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Are you thinking of complementing your garden with a charming fountain but are after an energy-efficient alternative that's good for the planet as well as your wallet? Bright choice! Solar fountains add a modern green element to timeless models, and they also make for a hassle-free installation.
In order to choose a solar fountain that you won't get tired of looking at for years, splash into our list of expert tips to figure out exactly what you need.
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Versatile solar fountains come in lots of different models, but choosing a main category is the first step to narrow down your options and find the very best solar fountain for your garden and needs:
Being moveable, they're a fantastic choice if you're planning on rearranging the layout of your garden and patio every once in a while, or if you're currently renting and would like to take it with you next time you move house;
They will allow you to create a relaxing atmosphere when you sit outside by yourself or with your guests;
Just make sure that you find a spot that gets a good few hours of sunlight!
Pond fountains usually look pretty similar, as they focus on the power and flow of the spray head rather than aesthetic designs.
In order to find the right size solar fountain for your garden or patio, you must think of it in relation to its surroundings:
Table fountains are usually under 2 feet tall;
The average wall and floor fountain is between 2 and 3";
Bigger models should only be considered in particularly large gardens so that they don't feel overwhelming and disproportionate, either when they're set to become the main focal point of that area or when they're placed next to rather bulky elements (such as a wide pond or a pergola).
While pond models mainly consist of a pump and spray head, wall, floor and table fountains come in lots of different designs.
They can sometimes fall into more than one category, but being able to identify them will allow you to have a good idea as to what you should look for before you start browsing:
Birdbath: whether you're after a traditional model or a more modern design, these fountains are characterized by their large top layer that is particularly inviting for birds; perfect if you'd like to combine the relaxing sound of the water with their adorable chirping!
Urn: if you already have some garden décor that draws inspiration from the immortal beauty of the classical world, an urn-shaped fountain would be the best way to complement it;
Sphere: this is one of the most versatile designs since, depending on the shape of its pedestal base, it can work in both traditional and modern décors; the ball can sometimes be spinning, too;
Tiered: these multi-layered fountains are one of the most popular designs; as well as ensuring an elegant, classic look, they also result in a pleasant, distinctive trickling sound;
Cascade-style: it follows the same layout as tiered fountains, but usually includes a more natural and romantic design;
Column: these fountains focus on a vertical design and usually feature sleek lines that make them perfect for modern décors;
Sculpture-style: not only is this the most elegant type of solar fountains, but it can also help you complement the style of your garden if you choose a sculpture that follows the same theme (for example, fantasy or coastal).
Cast stone and concrete offer plenty of designs to choose from and they're some of the most durable fountains; however, because of their porous nature, they're not suited for particularly cold climates where overnight freezing is common (unless you're happy to cover them);
If you're after the most durable fountains, look no further than metal, which works particularly well in modern settings;
Marble fountains are the most adequate to convey a classic feel; heavy and durable, each piece is literally one of a kind thanks to the unique patterns of their veins;
Ceramic models inspire a precious hand-made feel thanks to the differences in the clay; they're durable and easy to clean and maintain, but they can shatter if dropped;
Terracotta is very similar to ceramic but is characterized by a darker brownish color that can help you bring a warm Mediterranean feel into your garden;
If you fell in love with cast stone or marble fountains but are after a more budget-friendly alternative, check out polystone models: made to look like other materials, they're a cheaper and versatile alternative, around 80% lighter than most;
Wood is rarer in solar fountains and needs more maintenance to ensure its durability, but it might be what you're after if you'd like to maintain a natural look and turn your fountain into an extension of your garden;
Once you've got the aesthetic side sorted, you could even consider some handy extra features to personalize your experience:
Flow rate control: it lets you change how much water trickles through your fountain, consequently resulting in a louder or more tranquil sound;
Lights: if you enjoy hanging out in your garden after the sun's gone down, choosing a solar fountain with lights will allow you to make the most of it even in the dark; these models usually charge during the day in order to last throughout the night.