The Opulent Outdoor Fountains of the Gardens of VersaillesJardins du château de Versailles, or the Gardens of Versailles, is a sprawling, lush landscape extending over the château de Versailles. It covers 800 hectares of verdant greens in perfect French Garden Style originally rendered by André Le Nôtre. The gardens, whose origins can be traced back to the time of King Louis XIV and his escort, Marie Antoinette, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sights. It is also the home to a fabulous series of outdoor gardens, making it a famous tourist destination in France.
On summer weekends, an extravagant fountain ensemble becomes the highlight at the Palace of Versailles. The show is called Grandes eaux Musicales, where the high couture, baroque style fountains dance with water spouts at the sound of music. Crowds fill the site under the cheery, summer sun, watching the more-than-thirty fountains cascade while adorned with mythical themes. Among the famous characters: the elaborate scene of Apollo, riding a chariot pulled by four steeds as three men blew horns on his way. Neptune displays his prowess on water. Goddess Diana protects her children and Latona settles in the heart of a pond. The rest of the cast, individually notable in their roles in local folklore, fill the scenery. Other deities include Cupid, Bacchus, Ceres, Saturn and Apollo.
There are two daily sessions for the shows. Mornings allot an hour for early visitors, but the grounds mostly play a few number of major and minor fountains at a time. Afternoons are more delightful; each fountain displays its own beauty and dances along the backdrop with various waterscapes. Tourists are often suggested to visit the site during these hours.
There are more than ten major fountains in the Versailles' grounds. Among the top favorites: the mirror fountains that plays a ten-minute show per day, and the grand Neptune fountain that finishes the entire showcase. That doesn't mean, however, that the smaller outdoor fountains are less spectacular. Tourists can admire Apollo’s bath, the grooved obelisks, the ballroom and the dragon fountain.
During show days, admission is charged for viewing the formal garden--this stretches from the west side of the chateau to the Grand Canal. The rest is open free for guests, and people can wander through the massive park of the estate according to their liking. The route is often taken by cyclists and dog owners, making the setting feel like a cozy public park.
Other than its musical fest, the Gardens of Versailles stage a serenade night with baroque music, dancing and fireworks. During this, the fountains are displayed on a busy, illuminous backdrop, with the water acts adding to the luxury of the panorama.
Inspired by the beautiful, baroque artistry of the gardens of Versailles? Do you want the same regal atmosphere for your home? Check out our large outdoor fountains and cop off this stately, sublime setting for your very own property. These eye-catching fountains will surely add a wonderful aesthetic to your landscaped backdrop. Take it from the pros and discover a beautiful outdoor fountain to match your royal style.
How to Care for Your Outdoor Fountain During Winter SeasonReluctant to buy an outdoor fountain in fear of winter damages? Don't worry. There are smart ways to protect your water feature during the cold days. Read on below and discover how you can preserve this outdoor decor during that harshest time of the year.
Outdoor fountains are created to withstand various weather conditions. These water features are usually constructed with tough materials to last when the inevitable comes. While rain and hail won't be too much of a problem, a longstanding blanket of snow can easily affect its components. Before the freezing temperatures hit, it is best to prep up your outdoor fountain for its hibernation.
What makes it vulnerable? Water. The cold temperature will freeze the leftover water in the pump and will cause it to crack. In order to prevent this, follow these tips:
- Drain all the water out of your fountain before that great temperature change. Take the parts out and let it dry.
- Remove the pump. If possible, store it indoors during the entire winter season. This is a great opportunity for you to see what has accumulated in your fountain. Clean it thoroughly so that unwanted dirt, debris and algae don't linger around its parts during the season.
- Disassemble the fountain, if possible. This allows you to store it in parts and make cleaning much easier. Tiered fountains can easily be disassembled. If not, you need to transfer your water feature somewhere inside the home—perhaps in the garage or the shed.
- Cover your outdoor fountain with a special cover to wick the moisture out. Usually, these covers are made with UV stabilizers and waterproof materials. These are designed with drawstrings at the end to protect your decor. If these covers are not available, cover your fountain's basin and tiers with an absorbent fabric. This helps prevent water from getting in the fountain. Otherwise, it might seep through, expand and cause a crack on the surface.
- While regular resin fountains can be easier to manage, a heavy cast stone variant could be a bit more difficult. The concrete element in the cast stone material is porous, which makes it absorb water easily. Cold weather traps the water in these gaps, freezes it, and causes it to expand. Ideally, your cast stone outdoor fountain should be completely dried up and covered before the snow season.
