Fantastic fountains

Fountains are often a centrepiece for lots of our gardens, and we think that they deserve to be celebrated for bringing a sense of movement to a garden.

Here are our top five fountains that are not to be missed...

    Belton House, Lincolnshire

    Soaring high in multiple jets of water, this simple fountain forms the centrepiece of Belton’s sunken Italian Garden. Created by architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville in the early 19th century, this lavish, formal design is laid out in golden stone that was partly taken from the house.

    To ensure a vibrant display, the beds edging the pool are changed from year to year - here, Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ with purple salvias.

    Surrounding them, a low wall planted with Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, a hedge of Prunus x cistena ‘Crimson Dwarf’ and decorative urns filled with yellow annuals reinforce the green and gold theme found elsewhere in the gardens.

    Buscot Park, Oxfordshire

    Cutting a swathe through the gentle woodland landscape of Buscot Park, Harold Peto’s dramatic water garden was designed in about 1904 to link the house with the lake 250yds away. Classically Italian in inspiration, Peto’s design - considered to be one of the finest of its period - combines a stepped canal opening out into pools with box hedges that perfectly frame its silhouette.

    Gazing along its length, from one of the tiny stone bridges that cross it, the fountain in the circular pond draws the eye, where the forms of a boy and a dolphin are entwined in struggle or embrace.

    Cliveden, Berkshire

    Voluptuous and theatrical, the Fountain of Love standing in Cliveden’s tree lined drive gives visitors a foretaste of the grandeur to come. The work of prominent 19th-century sculptor Thomas Waldo Story, this colossal piece features female figures and cherubs cavorting beside a giant shell.

    The fountain was commissioned by American owner, William Waldorf Astor, in 1897. Shipped from Rome, it forms one of a number of classical antiquities he brought to the garden.

    Lyme Park, Cheshire

    The fountain in Lyme Park’s Dutch Garden forms a smart focal point for an intricate parterre. The pattern consists of swirling beds edged in Irish ivy, Hedera hibernica, and filled with seasonal planting, such as Begonia Semperflorens Cultorum Group and Senecio cineraria ‘Silver Dust’.

    The stone cherubs on plinths represent the four elements. The Italianate parterre, created in 1860, replaced the original Dutch garden. Since the wall collapsed in the 1970s, the garden has been restored to its Victorian high standard.

    Lytes Cary, Somerset

    Forming a shimmering umbrella against the dark background of a tall yew hedge, this fountain at Lytes Cary Manor looks glorious in the summer sun. Cast from lead in the apt form of the sea god Triton, it stands among waterlilies at the centre of a circular pool in a tranquil garden room, perfect for quiet contemplation.

    Surrounding the medieval manor house, owned by herbalist Sir Henry Lyte in the 16th century, these pretty, formal gardens were designed by Sir Walter Jenner, son of Sir Edward Jenner, the inventor of vaccination, after 1907.