WaterShapes

The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

Small Space, Big City

1-20 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

The current generation of pond designers and installers tends to think big – often very big – and enjoy pursuing projects on large properties in which the basin and its accompanying streams and waterfalls create spaces so naturalistic that it seems like the water’s been there forever.

That’s a noble goal – and one I pursue frequently in my projects for

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Web-Footed Wonderland

12-2 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

Some projects are just more enjoyable than others – and this was one of the fun ones.

We were called to a property in Bridgehampton, N.J., where the homeowner had amassed a large collection of ducks, geese and other birds (including some peacocks).  The creatures occupied a large area in the big backyard – but a washtub had been

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Intersecting Sensibilities

Transforming a small front yard into a tranquil, meditative retreat can be a great way to expand usable living space, observes Ketti Kupper.  It can also, as she demonstrates here, turn a compact courtyard into an art gallery and a stage for personal expression.
Transforming a small front yard into a tranquil, meditative retreat can be a great way to expand usable living space, observes Ketti Kupper. It can also, as she demonstrates here, turn a compact courtyard into an art gallery and a stage for personal expression.
By Ketti Kupper

I live on the eastern-most fringe of the west side of Los Angeles, a neighborhood with an eclectic urban concoction of mixed nationalities and wide-ranging aesthetics – including a lack thereof.  

This hilly East Hollywood region has views of the downtown skyline and cars lined up regularly at four-way stop signs deployed in an effort to minimize the number of streetlights we must navigate to get from our homes to nearby Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.  In short, we are bursting at the seams with

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Double Play

10-7 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

It happens often enough that it was time for me to make a video about the process.

It usually starts with a call from a homeowner who has a pond that has become a plant-choked, green and often smelly mess.  It may have been a do-it-yourself project, but sometimes

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On the Edge

9-9 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Our work in this backyard was only part of a larger project – a big part, to be sure, but once we were done a landscape crew came on site and kept on working.  That’s not unusual with a project on this scale, but we were so happy with our work that it was a bit disappointing not to paint the entire picture.

In some sense, however, I think this made us focus all the more on

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Basin Burdens

8-5 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Pond-free waterfall systems are a conceptual oddity:  At first thought, they don’t seem as though they can in any way appear natural, with their long streams of cascading water disappearing into voids instead of flowing across the large sort of pond that is so familiar to most of us in natural settings.

But I’m among those who like these odd watershapes – and I think much of it has to do with the fact that we

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Rocky Road

7-8 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I can sometimes look like a rock outcropping myself:  Whatever it is, I love working with big chunks of stone in my pond projects.  More than any single design element I can deploy, there is no other component that’s more important when it comes to making my work look as though it’s been there

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Safety Always

6-10 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

On a big project such as the one we’re covering in this video series, the rocks needed to give the cascades a natural look are quite substantial – some in the 36-inch range or larger, with weights rising to a ton or more in a few cases.  Handling these brutes takes reliable equipment as well as distinct skill in working with

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Up the Hill

5-6 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

This is another instance in pond construction in which experience is a huge advantage:  When it’s time to size and set things up for a long, cascading stream leading down a reasonably steep hill to a pond-free basin, there’s nothing about the process that I’d like to approach without knowing

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Outcroppings

4-8 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

We love working on projects we can record and share through the Internet.  At The Pond Digger (Yucaipa, Calif.), we’ve always believed that these videos help our prospective clients make informed decisions about what they want to do in their backyards.  That’s why we generally keep them pretty basic.

At the same time, we’ve always believed that our videos have value in a professional context, particularly for

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  • Jim ... Good instructional videos especially to show help clients understand the process. R & S
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Froggy Paradise

1-21 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

The life of a pond installer is dotted with moments of quiet satisfaction.  Getting a contract signed is an obvious one, as is accepting final payment.  But in between, you have to take positive moments where you can find them – and for me, there’s nothing more soul-satisfying than introducing aquatic animals to a new pond I’ve built.

In the specific project covered

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Edgy Activity

1-7 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

We’ve come to the part of the installation process that’s my personal favorite:  finishing up the plant placement and setting the edges.  This is, of course, part of every pond-installation project on one level or another, but with a frog pond, my approach is a little different.

As you’ll see in the video linked below (and may have noticed in previous installments), the profile of this frog pond is

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Envisioned Environment

12-17 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

No matter how firm a focus you maintain on making a pond into a safe, comfortable home for frogs, there’s always the need to keep at least one eye (if not both) on the way the pond looks.  My goal, as I discuss in some detail in the video linked below, is to make every watershape I produce look as though it belongs where I’ve put it, as though the pond

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