- It is also suggested that reinforcing the fountain's basin helps avoid moisture from seeping into the material. You can use sealers to act as a protective layer for your fountain's surface. This ensures the integrity layer, strengthening it against the rough weather.
Don’t let the threats of the changing weather keep you from having your own outdoor fountain. Our tip: find the right variety that fits your lifestyle, as well as maintenance efforts.
Proper winterization can help you ensure that your decor will last for many years. Just follow these tips; with the right action and a great choice of products, you can keep your water feature running smoothly, year after year after year.Stay tuned to this blog and discover many tips and tricks in maintaining your outdoor fountain.
The Nine Floating Fountains of Japan
A Magical Display of Art That You Have to See to Believe.
As far as fountains go, the requirements are fairly basic; a flowing or recycling water source and a basin in which to collect it in. But Japanese designer Isamu Noguchi has proven, yet again, that anyone can take a simple object and turn it into a work out art. All you need is a bit of creativity and an eye for design. The Nine Floating Fountains is an art display located in Osaka Japan and was originally built for the World Expo. Now it has become a world famous fountain, attracting tourists of every kind from all over the world.
The fountain, or fountains, appear to be an major optical illusion at first glance. The two massive square boxes float in the air as a continuous flow of water pours from their bottoms. The water collects in the large square basin below but where does it go from there? How does the water come from the floating cubes to begin with? Well, Isamu cleverly constructed the fountain display with a well hidden pipe that feeds up into each box and is rendered virtually invisible once the water begins to flow, creating the optical illusion that the squares are floating in the air and the water appears out of nowhere.
There are two other natural factors that Isamu Noguchi took into consideration when designing the fountain and that was light and air. By installing the cubes anywhere from 10ft-60ft in the air, it left the flowing water open to the elements of wind and air. On those bountiful windy days in Osaka, the strong breeze pushes the water and creates more optical illusions, as if the cubes could be flying, and the cloudy mist that forms from the disruption adds to the otherworldly look that the fountain was meant to achieve.
Utilizing the contrast of night and day, the cubes take on two completely different looks. By day, they appear like objects torn right from a science fiction movie with their modern lines and odd textures. But by night, the lights installed underneath each cube turn on and illuminate the water flowing from them. This image can be seen from miles away and is surely a sight that you have to see to believe.
You may not be able to install 50ft high floating fountains in your back yard, but you can surely get creative with some great outdoor water fountains available online. Check out this amazing selection for your next outdoor fountain inspiration.
10 Ways to Give Your Garden a Facelift
Curb appeal is everything and so is having a nice, welcoming backyard to greet your guests with. But revamping your outdoor space doesn’t necessarily mean a total overhaul and load of money. There are tons of great and easy ways to give your outside living space the little oomph it needs to make it a place to enjoy all Summer long.
1) Clean Up
Seeing the same space, day in and day out, can often leave us blind to what’s really there. Step back and really examine your outdoor space. It probably needs a good clean up. Clear it of dead leaves, garbage, broken items, etc. and you’ll see a massive improvement to your backyard
2) Trim Your Bush
Get out the sheers and trimmers, it’s time to trim the bushes. Sometimes, we let our garden run wild without even noticing it. Giving everything a nice trim and polish can really open up the space and give new life to your plants.
3) Plant Flowers
This is an obvious one. Head to the nursery and snatch up some sale flowers. Who cares what the colors are as long as they’re bright and easy to maintain. Plant them under windows and along walkways to really brighten up your yard.
4) Install a Fountain
A great investment into your outdoor space is to install an outdoor fountain. If you have a lonely pond or a bare, unused space then why not have one? An outdoor fountain adds flare, interest, and a peaceful setting.
Bet that old fence could use a facelift, huh? A couple cans of paint cost next to nothing and can make a huge impact on the appearance of your front and/or backyard. Just make sure to scrape off any old flaking paint and give it a light sanding first.
6) Step Up
Are your guests trudging across your grass just to get to your door? Or is there nothing more than a dirt trail leading to your patio? Then face it, it’s time for a walkway. Even something as simple as laying some gravel down can make all the world of difference and improves the appearance of your home.
Don’t leave random things just laying around your yard. Things like the lawn mower, kid’s toys, gardening tool, extra chairs, etc. Invest in a small garden shed to store these larger items and maybe a durable plastic tote for the smaller ones. Clearing your outdoor space of these items opens up more possibilities to enjoy it.
8) Plant Trees
This is no brainer. Plant some trees along the front of your home or in those empty corners of your backyard. Tree improve air quality, overall appearance, and also offer shade during the hot summer months.
