I could lie and tell you that the idea for this post on cascading fountains came from reading something high-brow. But, no, the inspiration came from watching The Bold and the Beautiful. (I don't feel so guilty about admitting that from time to time I watch soap operas, especially after learning that the courtly author Shelby Foote and artist Robert Rauschenberg both watched them.) In a recent episode of B&B, Brooke was lamenting losing her husband, Ridge, because it was believed that Brooke had slept with her adult step-son while both were stranded on a deserted island. In fact, Ridge's son lied about the affair, doing so in order to become the majority shareholder in Forrester Creations (one of the world's premier fashion houses) after being promised the shares by his grandmother, Stephanie, who orchestrated the lie because she happens to be Brooke's mortal enemy. But then Ridge found out the truth and came home to Brooke's Beverly Hills estate to reunite with her, finding her seated at the bottom of an extremely long cascading fountain. Ridge, romantic guy that he is, sent rose petals floating down from the top, alerting Brooke to the fact that Ridge had come home. So you see, as transfixed as I was with the drama unfolding before me, I was equally as mesmerized by the cascading fountain.
Of course, not many people have the land nor the means to install a cascading fountain like those at Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Now those are dramatic! My taste, though, is for something less baroque. That's why I prefer the more classical fountain at Ballyfin in Ireland (see above.) I think that a fountain like that is really quite doable, though perhaps on a smaller scale.
And going back to Brooke's cascading fountain- after a little research, I think that I've determined that the one shown on B&B is actually that at the Kern estate in Beverly Hills. The house was designed by George Washington Smith in the 1920s, although I don't know who designed the fountain. In fact, the fountain graces the cover of Jeff Hyland's The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills. Now really, any soap that shows the fountain at the Kern Estate can't be all bad, right?
The Great Cascade at Peterhof
The Marly Cascade at Peterhof
The Dragon Cascade at Peterhof
A detail shot of the Terrace Cascade at Peterhof
A cascading fountain at Chateau de Villette in France that was designed by Le Notre.
The grand Neptune Fountain at Villa d'Este, Tivoli.
An old photograph of the cascading fountain at the Kern Estate, Beverly Hills. Ridge's rose petals certainly had a long way to travel.