Legend has it that in 1513, Juan Ponce de León became the first European to explore Florida during his quest to find the Fountain of Youth. Since Ponce de León is no longer around, we have to assume he never fulfilled that dream. Of course, everyone knows there is a Fountain of Youth, and it’s in our own St. Augustine. The spring water comes directly from the Floridian aquifer, and the water contains more than 30 minerals.
Studies also show there is nothing more soothing and relaxing than the sound of running water, so why not install your own fountain to honor the holiday?
There are numerous selections for garden fountains. Some are elaborate with water running from basin to basin, aquatic plants and small fish of different varieties in each basin. The Internet has plenty of websites selling fountain kits and supplies from the elaborate to the simple in design. Most fountains can be installed by reading the directions, but the more elaborate usually require the skills of an electrician.
Earth Works Design & Maintenance in Jacksonville is one of a few companies in Northeast Florida that carry fountains, aquaculture flora and supplies, including aquatic plants such as yellow taro, blue flag sedge, red pitcher, dwarf umbrella palm and tropical water lily, that grow in water. They also offer free classes on installing fountains on a regular basis. Reeds Rocks & Ponds in Jacksonville has fountains and supplies as well.
All fountain kits are sold with instructions for assembly and access to videos as well. Many styles can hold aquatic plants, and other plants can be placed around the fountain.
Here are directions for a simple standing fountain kit:
Step 1. Take the basin, which contains the pump and water, and place on the ground where you want to install the fountain. Mark the edges where you want the fountain to be. Move the basin and remove the dirt.
Step 2. Insert basin filling in extra space on both sides.
Step 3. Attach plumbing provided to the pump and the pot on the other end. Run the cord out of the basin before placing gravel.
Step 4. Level fountain pot. Add decorative gravel on top of basin.
Step 5. Fill with water and plug in.