube, which causes a loud cracking sound, originally intended to scare away deer. You'll find the Shishi-odoshi in a variety of configurations. However, the most common consists of two bamboo sticks emerging from the ground with a central bamboo stick sandwiched between the two and serving as the water tube.

The Shishi-odoshi has a water chamber below ground. Water moves up through one of the hollow bamboo sticks via a pump. A smaller bamboo spout near the top pours water into the central water tube below. The weight of the water moves the central bamboo stick forward and the water subsequently pours out.


Taking Care of Wood Water Fountains

As with any water fountain, care and maintenance helps a wood fountain work at optimal levels and extends the life of the fountain pump. Outside frames of wood fountains should be cleaned when you dust other wood furnishings. Wipe them carefully with a lint-free dusting cloth and use only cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer. When using a wood cleaner/polish, take care not to spray in into the fountain waters. Sealed bamboo fountains clean with a soft sponge or cloth and warm soapy water and should not be allowed to dry out once they have been used.

According to Feng Shui principles, positive energy (chi) is only attracted to clean, sparkling waters. Using distilled water in a wood water fountain helps keep waters sparkling and reduces potential problems with mold, algae and scale that affect pump operation and the beauty of the fountain. Keep a close eye on water level. One of the benefits of fountains is the beneficial humidity they release in the air. This humidity comes from natural evaporation and over time evaporation reduces the fountain's water level. Insufficient water reduces the efficiency of the fountain pump, makes it noisy and may damage the pump.

If foam, scale or algae makes an appearance, treat the wood fountain waters immediately fountain care products like No More Algae, No More White Scale or No More Foam. Care Free Enzymes Fountain Protector is also a natural fountain care product, safe for pets and wildlife. And, when it's time the empty and clean the inside of the fountain and pump, the Fountain Acscents Cleaning Kit comes with everything needed to keep wood fountains sparkling.


Good Locations for a Wood Water Fountain

Wood fountains use the beauty and warmth of wood combined with the positive Feng Shui properties of moving water to enhance almost any location inside or outside homes and businesses.

A wall mounted or tabletop wood shelf-style fountain creates a pleasing focal point and enhances a relaxing ambiance in a foyer, living room, dining room or sunroom. A wood water fountain brings nature inside in an apartment or condominium with no personal outdoor living space. In the garden, a wood water fountain tucks easily into patio or garden corner and creates a natural starting point for landscaping and outdoor relaxation. And a wood framed wall fountain delights clients in offices and waiting rooms.

When choosing the best location for a wood water fountain, consider space and style. A formal wood fountain looks out of place at the entrance of charming country home while a rustic cedar wood barrel fountain welcomes guests on a shady country front porch in perfect harmony. An ornate or whimsical wood fountain is not a good fit in a decidedly modern room where a chic, black or carved granite bamboo wood fountain blends comfortably with the understated contemporary elegance.


Types of Outdoor Wood Fountains

Outdoor wood fountains combine the gifts of Mother Nature and manufacturer ingenuity. Two of the most popular materials for outdoor wood fountains are cedar barrels and bamboo.

Cedar barrel fountains bring warm and rustic country ambiance to gardens and patios. In red or natural single barrel fountains water flows from an old fashioned cast enamel hand pump. A submersible pump sitting on the bottom of the lined cedar barrel keeps water flowing. Three-tiered red or natural cedar fountains create a waterfall effect as the submersible pump circulates water from the bottom barrel up to the top barrel. From there water cascades into the middle barrel and back into the bottom barrel. Both the plugs into a GFI electrical outlet, ready to fill and enjoy.

Less, rustic, three-tier red or natural cedar corner fountains are a perfect fit for a patio or garden corner. Like cedar barrel fountains, these tiered corner fountains arrive ready to fill with water, plug into a GFI outlet. Water and relax to the soothing sound of water cascading over each tier.

And for Asian ambiance, Japanese Carved Granite Bamboo Fountains are perfect for a Zen garden, patio, porch or deck.

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Sherril Steele-Carlin