I’ve long agreed with William Morris when he said that “…have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” When I say agree, I mean in a theoretical sense of course. The amount of clutter we appear to own boggles the mind. But I digress. Most of what we’ve done to the smallholding so far has been useful (the kitchen garden, the new chicken enclosure, the orchard, the privacy oaks etc) and very little has been truly ornamental apart from the flowerbeds. But I’ve always thought that a garden without water is a poor garden indeed. When we moved we were absolutely delighted to discover the remains of two large ponds in our woodland and fully intended to repair and refill them as little wildlife habitats. But then our youngest was born and I suddenly realised why it’d taken me months to research safety nets: because I would never truly be easy in my mind with small children and large bodies of water, even with grilles on them. Mad, maybe, but there’s no point in moving from London to allow the children to roam our garden freely if I was going to worry every time they went into the woods. So if a pond was out until they’re older, what could we have? Enter the fountain. Ours is quite a functional kitchen garden although I’m hoping to prettify it a little in the future and to soften the edges with planting, but it did seem to us that a fountain tinkling on a path somewhere might be a nice thing to have. As with everything we do here, it wasn’t a case of “buy fountain, turn fountain on”. We had to dig a trench and lay armoured cables for the pump, cover said trench, create a stand for the fountain and then we’ll need to fill out the bed with flowers, but I think it’s going well so far! Any thoughts on what we should fill the bed with? Ideally I think I’d like small flowering shrubs or similar. I’m quite thrilled every time a little bird perches on the rim to drink (less so when it’s a pesky pigeon but what can you do) and the sound of the water splashing is quite charming. Sometimes there’s room for impractical prettiness!