A beautiful garden can turn into an oasis with the help of a garden fountain. While plants can add to the visual beauty of a yard and enhance the sense of smell, a trickling fountain nearby adds a nice aural atmosphere that’s quite soothing. If you’ve thought of installing a fountain in your garden but weren’t sure how to go about doing so, here’s some advice on putting in a fountain to get you started.

When you’re operating with things that plug into an outlet to work, you won’t need to seek help from an electrician, so installing most garden fountains isn’t too difficult. But you will want to keep some tips here in mind for a low-maintenance, calming and beautiful new presence to your garden with the help of a fountain.

First, you’ll want to be near an outlet. It’s recommended that you use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet for your fountain. These outlets will cut out if they come into contact with water or experience a power surge, making them much safer than a regular outlet. Since you’re dealing with water here, a GFCI isn’t required, but highly recommended for safety.

It goes without saying that using a standard orange extension cord can ruin the atmosphere of a kitchen garden. With your fountain not far from its outlet, try using a brown or green cable that will fit better with its surroundings. You’ll also want to have it covered, perhaps with rocks or foliage.

What fountain is right for your yard? There are so many different kinds, from wall fountains to statuary, to simple urn fountains. A wall fountain will save space, but make sure it’s secure: once you fill it with the necessary amount of water, you’re sure to double its weight. If you go with a wall fountain, using a wall anchor to hold it in place will keep your fountain secure with its water weight.

Urn fountains are beautiful in their simplicity: featuring what looks to be a standard urn, water trickles infinitely from its overflowing surface. But beware that the water source isn’t infinite: because so much water is exposed to sunlight with these fountains, you will have to make sure to check for evaporation so that it doesn’t run dry.

What kind of water pump should you use for your fountain? Water pumps vary depending on how much water flow you require, so in most cases a smaller pump will work fine for a peaceful trickling in your garden. There are even pumps that have two or more different speed settings, so you can have some options.

Maintenance for your fountain is fairly simple. Check every so often for markups (either from animal waste, algae or hard water stains.) Diluted bleach works well against algae, while mineral deposits can be scrubbed away with white vinegar. When using bleach, rinse the fountain thoroughly afterwards. And even if your fountain looks clean, be sure to change the water once a week.

This post is adapted from the July 13, 2013 episode of Home Wizards that was released as a podcast on July 15, 2013. You can find this segment on iTunes at the 19:20 mark of the first hour of the podcast.