Water Features - Fountains, Ponds & Pools Home, Office, Patio, Deck, Landscaping
Next to wind chimes, there's absolutely nothing more soothing to my ears than the sound of water -- trickling water over stones, springing from a fountain, rain on the roof, the rush of a water fall, the rhythmic lapping of the waves, whitecaps on a stormy sea ... I love it all. It creates an hypnotic, mesmerizing effect on most of us, taking us far from the everyday world into a secret place inside ourselves where we find peace and tranquility. Not many of us are lucky enough to live next to our own waterfall or stream or beach, so we have to import nature's sweet songs using whatever means or methods are available. Fortunately, we are not alone in our quest for the sanctuary of a waterfall or the soothing, soul-healing sounds of gentle rain. There are many water features now available for both inside and outside your home.
INCREASE HUMIDITY IN YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT
An indoor water fountain feature is of multi-fold benefit.
- The continuous movement of water in a fountain causes an increase in normal evaporation adding humidity to the atmosphere in your home which is beneficial to plants and humans. The fountain-type water feature is not as forceful as an actual humidifier that picks up and blows vapor into the air. The in-home fountain may be left on continuously just making sure there is plenty of water in the aquifer so the pump has adequate water to move and it won't burn out by sucking air.
- A water fountain provides interest or an attractive focal point in your home interior decorating. The decorating possibilities are endless. Your indoor fountain can be grouped with some lovely plants with big, exotic leaves creating a tropical oasis which is soothing to mental and physical well-being
- The sound of trickling water is very soothing and calming. Small fountains are wonderful additions to the ambience of your bedroom, library or any room where you wish to find quiet time - even your office. We would not recommend a large water feature in your library as it could conceivably provide too much detraction or dampness for valuable books. Generally speaking, if you have central forced air circulation throughout the house, as many homes do today, the small amount of extra humidity shouldn't be a problem. If in doubt, turn the pump off when you leave the room.
- Increasing humidity by the use of an indoor water fountain helps to provide an environment that discourages infestations of house plant pests - such as spider mites. Humidity also helps promote healthy growth of your indoor plants that absorb water through the leaves.
- Moisture in the air helps us cough more easily, keeping our air passages free and sensitive mucous membrane from becoming too dry.
- Skin on our faces, arms, hands, elbows, legs, knees, feet, skin all over our bodies benefit from humidity in the air. It keeps us more youthful looking.
HEALTHY HUMIDITY IN THE AIR
A few years ago, I was visiting friends in Kentucky, near Fort Knox (yeah, the gold brick place - no, none of it's mine). Their neighbors were a young married couple with a baby and a toddler. The back yards were adjoining, with no fences although you could easily see where my friends mowed and the neighbors didn't! The neighbors had a few clothes lines in a corner of the yard and the young momma often hung the babies' laundry out to dry - even cloth diapers, which just amazes me today! It became a familiar sight with the tiny clothes hanging there - limp and damp. The natural humidity in the air was so omnipresent, there was just not enough dry air to dry the clothing!
There was no visible mist in the air. It just felt "muggy", my skin felt sticky. The smallest bit of exercising - such as walking a few blocks in the neighborhood - left me "pooped out," wringing wet and pushing my glasses back up on my nose. Believe it or not, the combination of moisture or humidity in the air and heat can lead to a condition known as "heat stroke".
On the plus side, that kind of humidity is fabulous for your skin! I returned to my home in the Pacific Northwest feeling sleek and smooth. Calluses on my knees, heels and elbows had softened and my skin felt fresh and dewy. Not bad for an old gal! Definitely kinder to my skin than a month in Arizona. The reason is that the high humidity experienced in that climate held moisture in my body. I drank less and sweat less. As long as a healthy balance is maintained, there is no harm done. It's rather like occasionally visiting a sauna and receiving a therapeutic benefit from humidity in the air.
In my research for this page, I've learned that high humidity is not generally considered good for human beings. However, we do need some as a lack of humidity dries mucous membranes in sensitive skin, i.e. inside the nose, throat, mouth, lungs, etc. Medicated humidity, as in vaporizers or breathing apparatus, is beneficial in "loosening up" congestion when the body suffers pneumonia or a heavy-duty chest cold and you need to cough out the sticky, thick secretions. It acts as a lubricant and the medication (if any) is soothing to the irritated membrane.
HUMIDITY FOR PLANTS
Exotic plants that are used to living in a humid climate will quickly expire from lack of moisture in the air. Think about it. There are no orchids in in the desert. There are no fern in the desert. There are no hibiscus in the desert. (Ad nauseam and infinitum.)
Therefore, it's safe to assume that most exotic or tropical plants, when they are removed from their natural environment and introduced into an indoor climate with statically controlled humidity, heat and air circulation, benefit from frequent misting , humidifiers or another means to infuse the air about them with water.
You know about misting. You know you may use a clean spray bottle filled with water and periodically, hopefully routinely, give most of your indoor exotic plants a light misting with water - either use bottled water or rain water with few exceptions. Ferns, orchids, hibiscus, ficus (fig family) - most deciduous plants enjoy moisture on their leaves. (Exceptions are African violets, gardenias, jade plants and some others.) Be careful, however, to not overdo the misting and allow water to remain on the leaves to the point they mildew or rot.
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