WaterShapes

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

Plant Practicalities

4-6 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

On an emotional level, one of the toughest things to do in giving an ecosystem pond a good spring cleaning is thinning out the plants.

After all, these plants are a big part of the pond’s aesthetic appeal, and reducing them as dramatically as we usually do tends to set the watershape’s good looks back a notch or two.  But we do so knowing it’s a

Read more: Plant Practicalities

Happy, Healthy and Safe

3-16 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

Koi ponds can be watershapes of great beauty in which sizeable populations of large, gorgeous fish thrive through the long lives these creatures often experience.  With the pond that appears at the start of the video linked below, however, there were key features that were missing from the existing pond that put the big fish at risk in a number of ways.

I don’t know the full history of the pond, but it’s clear it

Read more: Happy, Healthy and Safe

Precious Cargo

3-2 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Of all the tasks involved in giving a good-size pond a thorough spring cleaning, taking care of the fish is the biggest concern and, frankly, the riskiest part of the operation.

It’s not simply a matter of chasing them around the pond and cramming them into a net before unceremoniously dumping them in a garbage can:  If the job is approached with that cruel and misguided spirit, it’s fully possible that the fish and other aquatic wildlife will show their appreciation by

Read more: Precious Cargo

Aquatic Chores

2-3 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Many of our clients enter into pond ownership with every intention of being actively and intimately involved in upkeep and maintenance.

What this often means is that, for the first year or maybe two, they’ll net out leaves, clear the skimmer basket and, maybe once a year, will hold their noses (literally or figuratively) and muck out the filter.  But what we’ve found with our clients

Read more: Aquatic Chores

Small Space, Big City

1-20 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

The current generation of pond designers and installers tends to think big – often very big – and enjoy pursuing projects on large properties in which the basin and its accompanying streams and waterfalls create spaces so naturalistic that it seems like the water’s been there forever.

That’s a noble goal – and one I pursue frequently in my projects for

Read more: Small Space, Big City

Web-Footed Wonderland

12-2 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

Some projects are just more enjoyable than others – and this was one of the fun ones.

We were called to a property in Bridgehampton, N.J., where the homeowner had amassed a large collection of ducks, geese and other birds (including some peacocks).  The creatures occupied a large area in the big backyard – but a washtub had been

Read more: Web-Footed Wonderland

Recent comments

View other comments

Intersecting Sensibilities

Transforming a small front yard into a tranquil, meditative retreat can be a great way to expand usable living space, observes Ketti Kupper.  It can also, as she demonstrates here, turn a compact courtyard into an art gallery and a stage for personal expression.
Transforming a small front yard into a tranquil, meditative retreat can be a great way to expand usable living space, observes Ketti Kupper. It can also, as she demonstrates here, turn a compact courtyard into an art gallery and a stage for personal expression.
By Ketti Kupper

I live on the eastern-most fringe of the west side of Los Angeles, a neighborhood with an eclectic urban concoction of mixed nationalities and wide-ranging aesthetics – including a lack thereof.  

This hilly East Hollywood region has views of the downtown skyline and cars lined up regularly at four-way stop signs deployed in an effort to minimize the number of streetlights we must navigate to get from our homes to nearby Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.  In short, we are bursting at the seams with

Read more: Intersecting Sensibilities

Double Play

10-7 gannon video artBy Mike Gannon

It happens often enough that it was time for me to make a video about the process.

It usually starts with a call from a homeowner who has a pond that has become a plant-choked, green and often smelly mess.  It may have been a do-it-yourself project, but sometimes

Read more: Double Play

On the Edge

9-9 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Our work in this backyard was only part of a larger project – a big part, to be sure, but once we were done a landscape crew came on site and kept on working.  That’s not unusual with a project on this scale, but we were so happy with our work that it was a bit disappointing not to paint the entire picture.

In some sense, however, I think this made us focus all the more on

Read more: On the Edge

Basin Burdens

8-5 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Pond-free waterfall systems are a conceptual oddity:  At first thought, they don’t seem as though they can in any way appear natural, with their long streams of cascading water disappearing into voids instead of flowing across the large sort of pond that is so familiar to most of us in natural settings.

But I’m among those who like these odd watershapes – and I think much of it has to do with the fact that we

Read more: Basin Burdens

Rocky Road

7-8 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I can sometimes look like a rock outcropping myself:  Whatever it is, I love working with big chunks of stone in my pond projects.  More than any single design element I can deploy, there is no other component that’s more important when it comes to making my work look as though it’s been there

Read more: Rocky Road

Safety Always

6-10 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

On a big project such as the one we’re covering in this video series, the rocks needed to give the cascades a natural look are quite substantial – some in the 36-inch range or larger, with weights rising to a ton or more in a few cases.  Handling these brutes takes reliable equipment as well as distinct skill in working with

Read more: Safety Always

Up the Hill

5-6 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

This is another instance in pond construction in which experience is a huge advantage:  When it’s time to size and set things up for a long, cascading stream leading down a reasonably steep hill to a pond-free basin, there’s nothing about the process that I’d like to approach without knowing

Read more: Up the Hill

You are here: Home ARTICLES Ponds/Streams/Waterfalls