Sometimes your garden, like any room in your house, seems to need just a little something extra to make it all come together. Let’s say the perennials are coming up, you’ve put in some annuals, and you’ve got your garden furniture arranged, but it seems that something is missing.

Perhaps a garden fountain is just what you need.

A fountain or water feature, unlike other statues or pieces of garden furniture, works with two senses at once: sight and sound. The pleasing sound of flowing water goes a long way to providing a calming atmosphere, indoors or out. In urban environments, flowing fountain water screens out the city’s noise pollution, and if you live outside a city, it will help block out the sounds of screaming neighbors’ children, traffic noise, and other distractions.

The sound of a fountain also provides privacy for the people in its immediate vicinity, as the noise blocks the sounds of a conversation from nearby listeners. This is one reason that fountains are popular in shopping malls and old city squares; people can congregate on the edge of the fountain assured their conversation won’t be overhead.

Of course, you’re not going to install something the size of the Trevi fountain in your backyard, but even a small fountain will add beauty and grace to your outdoor area.

And a fountain does more than just please the eye and the ear; it will also attract birds, who in turn will enhance your garden’s mood.

When you see a garden fountain, your first thought might be that it must weigh a ton, and that you could never drag it all the way home to set it up. The fact that you think this is a testament to how well-made new fiberglass fountains can be; many times, what you think are stone fountains are actually made of durable, light-weight, easy-to-maintain fibre glass, and need little or no care after installation.

These more traditional fountains look like something you’d find in a British cottage garden or on the grounds of an Italian villa, and yet many times you can find them in small wall-mounted models suitable for a patio or terrace.

But fountains needn’t be heavy stone, or even look like it. In fact, with a little patient searching, you can find a fountain to fit just about any style.

The garden fountain is a time-honored tradition in Japan, and finding a Japanese fountain will give your garden a completely different look than a carved stone or stone-look fountain will.

In Japan, the use of fountains date back to the ancient shrines, where worshippers would wash before entering. You can find Japanese fountains in either granite or bamboo, and the one pictured above right, the "deer chaser," has the added feature of making a knocking sound as the water runs, which will scare deer from your garden and prevent that nibbled-on look to your geraniums.

Garden fountains are fairly easy to install, requiring only a pump, which usually either comes with the fountain or which you can buy at the place where you buy the fountain, and room enough to install it. And so in a matter of hours, you will be able to change the mood of your garden, adding a soothing watery element and a welcoming spot for garden birds.

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