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Managing clients' mood is as much a part of the pond-installation process as installing the liner. This is why Dave Garton works to build realistic expectations and keep thoughts trained on positive outcomes, seeing them as keys to problem-solving and long-term satisfaction.
Managing clients' mood is as much a part of the pond-installation process as installing the liner.  This is why Dave Garton works to build realistic expectations and keep thoughts trained on positive outcomes, seeing them as keys to problem-solving and long-term satisfaction.
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

Whether ponds are built for it or not, many will encourage a swim, inspire a dive or invite a cooling dip. That's why Larry Carnes guides his clients who want to get wet toward naturalistic pond designs that are also deliberately made for easy access, bather comfort and everyone's safety.
Whether ponds are built for it or not, many will encourage a swim, inspire a dive or invite a cooling dip. That's why Larry Carnes guides his clients who want to get wet toward naturalistic pond designs that are also deliberately made for easy access, bather comfort and everyone's safety.
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

 

Designing ponds for special purposes is nothing new to Anthony Archer Wills, who recently worked on this one, meant for horses. The result, set in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps, is beyond beautiful -- even though the four-legged part of the story involved a late twist.
Designing ponds for special purposes is nothing new to Anthony Archer Wills, who recently worked on this one, meant for horses.  The result, set in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps, is beyond beautiful -- even though the four-legged part of the story involved a late twist.
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

No matter the cause, nobody is particularly happy when a once-concealed pond liner pops into view. And it's sad, writes Dave Garton, because these exposures can usually be avoided if the installer works wisely with the liner and takes the time to select and place rocks with care.
No matter the cause, nobody is particularly happy when a once-concealed pond liner pops into view.  And it's sad, writes Dave Garton, because these exposures can usually be avoided if the installer works wisely with the liner and takes the time to select and place rocks with care.
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

There was definitely something familiar about this project: All of the principals involved knew each other well, notes Ken Alperstein, and now they'd been asked to rework almost every detail of two golf courses on which they've all labored repeatedly for nearly a quarter century.
There was definitely something familiar about this project:  All of the principals involved knew each other well, notes Ken Alperstein, and now they'd been asked to rework almost every detail of two golf courses on which they've all labored repeatedly for nearly a quarter century.
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

Of all the visual offenses perpetrated by pond installers, there's one that upsets Dave Garton more than any other. Here, he offers several reasons for why it's something he encounters with such frequency, then discusses ways to avoid having it happen in the first place.
Of all the visual offenses perpetrated by pond installers, there's one that upsets Dave Garton more than any other.  Here, he offers several reasons for why it's something he encounters with such frequency, then discusses ways to avoid having it happen in the first place.
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

In his career as a pond designer and installer, Dave Garton has used his acquaintance with nature to inspire and refine his efforts. Here, in a new occasional series, he shares what he's learned along the way -- and offers guidance in avoiding an array of all-too-common errors.
In his career as a pond designer and installer, Dave Garton has used his acquaintance with nature to inspire and refine his efforts.  Here, in a new occasional series, he shares what he's learned along the way -- and offers guidance in avoiding an array of all-too-common errors.
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

Wrapping up a three-part series on his water-rich botanical gardens, Raymond Jungles notes that these institutions are often narrowly focused while wanting to be as inclusive as possible. It's a duality that kept him busy in Miami Beach as he tried to fit all he could into a compact space.
Wrapping up a three-part series on his water-rich botanical gardens, Raymond Jungles notes that these institutions are often narrowly focused while wanting to be as inclusive as possible.  It's a duality that kept him busy in Miami Beach as he tried to fit all he could into a compact space.
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

0Puzzled 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.

 

 

The opportunity to work on a project where teaching is the objective is hard to resist, notes Ed Beaulieu. But making it happen in ways that entertain while they educate is quite a feat when the underlying messages are as complex and significant as they are at Reed Street Yards.
The opportunity to work on a project where teaching is the objective is hard to resist, notes Ed Beaulieu.  But making it happen in ways that entertain while they educate is quite a feat when the underlying messages are as complex and significant as they are at Reed Street Yards.
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

0Jets 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.

 

 

 

 

If his work on botanical gardens has taught him anything, says Raymond Jungles, it's that it helps to be both flexible and persistent -- and, as he relates in his second article on the subject, mindful of the fact that these places are businesses and have needs that must be met.
If his work on botanical gardens has taught him anything, says Raymond Jungles, it's that it helps to be both flexible and persistent -- and, as he relates in his second article on the subject, mindful of the fact that these places are businesses and have needs that must be met.
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

The project may have started with a miscommunication, notes Dave Garton, but that amusing incident never stood in the way of his creating a beautiful sunken pond -- or of campaigning to ease neighbors' fears about a significant (but temporary) disruption of their bucolic lives.
The project may have started with a miscommunication, notes Dave Garton, but that amusing incident never stood in the way of his creating a beautiful sunken pond -- or of campaigning to ease neighbors' fears about a significant (but temporary) disruption of their bucolic lives.
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

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