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While an in-ground fountain tends to be very similar to a natural pool or fish pond in that it has irregular lines and blends in with the landscape, in-ground formal fountains differ in that they are symmetrical. The shapes used can be extremely simple (a rectangle or square), or they can be quite complex as with fountains done in a Moorish design which often feature more complicated shapes like stars along with artistic water canals.
As with natural pools, construction of in-ground formal fountains involves excavation. You would need to use a liner in order to retain the water. In order to support the symmetrical shape of the fountain, the excavation needs to stick to the exact dimensions, so there is less leeway for error with this type of fountain. In this case, using a rigid liner can make things much simpler.
Typically, in-ground fountains are less dynamic than raised fountains. People often use them to display foliage such as lotuses and water lilies, and the squirting water may simply be an effect rather than the focal point. These fountains work well within a botanical garden or in a home garden, where they will be the central feature which is surrounded by lush vegetation. Depending on the kind of edging you use, the fountain can either standout amongst the plants or blend in.
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