The Influence of the Norman Conquest on Anglo Saxon Garden Design

The Anglo-Saxon way of life was significantly changed by the introduction of the Normans in the later eleventh century. Architecture and gardening were attributes that the Normans excelled in, trumping that of the Anglo-Saxons at the time of the occupation. However, there was no time for home life, domesticated architecture, and adornment until the Normans had overcome the whole realm. twf037-al__92279.jpg Monasteries and castles served separate functions, so while monasteries were large stone structures assembled in only the most fruitful, wide dales, castles were set upon blustery knolls where the residents focused on learning offensive and defensive tactics. The sterile fortresses did not provide for the calm avocation of farming. The finest specimen of the early Anglo-Norman style of architecture existent in modern times is Berkeley Castle. The keep is said to date from William the Conqueror's time. An enormous terrace encompasses the building, serving as an obstruction to attackers intending to dig under the castle walls. A picturesque bowling green, enveloped in grass and surrounded by battlements clipped out of an ancient yew hedge, makes one of the terraces.

A Glimpse into the Roots of Fountains

The Roman academic Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455) took the initiative to have hundreds of old Greek writings translated into Latin. Turning the city into the deserving capital of the Christian community was important to him, so he also took steps to beautify it. In 1453 he initiated the repairing of the Aqua Vergine, an ancient Roman aqueduct which had brought clear drinking water into the city from many miles away. Nicholas V also embarked on the building of mostras, an old Roman practice of putting up grand public fountains to indicate the terminal point of an aqueduct. The fascinating roots of the Trevi Fountain date back to an older water fountain he had commissioned to the architect Leon Battista Alberti. The aqueduct he had refurbished included changes and extensions which eventually allowed it to supply the necessary water to the Trevi Fountain as well as the famed baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona.

A Wall Water Feature to Suit Your Decor

Putting a wall fountain in your backyard or patio is ideal when you want to unwind. Even a small space can include a custom-made one. Both the stand alone and fitted models must have a spout, a water basin, internal tubing, and a pump. There are any number of different styles available on the market including traditional, contemporary, classical, or Asian.

Also knownas a floor fountain, a stand-alone wall fountain is normally rather large, and its basin is placed on the ground.

On the other hand, a fountain affixed to a wall can be added onto an existing wall or built into a new wall. Integrating this type of water feature into your landscape brings a cohesiveness to the look you want to achieve rather than making it seem as if the fountain was merely added later.

Where did Garden Water Fountains Originate from?

The incredible architecture of a fountain allows it to provide clean water or shoot water high into air for dramatic effect and it can also serve as an excellent design feature to complete your home.

From the onset, outdoor fountains were simply meant to serve as functional elements. Inhabitants of urban areas, townships and small towns used them as a source of drinking water and a place to wash up, which meant that fountains had to be connected to nearby aqueduct or spring. Until the late nineteenth, century most water fountains operated using the force of gravity to allow water to flow or jet into the air, therefore, they needed a supply of water such as a reservoir or aqueduct located higher than the fountain. Fountains were not only used as a water source for drinking water, but also to adorn homes and celebrate the designer who created it. Animals or heroes made of bronze or stone masks were often times utilized by Romans to beautify their fountains.

To depict the gardens of paradise, Muslim and Moorish garden planners of the Middle Ages added fountains to their designs. Fountains played a considerable role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exercise his power over nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to extol their positions by adding beautiful baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

The end of the 19th century saw the rise in usage of indoor plumbing to provide drinking water, so urban fountains were relegated to purely decorative elements. Gravity was replaced by mechanical pumps in order to enable fountains to bring in clean water and allow for beautiful water displays.

Decorating city parks, honoring people or events and entertaining, are some of the purposes of modern-day fountains.

Water Features: A Must in any Japanese Landscapes

A water element is an important part of any Japanese garden. Since Japanese water fountains are seen as symbolic of physical and spiritual cleansing, they are often positioned at the entrance of buildings or shrines. It is unusual to see extravagantly-designed Japanese fountains since the focus is supposed to be on the water itself.

You will also see many fountains that have spouts built of bamboo. Underneath the bamboo spout is usually a stone basin which receives the water as it flows down from the spout. In addition, it is important to the overall look that it appear as if it has been outside for a long time. People want their fountain to appear as natural as possible, so they put plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. To the owner of the fountain, it obviously is more than just attractive decor.

If you want to get a bit more creative, try a stone fountain enhanced with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. Gradually moss begins to creep over the stones and cover them, and as that happens the area begins to look more and more like a natural part of the landscape.

If you are lucky enough to have a big piece of open land you can create a water feature that is much more elaborate.

Give some thought to adding a lovely final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

Japanese fountains, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to have water in them. Many people decide to represent water with sand, gravel, or rocks rather than putting in actual water. You can also collect flat stones and position them close enough together that they look like water in motion.

Style Variations for Outdoor Water Features

Gardens are great places to take a break from the day-to-day grind and get some fresh air and appreciate nature. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in yours, it is worth the effort it takes to do it right. The value of your home will increase with a lovely garden area, as it will enhance the “curb appeal” of the property. Many people choose to add to their landscaping by putting in statues or other art, re-doing the pavement of their driveway, planting trees, or getting a water feature.

A significant improvement to your garden can be realized by installing a water fountain. Where you once had a simple area, you will now have an outdoor wonderland. The sounds of a water fountain make for a soothing environment, not just for people but for the birds and other local wildlife that it will entice. Your fountain will promptly turn into the focal point of your garden or yard.


The Influence of the Norman Invasion on Anglo-Saxon Landscaping
Anglo-Saxons felt great changes to their daily lives in the latter half of the eleventh century due to the accession of the Normans. Architecture and gardening were... read more
Pick from Countless Outdoor Wall Fountain Styles
It is a good idea to integrate a customized fountain into a new or existing wall, something often suggested by landscape experts. The basin and all the required plumbing are best installed by a... read more
Do Pets Appreciate Garden Fountains?
If you are thinking about buying a water feature, make sure your pets like it. Your pet dog could think that your stand-alone fountain looks like a large pond to drink from or a pool in which to swim. Consider setting up a water fountain in your yard... read more
Things You Will Need for an Outdoor Water Element
When thinking about where to set up your garden fountain, do not forget that you will need somewhere to plug it in and a convenient source of water. Sometimes new owners... read more