Puzzled by its bad reputation among some of his clients, Mike Gannon began doing research on gravel. He'd always believed in its value, he says, but found a rich history that now aids in him on occasions when he needs to talk his clients through their moments of doubt.
By Ed Beaulieu
Among the most rewarding of all the projects I tackle are those in which a pond, stream or waterfall is meant to be a teaching tool. The lessons don’t have to be difficult to grasp or challenging to deliver: They simply add a layer of meaning, depth and value to the work that sharpens my interest and lifts my spirits.
The stream system at Reed Street Yards in Milwaukee, Wisc., was a source of just this form of personal satisfaction: The city has been positioning itself as a global leader in all things related to freshwater systems, and my participation here had to do with an incubator/think tank complex aimed at expanding on the efforts of the
Jets and sprays are welcome additions to ponds because they look great. But if the designer or installer follows a few key guidelines outlined here by Roy Watkins, the list of benefits will expand to include an overall improvement in water quality and a healthier environment for fish.
By Raymond Jungles
Generally speaking, the folks who visit botanical gardens fall into two categories.
The first includes local residents who can best be described as garden enthusiasts – the sort who visit monthly, weekly or even daily to follow the lifecycles of favorite trees, shrubs and plants and can spend countless hours observing the diurnal operations of flowers or of the birds who come and go as a year progresses.
The second group, generally larger and often much larger, includes local residents who stop by the gardens only when
By Dave Garton
This project came my way as a lot of them have through the years: A landscape contractor had been tasked with organizing things on a large estate property and called me in to work with the homeowners on the pond they wanted.
During our first meeting on site, I took an immediate liking to the couple, and she in particular had bountiful ideas about what she wanted. As we walked the estate together that day, she pointed toward the boggy depression at the edge of the property where we’d be placing the pond – quite close to a community bridle path – and said she wanted
There comes a time with most ponds when the owners will want to add fish to supplement the original population or replace pets lost to age or predators. It's a perilous step, notes Mike Gannon, which is why he prepares his clients for the occasion early on with words of caution.
By Colleen Holmes
When my client purchased a home at the top of a steep ravine, all she really knew was that she owned a lengthy stretch of a streambed and the land rising above it on both sides. At some point after she moved in, she decided to beautify the space, had a load of 200 boulders dumped in the driveway and hired her landscaper to move them down to dress up the waterway, which was dry through most of the year and was overgrown with all sorts of unwelcome plants.
What she didn’t know was that she was fooling around with Kenter Creek, a federally protected Blue Line waterway that started high in the hills a couple miles away. She had figured, reasonably so, that the stream was
It doesn't happen every time. But as Mike Gannon reports here, new ponds will head in this disturbing direction often enough that he prepares all of his clients to deal with a distressing transformation that can occur within weeks after a pond has been filled with water for the very first time.
By Raymond Jungles
My work as a landscape architect is usually recognized for two distinguishing characteristics – first for the inspiration I draw from my friend and mentor, the late, great Brazilian environmental artist Roberto Burle Marx, and then for my driving ambition to preserve and restore habitats, as expressed in projects throughout South Florida and across the Florida Keys and various islands in the Caribbean and the West Indies.
This is why seeing the project discussed here comes as something of a surprise to many who are familiar with my work: It’s located in Big Timber, Mont., a blip on the road between
By Dave Garton
As I’ve gotten better at what I do as a watershaper, I’ve found that lots of the maturing has been related to getting really good at listening to my clients. Once I figured out how to attune myself to their visions and voices and set aside my ego (however temporary that might be), I found that my designs crackled with new energy I was borrowing from people who wanted my help in expressing themselves.
That’s the artistic, inspired side of watershaping, of course, and as my listening skills grew and my projects took on new and sometimes
By Steve Sandalis
For a watershaper who’s spent a career designing and installing natural-looking ponds, streams and waterfalls using pumps and liners, this project was both an unusual treat and a distinct challenge – a dream job, as I saw it.
I was called to the property at the suggestion of a landscape-maintenance company that wanted nothing to do with what the homeowners were asking, and the reason was pretty obvious: A spring-fed stream flowed across the property as it had done for at least hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, and it needed
By Ed Beaulieu
In any large-scale watershaping project, managing the logistics has a way of becoming the most important task of all. In the case under discussion here, that might even be an understatement when you weigh all of the complicating factors.
First, the job site was located in central Colombia, in the foothills of South America’s Andes mountain range. Second, that locale is essentially a tropical rainforest, and when it wasn’t pouring by the bucketful, it was crushingly hot and humid. Third, ours is a North American company that works with its own products and has no distribution in Colombia.
And there’s more: To get the job done, we knew we
When a pond's fish shift to spawning mode, all sorts of things start happening in a hurry -- in turn whipping new pond owners into a frenzy right alongside their fish. At these times, Mike Gannon counsels restraint and helps novices recognize and follow what's happening.