WaterShapes

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

Don't Forget the Shelves!

By Brian Helfrich

BrianHelfrichPondShelvesWhether you’re installing a small residential watergarden or a large commercial pond, the key to producing one that is both natural-looking and easy to plant is largely determined by how you design

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The Artistry of 'Painting' with Stone

By Ed Beaulieu

EdBeaulieuPaintingwithStoneFor the pond-building artist, stone is the paint — and how it is used can make or break the look of a watergarden. Choosing the perfect stone, however, is no guarantee of a beautiful outcome. That’s the realm where creativity and inspiration from

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Working with Rainwater

By Mike Gannon

11-21 gannon video--smallBack in January 2009, WaterShapes ran a big article on the team effort involved in installing the first-generation rainwater-harvesting system developed by the folks at Aquascape (St. Charles, Ill.).

Ed Beaulieu’s article (linked below) went into great detail on how everything came together, so I won’t duplicate that information here. But I feel obliged to stress the point that a

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A Mini-Lesson on Water Quality

By Dave Kelly

DaveKellyPondWaterChemistryIn this series of occasional newsletter articles, the staff at Aquascape — a waterfeature design and installation company headquartered in St. Charles, Ill. — will offer information, advice and tips on creating and maintaining quality ponds, streams, waterfalls and pondless waterfeatures.

Along the way, the coverage will range from the very basic — the sort of information you can use in training new staff and helping your clients — to the very advanced. To get things started, here's

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Starting Fresh

By Eric Triplett

11-7 triplett video artWe’ve been in the pond business long enough that we’ve seen just about everything – the good, the bad and the ugly.

But even we were bowled over by the pond we found in the yard on display in the four videos listed below: We ran up against so many problems all in one place that it made sense to us to record our efforts in renovating the watershape and

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Graceful Reflections

6-20 archer wills artBy Anthony Archer Wills

In all my many years of working with water, I’ve never grown tired of its remarkable beauty and complexity – or of the variations it encompasses, the ways it changes and the endless fascination it offers to those who come into its presence.

At the heart of water’s ability to inspire us and rivet our attention is its capacity to reflect. There’s something truly magical about the way water mirrors the sky, a surrounding landscape, nearby architecture or a well-placed work of art. It’s a gift of sorts, a timeless bounty that has captured imaginations ever since Narcissus fell in

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The Hidden Source (pdf version)

6-6 dews essential artBy Bob Dews

Cascades and waterfalls are different from most other types of watershapes. In ponds, for example, the quiet reflective surface of the water serves to accentuate elements within the water, such as the plants, fish and rock materials, while reflecting the features surrounding it. That same reflectivity is a hallmark of pools as well.

Our purpose in setting up cascades and waterfalls is, by contrast, to highlight the water itself, and specifically the

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Home, Sweet Home

By Mike Gannon

 
From postage-stamp miniatures to lake-scale behemoths, it’s no stretch to say that ponds come in all sizes.  While it’s certainly true that big ones give their owners boundless options when it comes to creating large ecosystems that support plenty of fish and plants, we’ve learned 

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Keeping Clean

For the past 35 years, Patrick Simmsgeiger has maintained scores of ponds and lakes throughout southern California and says that every single one of them seems to have a mind of its own.  As a result, he advises those who design and build these watershapes to learn the general approaches to making the water manageable and trouble-free – but also to pay even closer attention to each vessel’s specific character and situation.
For the past 35 years, Patrick Simmsgeiger has maintained scores of ponds and lakes throughout southern California and says that every single one of them seems to have a mind of its own. As a result, he advises those who design and build these watershapes to learn the general approaches to making the water manageable and trouble-free – but also to pay even closer attention to each vessel’s specific character and situation.
By Patrick Simmsgeiger

If there’s one thing all ponds and lakes have in common (beyond the obvious fact that they all contain water), it’s that they’re as different as snowflakes – highly idiosyncratic, often challenging and sometimes almost willful in the way they resist being manipulated.

For the past 35 years, we at Diversified Waterscapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) have just about seen it all as specialists in maintaining man-made ponds and lakes and in remediating those that have fallen on hard times and suffer with severe problems.  We’ve found that every situation is different and that figuring out what’s going on involves the evaluation of countless variables – some obvious and easy to read, others less so.

For all that, our experience tells us that the serviceability and sustainability of ponds and lakes is for the most part determined long before we come on the scene – even before they are filled with water.  When they’ve been designed and installed with a few key principles in mind, we find them to be cooperative and affordably manageable.  If a few of the more common mistakes are made, however, it’s a completely different and far nastier

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A Window Into Nature

By Jon Mitovich

11-7 mitovich essentialTake the world’s most prolific consumer technology company on one hand and, on the other, its desire to augment its corporate headquarters with a natural exterior environment intended to capture geological processes that span millions of years: It’s a collision of

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Softening Edges

By Steve Sandalis

10-24 Sandalis essential artWe recently completed a project that truly thrilled a pair of well-traveled, highly educated clients: It was a large, complex waterfall-and-pond composition in the sloping backyard of an upscale home in an affluent southern California neighborhood.

There were a number of reasons why the project worked so well, but if I had to break it down to one thing more than any other, it had to do with the range of edge treatments we used within the available space.

On the side nearest the house, we established a clean lawn-meets-water detail – very disciplined in appearance and obviously man-made. Directly across the pond was a set of rugged waterfalls – much wilder and basically untamed. Bracketing those features, we filled shallow areas with [more]

The Calming Magic of Waterfalls

WaterfallGalleryVideos: To watch videos of four of the world’s most famous, most beautiful waterfalls — with all the stunning images accompanied by music — click on the links

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Earthbound Endeavors

Devising watershapes that appear as though nature made them, says Anthony Archer Wills, requires both careful planning and expert execution – especially when the project is on a grand scale, as is the case with the one covered here.  In this, his second article on a huge pond/stream/waterfall complex, he details the painstaking process he pursued in building a system that is nearly 800 feet long and includes caves and other intricate custom details.
Devising watershapes that appear as though nature made them, says Anthony Archer Wills, requires both careful planning and expert execution – especially when the project is on a grand scale, as is the case with the one covered here. In this, his second article on a huge pond/stream/waterfall complex, he details the painstaking process he pursued in building a system that is nearly 800 feet long and includes caves and other intricate custom details.
By Anthony Archer Wills

Devising watershapes that appear as though nature made them, says Anthony Archer Wills, requires both careful planning and expert execution – especially when the project is on a grand scale, as is the case with the one covered here.  In this, his second article on a huge pond/stream/waterfall complex, he details the painstaking process he pursued in building a system that is nearly 800 feet long and includes caves and other intricate custom details.  

Last month, we began our discussion of a large pond, stream and waterfall system for a historic upper Midwest estate found on the forested shore of a scenic lake.  As related there, the project was to include three major ponds and a series of complex waterfall structures connected by streams rising close to the top of the

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