No matter whether it's a pond, stream or swimming pool, waterfalls are an appealing part of the composition -- which is why Larry Carnes includes them in most of his projects. Here, he shares some approaches to making these features both naturalistic and completely mesmerizing.
By Greg Wittstock
It was the kind of opportunity that doesn’t come along very often. This past Memorial Day weekend, members of the Aquascape family had the pleasure of installing a sprawling stream and pond system for none other than NBA Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal.
A team of Aquascape Inc. employees and “Artists of the Year” came together to create a bucolic 22-by-50-foot ecosystem pond with a 70-foot stream for “the big man” on his sprawling 80-acre Atlanta-area home.
Our talented project team collaborated on the installation of the pond with all sorts of input on a variety of our signature details.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to our new department, Open Waters. It’s a space we’re dedicating to the variety of the watershaping world. Here you’ll find a rotating series of blogs, videos, book and resource reviews, stories about charitable works in the industry, and travelogues including this discussion from Watershape University’s Lauren Stack about her recent visit to the Tulsa Botanic Gardens.
By Lauren Stack
The property sits on a plateau known as “Persimmon Ridge” -- a 170-acre site likely a gift from a benefactor with roots in
By Dave Garton
Last month, we discussed the importance of creating excitement and anticipation during the early stages of a pond project. One of my favorite techniques I described is taking clients to a rock yard where we celebrate the process selecting stone material. As I mentioned, getting them revved up in the early going is vastly important, and most of the time it’s relatively easy because there’s a natural excitement that occurs at the outset of most projects.
Things can get much tougher on the mood-management front once the work gets started. We all know that installing a body of water almost always leads to
By Larry Carnes
Ponds built for swimming are becoming more and more popular – at least they have been in our business. For the past 3-4 years, we’ve actively promoted recreation-style or swimming-style ponds and have experienced some strong success. Now more than half of our projects are designed and built with swimming in mind, and many of those installations stand among our finest efforts.
It’s similar in some respects to what we see in the swimming pool market where people are investing in their backyards so they can enjoy the
By Anthony Archer Wills
It is rare that any of us are asked to build a swimming pond for horses. But why not? They are admittedly much bigger than Koi and certainly larger than humans, yet I am assured they are considerably cleaner than dogs and genuinely do benefit from the leg-relieving buoyancy that comes with immersion in water.
The first pond I built for equestrian swimmers came along in the late 1970s – just after I’d completed several large gravel-filtration ponds for trout: It seemed at the time that the same principles that worked so well for
By Dave Garton
I’m not crabby by nature – just the opposite, in fact – and I don’t want anyone to think that I go out of my way to find and critique flawed ponds.
Thing is, I’m a reputable pond designer and installer and have made a point through the years of meeting with garden clubs and other groups that are interested in what pond-making is all about. After these events, it hasn’t been uncommon for owners of ponds installed by others to call me over for a visit and ask me what I think needs to be done to address what they see as worrisome
By Ken Alperstein
It’s like an old, familiar tune: When you’ve been working on major projects with the same group of people for more than a quarter century – always with common principles, shared experience and similar goals in mind – it’s easy to pick up the instruments and start playing again without a moment’s hesitation.
That’s exactly how it felt for us at Pinnacle Design Co. (La Quinta, Calif.) when we were called on to revamp key elements at The Vintage Club, a private, 36-hole golf facility in Indian Wells, Calif. We did our first work there in 1994 and have been involved in numerous landscape and waterfeature enhancements since then with renowned course designer
By Dave Garton
Pond installation offers lots of opportunities for straying off the naturalistic path, but to me, there’s no more problematic detour than the unfortunate “string-of-pearls” effect.
When this happens, the edge of a pond looks more like Wilma Flintstone’s rocky necklace than it does like the banks of a natural body of water. And it’s a double shame, because the installer went to all the trouble of sourcing and placing natural material – but ended up with completely unnatural results.
I’ve seen too many of these nightmare ponds through the years. Some are the result of a do-it-yourselfer’s lack of awareness. It also happens with
By Dave Garton
I retired a while back after working for more than 20 years as a pond designer and installer. The result of that change in life is that I’m busier than ever.
I still hear, for instance, from old clients who want me to come back to modify or expand an existing pond/stream/waterfall system. Those requests, often from people who have become good friends through the years, are hard to resist.
More often, however, I’m being asked to teach. I’m frequently approached by
By Raymond Jungles
In the course of my career as a landscape architect, I’ve had the good fortune to work on the full range of possible projects, from residences to commercial and institutional properties and in spaces ranging from the compact to the vast. Through all of this experience, I have to say that working on botanical gardens, in whole or in part, has been about as satisfying as it gets.
The first two articles in this three-part series have demonstrated some of the potential these facilities have to
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