Do People Still Get Fountains for Their Backyards?
If you are a fan of black-and-white films or you’ve spent any considerable time reading classic literature, you’d notice the omnipresence of fountains in gardens, town squares, and markets. So, what has changed? Why did we see such a decline in the number of fountains? Are they unpopular now? Is there a reason to get a fountain now?
The Popularity of Fountains
Actually, there’s no data showing that fountains existed in greater numbers in the Victorian era than they do now, and the perceived popularity can be largely explained by two things:
The Focus of Literature and Film
I think it wouldn’t surprise most of us to learn that most of the focus of literature and film has been on the rich upper classes and even books like Great Expectations and Jane Eyre that focused on the common person which had most of their scenes set in large expensive mansions. Books like Les Miserables were exceedingly rare, the life of the normal person was uninteresting and brutish, so it didn’t make for a great subject.
Since fountains are relatively expensive to construct and maintain (and were much more a century ago), it was used as a sign of nobility and class. Rich people would usually get into fountain-measuring contests. Insofar as literature is a portrait of the times it was created in, it doesn’t surprise anyone that they are all over the place.
The decline of fountains in movies and books very well coincides with the literary movement to focus on the common man. From the seething satire of Oscar Wilde and PG Woodhouse that made the nobility appear more like immoral hedonists and dilettantes rather than authorities on taste and quality to the musicals like West Side Story that took pride in showing the lives of an underrepresented class of people, the nobility, their mansions, and their escapades wasn’t the major focus, anymore. That also led fountains, a symbol of the rich, to slowly fall by the wayside of our collective unconscious.
That’s not to say the move was universal, because we still had widely popular stuff like Pygmalion and The Sound of Music, which continued the trend of the 19th century, but they were few and far in-between.
Von Restorff effect
Memory bias is the partiality of our brain which remembers some things while forgetting about others, and the Von Restorff effect is a well-known memory bias. Hedwig demonstrated how people remember the unique and out-of-place stuff more vividly. You might’ve read a hundred books, but you’d have a hard time remembering anything about the trees in those books because trees are everywhere. On the other hand, fountains are still relatively rare, and due to their literary meaning of birth and renewal, they were focused on more and fleshed out more, which made us remember them even better.
Should You Get a Water Fountain Now
After you have learned that the popularity of water fountains decreasing is mostly our memory playing tricks on us, is there truly a reason not to get a water fountain? While it is true water fountains are relatively expensive compared to the usual stuff you can buy for your garden, they also have a few advantages that you can’t overlook:
● Fountains look great in your garden. Placing one in the middle of your garden gives you something to look at and enjoy while you hang out with your friends and family.
● Urbanization has been driving out birds, subjecting them to famines, and cutting them from water sources. A water fountain will help you attract a lot of birds to your garden, and they’ll make your garden feel lively and fill it with beautiful sounds.
● Landscapers and garden designers love water fountains because you can do a lot of creative things with it. It’ll make your garden seem unique and special. If you don’t know any landscapers, look for sites that list the ones near you, like this list of recommended landscape gardeners Edinburgh.