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Modern fountain

 So, you know that the economy is doing really strange things my doctor’s office can afford to take over a really lovely modern building on a brand new corporate campus, but that’s what led me to stumble upon this lovely fountain, so this article is a little thanks to the weird economy having a silver lining. 
What got me to stop and take a photo is the amazing amount of texture in this fountain. The basic premise is simple enough: water spills from the upper wall onto the secondary wall, and also spills out of the top of the secondary wall. The water from both runs over a textured stone to create a whitewater effect (that I hope you can see in the photos). This texture means that the fountain has a dancing sound, that, sadly, you can’t hear. But you’ll just have to trust me- it is very peaceful.

 This is a close-up of the top of the secondary wall. See how they have created a well so that the water is forced to spill over the wall in a very uniform way? If you want a fountain that creates this whitewater effect, that’s the way to get it. Otherwise, the water may spill out unevenly.

This photo probably shows the whitewater effect a little better. The other thing I like about this fountain is that the stones are carefully placed in the pond so that people can hop onto them and get close enough to the fountain to touch the whitewater. I love this! Too often, with large public fountain like this one, people have no way to interact with the water, and isn’t that half the fun? The little kid in all of us still wants to play in the water, and I for one vote that we let her/him!

The scale of this feature is obviously too big for a residential garden, but I do think the takeaway lessons here are good ones: 1) texture is an amazing thing, 2) if you want water to spill evenly, you have to make a trough for it to come out of, and 3) let people play in the fountain ’cause life is so much more fun that way.

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at