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A Backyard Fountain Of Brick

 A concrete tile patio surrounded on three sides by narrow, straight planting beds made this garden look and feel uninhabitable. There was enough space to allow use of the area but there was nothing inviting to make one want to do so. This was owing in part to the materials (the rear fence with it=s overly-red stain, the concrete edging and tiles) dominating the space and the rectilinear arrangement. There was no charm or grace or warmth and this made the area look even smaller than it=s seventeen by sixteen foot dimensions.

 backyard fountain before

 This tiny urban plot seemed to hold little potential for a water feature.

Although a formal design would have worked just fine here, provided there was ample planting, such would not have suited the tastes of the owners, who desired a relaxed atmosphere imbued with a quality of sophistication. It was also agreed that a small ornamental display of water would contribute to the overall atmosphere wanted.


As is so often desirable in these small, rectangular plots, curves, here in the form of brick planters and a curved fountain, added the desired softness and motion while inlaid blue and green tiles brought brightness and a touch of elegance.  By swerving the walls inward here and there, close to the property line but not so close as to make abundant planting possible, considerable living space was generated.

 backyard water garden design plan

 A small, rectangular space was transformed into a graceful garden filled with motion and light.


As the curves of the walls bring a flowing motion and help expand the sense of spaciousness with their multiple in=s and out=s, the height of them also helps in this respect. Slightly lower than would normally be found, this sets the scale against which the rest of the garden is seen, and makes it by comparison seem larger than it actually is. Though low, the walls are yet a suitable height for seating, eliminating the necessity of clusters of chairs for informal gatherings.


 backyard fountain

 The fountain is centrally placed and though within an informal environment, it serves as an elegant focal point


The semi-circular water garden was designed as a continuation of the curvy lines of the retaining walls and as 'piece d' resistance'. Placed exactly in the center it serves as a focal point, providing visual stability within the flowing motion. The line of the walls and the colored tiles are repeated in the rear wall of the fountain, bringing unity to the entire vignette.


 backyard water feature

 The raised fountain is both a continuation of the walls and an ornament within the garden.