If you've ever seen the movie "Clueless," you will absolutely remember the fountain scene where the main character Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone) suddenly realizes she's been in love with her best guy friend all along. As she has this epiphany, water shoots nearly 30 feet in the air from the base of the golden, floral embossed fountain that sits before the entrance to her mansion. Dramatic -- perhaps. But aside from the cinematic aha moment with the perfectly timed "natural" occurrence of the water spouting out, the fountain calls for attention of its own.
Fountains can symbolize many things to people: wealth, power, tranquility, peace, calm, and consistency, to name a few. With this in mind, it's clear that not all fountains are built to be ostentatious or demonstrate a certain status or income. In fact, many are installed to create the polar opposite effect by putting people into a state of connecting with their inner beings through the meditative sound of running water.
There are several tiers of pricing that make owning an epiphany-inducing structure a realistic option for everyone.
Overstock.com has a wide array of options that offer brand-name quality with a promise of savings. LED-light indoor and outdoor options are displayed with customer reviews and stars -- these seem to be popular and good deals for the money. Size and materials will alter cost, but the bullet points are easy to follow: weatherproof options, included pumps, and heights of around 2 feet high and 1 foot wide.
Bed Bath & Beyond has another option aside from the typical standing fountain: a wall fountain. Made of resin, the fountain's style description includes some key words like "Gothic" and "cathedral." You can imagine how these fountains create a nostalgic mood for the past, which has perhaps only been experienced through the lens of a period piece film.
Gardenfountainoutlet.com has an extremely sweet, innocent garden fountain that not only ships for free within three to four weeks in the U.S., but is over 4 feet high, 2 feet wide and 186 pounds. It's called the "Classic April Showers Fountain -- 5 pc." The sculpture on top has two little children staying dry under an umbrella with one protecting the other. For $15, the company also offers a sample of concrete in your color of choice so that you can test out how it meshes with your overall ambiance.
Backyardxcapes.com offers browsing in simple, comprehensive search options (price range, material, brand, etc.). It has a retail store, which is apparently a positive because it's uncommon for manufacturers to have one, and it offers customer support online and via phone for any unseasoned fountain shoppers. There are also price breaks listed on the site for nearly every product. The "Stone Courtyard Cascade Fountain" looks almost exactly how it is described. With a stone outside surrounded by many different cascading mini-waterfalls, there is still room in the structure itself to plant flowers for a spa or resort feel.
Within this price range, you get the works. If your budget is this large, the best move is to hire a landscape architect who can design the fountain of your dreams based on the layout of your property, as well as your vision and style requests. He or she can pull out all of the fancy stops, from cacti surrounding the base to incorporating fire and real flames into the design. Might as well get a little crazy, right?