WaterShapes

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

Bamboo Basics

11-2 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

The weight of conventional wisdom opposes me here, but I love using bamboo around many of the ponds we install.  In the right setting with a pond large enough that the vertical plants are appropriately scaled to the horizontal watershape, bamboo looks great, grows rapidly and brings a wonderful architectural look to the composition – not to mention great sound when

Read more: Bamboo Basics

Frog Factors

leopardIf frogs show up in a pond, writes Mike Gannon, it's a sure sign that the water is healthy.  But it also means some extra chores for the pondkeeper -- including a need to massage a few details to persuade these finicky  amphibian guests to stick around for a while.

 

Read more: Frog Factors

Pond Decisions

11-2 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Pond liners are great:  They’re tough, last a long time and endure a great deal of abuse during their service lives – but sometimes people want to do strange things with them, as the first question addressed in this edition of “Ask the Pond Digger” attests.

As you’ll see, I was asked if it was acceptable to place a new liner inside

Read more: Pond Decisions

Transition Water

Floating islands were a novelty ten years ago, but now they're established, well-researched systems that have proved their value in fixing damaged ponds and lakes.  It's all about restoring food webs, says Bruce Kania -- and learning to grow fish instead of mats of algae.
Floating islands were a novelty ten years ago, but now they're established, well-researched systems that have proved their value in fixing damaged ponds and lakes. It's all about restoring food webs, says Bruce Kania -- and learning to grow fish instead of mats of algae.
By Bruce Kania

I live beside a lake on a property that also includes the headquarters for my business, Floating Island International (Shepherd, Mont.).  The lake serves as our laboratory, and my near-constant proximity to it means that I’ve gotten to watch how the water has changed through the years.  

It’s been an upward spiral:  The water keeps getting clearer, cleaner and

Read more: Transition Water

Natural Revision

Her clients had purchased a property with good potential, writes Colleen Holmes, but it took a lot of effort to turn the rundown jumble she found into the home of their dreams.  It started with a coat of paint and a stabilized slope -- then came the hot tub, waterfall and hitching posts.
Her clients had purchased a property with good potential, writes Colleen Holmes, but it took a lot of effort to turn the rundown jumble she found into the home of their dreams. It started with a coat of paint and a stabilized slope -- then came the hot tub, waterfall and hitching posts.
By Colleen Holmes

This is a story about turning an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.

It starts with a couple who had recently purchased their ideal home – one with room for them, for horses and for serenely rustic outdoor living.  But the reality as they found it was somewhat different:  The entry from the street was boring, the house was bland, the backyard space was disorganized and the

Read more: Natural Revision

Broader Horizons

Asked to install a 1,200-foot-long steam/waterfall system for the final hole of a high-end golf course, Tim Krzeminski applied his consummate stream-crafting skill -- and what he learned in local hikes -- to produce a gorgeous water hazard any duffer would be happy to avoid.
Asked to install a 1,200-foot-long steam/waterfall system for the final hole of a high-end golf course, Tim Krzeminski applied his consummate stream-crafting skill -- and what he learned in local hikes -- to produce a gorgeous water hazard any duffer would be happy to avoid.
By Tim Krzeminski

When I started my pond company as a teenager in 2002, I had no clear idea how Laughing Waters (Palos Heights, Ill.) would evolve in subsequent years.  At the time my first article appeared in WaterShapes in 2007, I was basically a 22-year-old bundle of energy with more ambition than experience.

In the decade since then, our energy has become more focused, the company has grown to take on a full range of major residential and commercial projects and, with experience, our ambition has

Read more: Broader Horizons

Pond-Leak Detectives

11-2 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Where I work in southern California, we’re accustomed to seeing changes in water level in our ponds:  The air is dry and the winds blow briskly, so evaporation is invariably a factor.  Before long, it becomes a familiar pattern, and we know that the pond owner or the auto-fill system will be replacing an inch or so of water every week.

But sometimes it becomes apparent that

Read more: Pond-Leak Detectives

Themes, Anyone?

0He's a longtime believer in using naturalistic approaches in pond design and installation.  But lately, Mike Gannon has also spent some time questioning that foundation -- and wondering out loud if there might be value in looking at his design options in new and divergent ways.

 

Read more: Themes, Anyone?

Luxury Liners

8-10 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

Just one question is covered in “Ask the Pond Digger” this time, in response to a gentleman who asked me to compare reinforced polyethylene (RPE) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) liners for use in ponds.  I get this one all the time, from do-it-yourselfers looking to save some money – and from professionals who

Read more: Luxury Liners

Crime-Scene Ponds

0OpenerMost ponds are at the mercy of predators of one sort or another.  In Mike Gannon's experience, however, there are two usual suspects he knows he can ignore -- and a whole class of offenders who can't seem to resist stopping by to feast on fishy treats.

 

 

Read more: Crime-Scene Ponds

Recent comments

  • Guest - Gail Russo

    I have experienced many predators, and I agree completely with Mike. I live in South Jersey, roughly 20 minutes away from the Delaware Bay. I have never had an egret visit my pond, but I have had raccoons, herons, osprey and kingfishers visit my pond. Raccoons eat my fish food, but never the fish....
View other comments

Key Conversations

8-10 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

As a professional, I’ve always seen myself as something of a calming influence – basically as an instructor who offers reassuring guidance.  I teach my staff, I teach my clients and their families and, through all of the videos I’ve made, I also like to think I help other pond professionals by giving them tools they can use to

Read more: Key Conversations

Think Food

Pond professionals have a unique opportunity to put food on their clients' tables, writes James Rakocy.  All it takes is opening up the design process to a discipline called 'aquaponics,' which puts fish to work in encouraging the growth of a range of water-loving edible plants.
Pond professionals have a unique opportunity to put food on their clients' tables, writes James Rakocy. All it takes is opening up the design process to a discipline called 'aquaponics,' which puts fish to work in encouraging the growth of a range of water-loving edible plants.
By James Rakocy

When I look at the average pond, I tend to perceive a range of missed opportunities.

I come from the world of aquaponics, where I’ve spent my career figuring out ways to integrate environments for fish and plants in ways that make both fins and leaves grow like crazy.  For the most part, I work on an industrial scale, designing facilities where huge populations of fish are grown as food and, nearby, huge

Read more: Think Food

Back to Basics

8-10 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

By early 2015, my folder of saved emails was stuffed with years’ worth of questions people wanted me to answer about either their ponds or, as frequently, ponds in general.  I decided at that time to answer a number of these inquiries in a video series I’ve called “Ask the Pond Digger.”

Most of the questions came from pond owners and do-it-yourselfers, but many others had come from

Read more: Back to Basics

You are here: Home ARTICLES Ponds/Streams/Waterfalls