Among all of the elements defining superior naturalistic watershapes, accomplished pond/stream specialists know that edge treatments are generally what separates great work from the ordinary. Here, watershaper Steve Sandalis highlights these transitions, sharing techniques he uses to soften edges and create areas where grassy verges, plants, beaches and rocks combine to make impressions in various and seamlessly beautiful ways.
This article, originally published in January 2010, has been digitized for all readers. Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail. [continue]
Integrity on Deck
Building concrete decks should never be a casual endeavor, says Paolo Benedetti. As he discusses here, there's far too much that can go wrong if the installer isn't curious about the underlying soil and doesn't really know what's involved in doing things right. [more]
When you build on a hillside, observes Randy Beard, you need to be armed with more than guts, experience and the equipment required to do the job. That all helps, of course, but as this video shows, what you really need is detailed information about what's going on below the surface. [more]
Time and Tide
As he was making final plans for the next national pool/spa expo, a question asked of Jim McCloskey started him thinking about the passage of time, the perspective that comes with experience and the importance of getting out to see people face to face. [more]
If there was ever a project that underscored the notion that 'backyard swimming pools' aren't what they used to be, this one by Ron Gibbons is it: Built with a dizzying range of functional and aesthetic features, the project was the combined effort of a client and a gifted designer/builder. [more]
Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch is a dominant feature of the St. Louis skyline, but Jim McCloskey has always felt a greater affinity for the Gateway Geyser -- a fountain that matches its sweeping, metallic counterpart for height as well as serene majesty. [more]
Learning to Say 'No'
Five years ago, Bruce Zaretsky expressed the notion that watershapers and other professionals needed to have the gumption to say 'no' to clients. Is that still possible in the here and now? [more]
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
1. Which Midwestern university announced that its undergraduate students will no longer have to pass a swim test in order to graduate?
a. Michigan State University c. University of Chicago
b. University of Nebraska d. Iowa State University
2. Several people who swam off Boulder Beach on Hoover Dam's Lake Mead developed a rash similar to the one caused by poison ivy; the condition, schistosomiasis, is commonly called "swimmer's itch." What did the National Park Service suspect was to blame for the outbreak?
a. Parasites in the feces of infected waterfowl
b. A floating water plant closely related to poison ivy
c. An unusually large population of mosquitoes at the lake
d. Chemicals that may have been discharged from Hoover Dam
3. An 18-year-old swimmer has already broken the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke set at the London Olympic Games by Daniel Gyurta of Hungary. What country is the teenage swimmer from?
a. Hepatitis C b. Clinical depression c. Agoraphobia d. Body dysmorphic disorder
WaterShapes World (blog)
Reflecting on a difficult decision from a recent construction project at his home, Jim McCloskey has regrets about the way things turned out -- and learned a valuable lesson about trust along the way.