9) Display Fountains
If your yard or outdoor area isn’t large enough to accommodate a fountain installation, then consider a smaller fountain display. You can liven up the area with a centerpiece on the table or something off in the far corner of the yard.
10) New Furniture
New furniture is always a great investment into your outdoor area. If you’re in the market for new patio furniture, then consider bright colors and durable materials.
5 Refreshing Outdoor Water Features
If you want to spruce up the appearance of your garden, then why not consider adding a water feature? With hundreds of ideas to choose from, we guarantee that you will find exactly what you are looking for. Get inspired by these refreshing outdoor water features. You have our word that they’ll definitely make a splash!
Hearty and beautiful, this fountain is crafted from exquisite cast stone. Measuring 38” in height, the fountain boasts three sparkling tiers of cascading water. The tranquil sound of trickling water that it produces is perfect for creating a calming and relaxing environment. Designed to serve as an accent piece, the Stone Courtyard Cascade Wall Garden Water Fountain will enhance any outdoor setting.
Cornucopia Garden Water Fountain
The Cornucopia Garden Water Fountain features an enchanting sculpture of a young child holding up a flower like tier by its “stem”. Water enchantingly flows from the top tier into the scalloped shaped, pedestal basin. The gentle and soothing sounds of the falling water will instantly put the minds and souls of those who hear it at ease. This fountain is ideal for those who need a charming and sophisticated centerpiece for their garden.
The Bamboo Pot Water Fountain features an unassuming and simple design that is designed to enrich and amplify the natural fluidity and beauty of flowing water. Available in a wide variety of different finishes, the water of the fountain bubbles up from the middle and cascades over bamboo-like shoots placed in a radial pattern in the fountain’s center. The Asian inspired design of this fountain is perfect for small gardens or outdoor areas where space is at a premium.
Just like the name indicates, the Trunk Garden Water Fountain features textured tree like trunk as its centerpiece. From the center of the fountain, water bubbles upward and over the edges where it is collected into a large, round base. Because it is crafted from materials that mimic natural wood, it will blend seamlessly with your favorite shrubbery and blooms in your garden. To ensure its durability, this fountain is made from glass fiber reinforced concrete.
The Falls Garden Water Fountain features a minimalistic, modern design that will make an excellent centerpiece for your patio or courtyard. Sheets of water cascade over the top of the fountain and down its smooth center walls before flowing over a second tier and collecting in the fountain’s pocket basin. This unique outdoor fountain is available in a wide variety of finishes, is crafted from glass fiber reinforced concrete, and is guaranteed to create a relaxing atmosphere.
How to Winterize Your Outdoor Fountain
Outdoor fountains are a stellar way to level up the design and landscaping of your outdoor property. They add visual appeal, tranquility, and an overall atmosphere that nothing else can achieve. They’re also pretty pricey, although worth the investment. But if you’re going to invest the cash into your yard, then you should also fork up the time it takes to maintain the fountain. Winterizing an outdoor water feature, especially in locations that experience drastic seasonal changes, is very important to the lifespan and functioning of your outdoor water fountain. If you don’t’ winterize your fountain, then leftover water and residue will freeze and expand during the cold weather and possibly destroy your fountain. But how do you do this, you ask? Just follow these simple steps.
Get ahead of the seasons and drain the water completely from your fountain before frost sets in. Make sure to remove any excess water from the fountain as well as the pipes, hoses, pumps, and motors. This can make quite a mess so have a bucket or wash bin handy.
2) Take Apart
Disassemble the fountain as much as you can. Taking the whole display apart ensures that as much water has been drained as possible and allows you to clean hidden areas that you may not have noticed beforehand. Taking apart the fountain pieces lets you properly clean, wrap, and store the unit.
Wash all surfaces of the fountain with warm water to remove any dirt, algae, or bacteria that may have built up over the year. Focus on the pump and motor mechanisms especially, these will have to be thoroughly cleaned and then stored away for the winter.
Once you’ve drained and cleaned your fountain now it’s time to dry it. Make sure any excess water has been wiped away and then proceed the wrapping process. Start with a layer of burlap. This will whisk away most water during the winter. Then, wrap another layer of landscape fabric or an actual fountain tarp. These are made from waterproof materials and will protect your fountain.
Now that your fountain has been winterized, use this time to fox or replace any parts such as the motor, pump, hoses, or display features. During the winter months, these pieces often go on sale and you can stock up for the coming year.
Winterizing your outdoor fountain is just one step to take in the care and maintenance of your investment. And if you’re looking to add more water displays to your landscaping then check out some of these gorgeous outdoor fountains that you can order online! OutdoorFountainPros has the best selection and quality of outdoor fountains on the web.