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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

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4-8 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

We love working on projects we can record and share through the Internet.  At The Pond Digger (Yucaipa, Calif.), we’ve always believed that these videos help our prospective clients make informed decisions about what they want to do in their backyards.  That’s why we generally keep them pretty basic.

At the same time, we’ve always believed that our videos have value in a professional context, particularly for

Read more: Outcroppings

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  • Jim ... Good instructional videos especially to show help clients understand the process. R & S
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Froggy Paradise

1-21 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

The life of a pond installer is dotted with moments of quiet satisfaction.  Getting a contract signed is an obvious one, as is accepting final payment.  But in between, you have to take positive moments where you can find them – and for me, there’s nothing more soul-satisfying than introducing aquatic animals to a new pond I’ve built.

In the specific project covered

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Edgy Activity

1-7 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

We’ve come to the part of the installation process that’s my personal favorite:  finishing up the plant placement and setting the edges.  This is, of course, part of every pond-installation project on one level or another, but with a frog pond, my approach is a little different.

As you’ll see in the video linked below (and may have noticed in previous installments), the profile of this frog pond is

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Envisioned Environment

12-17 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

No matter how firm a focus you maintain on making a pond into a safe, comfortable home for frogs, there’s always the need to keep at least one eye (if not both) on the way the pond looks.  My goal, as I discuss in some detail in the video linked below, is to make every watershape I produce look as though it belongs where I’ve put it, as though the pond

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Ecosystem Design

12-3 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

As mentioned previously in this video series, one of the key points distinguishing frog ponds from most other modern backyard ponds is the fact that there’s no circulation system of any kind – no pump to keep the water moving, no skimmer or filter to help keep it clean.  That fact puts quite a burden on the frog-pond designer to make certain the water will be safe for tadpoles and attractive to the

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An Eye on Aesthetics

11-19 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

The fact that frog ponds are so shallow offers the pond installer some special challenges with respect to making them look completely natural.

As you’ll see in the video linked below, there’s an obvious temptation to take the easy way out by lining the edge with rocks of similarly large sizes and settling for the dreaded “string of pearls” look, where stones hang out like some sort of lumpy

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The Making of a Frog Pond

11-5 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

There are many kinds of swimming pools and spas out there, and maybe even more specialized types of fountains.  So it shouldn’t come as surprise that there’s also plenty of variety when it comes to ponds.  From huge agricultural retention basins to the smallest birdbaths and everything in between, the broad spectrum

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Making Amends

9-24 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Competence is a wonderful thing – and that was exactly the problem with the pond we were called in to replace:  The original installers had none, and kept on demonstrating their utter lack of it all through the six or seven weeks they were on the job site.

Happily, competence is something my own crew has in abundance, and in two days we not only got rid of the mess our predecessors left behind, but also installed a brand-new pond and turned a shabby mess into a

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The HazMat Pond

9-10 triplett artBy Eric Triplett

This is a case where the client said it best:  In describing his backyard pond as “a HazMat spill,” he put it more bluntly and succinctly than I ever would or could have.  And he was right:  The little pond was a complete, total, unholy mess.

For starters, the waterfall and skimmer had been placed within inches of each other in a hard-to-access corner, thereby obliterating

Read more: The HazMat Pond

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A Wild Retreat

When Mother Nature wipes the slate clean with a hurricane, says Raymond Jungles, it's possible to rework everything about a site.  Having fantastic rock, great plants and a sharp elevation change are great ways to start.  (Photo:  Amanda Jungles Photography)
When Mother Nature wipes the slate clean with a hurricane, says Raymond Jungles, it's possible to rework everything about a site. Having fantastic rock, great plants and a sharp elevation change are great ways to start. (Photo: Amanda Jungles Photography)
By Raymond Jungles

The untamed profusion of the South Florida landscape informed the design of this expressive garden.  Filled with native plants and deep, inviting waters, it’s a haven for abundant local wildlife as well as a luxurious retreat for the homeowners and a haven for their pet pig.

Set on a historic road in a protected-wildlife area of Coral Gables, Fla., the property had been a mango and avocado grove until Hurricane Andrew changed everything in 1992.  The home, fortunately,

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Recent comments

  • Nice article to read. Really good to know about Raymond Jungles and their key passion for landscape architecture.
  • Guest - john mccredie

    Hello Raymond, I receive the Watershapes information and saw your work. The photos capture one aspect and your words another. For you to advocate for natures dance with the hand of man as her partner provides me with a deep joy. A sense of meaning and purpose for us here. In the world but not of it....
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It's a Wrap!

6-11 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

It’s with mixed emotions that I bring this long series of videos to a conclusion:  It’s been fun sharing what I know about all of the steps of the pond-installation process with you, and it’s been gratifying to get comments from some of you along the way.  But all good things must come to an end, and that’s what happens with this video.

One technical point before I

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Developing an Edge

5-21 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

As I mention at the start of this video, setting the edges is just about my favorite part of the pond-installation process.  As is true with juggling and placing big rocks, there’s an art to getting things just right and making the setting look as natural as possible – that is, as though the pond not only belongs there but has also been there for uncounted years..

As the video discusses, there are

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