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

5-23 Beard artBy Randy Beard

In the last video I offered here, we were working on a site with access so limited that only mini-Bobcats were able to negotiate the passageway from the backyard to the street.

That space was positively luxurious compared to the one highlighted in my

10-year logoBy Brian Van Bower

‘One of the fascinating things about working with the different types of clients we encounter as watershapers,’ wrote Brian Van Bower in his July 2007 Aqua Culture column in WaterShapes, ‘is that we can never really know what to expect.

‘If my years of experience have taught me anything,’ he added, ‘it’s that perception is often very different

5-9 beard art copyBy Randy Beard

For a long time now, I’ve specialized in working with upscale clients along the coast of Orange County, Calif., a place where access is often restricted and where construction can honestly be described as challenging – lots of hilltop work above steep, fragile slopes.

My history

201007DT0By David Tisherman

Welcome to the first installment of “References,” an occasional feature that highlights professionals who contribute to the watershaping process.  I (and eventually some others) will be using this space to identify people who have had a significant effect on my work – and to suggest how similar associations might be helpful to other watershapers.

This time around, I’ll deal with something that has always been dear to my heart: 

10-year logoBy David Tisherman

‘I know many of you absolutely dread the permitting process and are even more bothered by inspectors and the inspection process,’ observed David Tisherman near the top of his May 2007 Details column. ‘While this anxiety may be common, it’s nonetheless misguided.

‘Yes,’ he continued, ‘the nitpicking requirements applied in some areas seem unnecessary and, yes, some inspectors can be

10 year logoBy Bruce Zaretsky

‘It seems that everyone’s talking about “sustainability” these days, with the usual thought being that, as exterior designers, good environmental stewardship must be one of our main missions.’

That’s the way Bruce Zaretsky opened his On the Level column five years ago before asking a string of key questions:  ‘But what is sustainability?  What do watershapers need to do to encompass this philosophy?  As important, what does it mean to our clients, and where are

10-year logoBy Stephanie Rose

‘With spring upon us,’ began Stephanie Rose’s column in May 2007, ‘calendars of local events are filling up with garden tours of all shapes and sizes. From large estate tours and special events at botanical gardens to tours of wonderful neighborhoods staged by local garden clubs, there’s much to be seen while wandering through

By Lyle Lavietes

LyleLavietesPhotoIn the “My Perspective” piece I wrote for WaterShapes EXTRA! last May, I shared my thoughts about the universal nature of water and how our relationship to it binds watershapers from all specialties — pools, ponds, waterfalls and all the rest.

Along the way, I made the point that water, in all of its perceived abundance, is too often

5-yrsBy Mark Holden

‘Why isn’t the appropriate use of water a defining, central component in the education of landscape architects?’

That’s how Mark Holden began a series of articles called “Future Class” in the March 2007 edition of WaterShapes. He continued: ‘That question has rattled around in my head for a long, long time, basically because it has no adequate or satisfactory

201007BZ0.jpgBy Bruce Zaretsky

If you ask my employees and manage to get an unguarded response, they’ll tell you that I’m an unrelenting pain in the neck – a real tyrant.  That’s because I’m always asking nagging sorts of questions such as, “Why isn’t this project finished yet?” or “How much longer is this going to take?” or “Can you speed things up?”

My point in asking, of course, is to let them know on some level that if I were on site and was responsible for what was happening, we’d already be

By Randy Beard

10-24 beard video artThrough the years, I’ve had the good fortune to work on a wide range of difficult sites and been forced to familiarize myself with all of the technologies and techniques that go into making these projects work.

The two videos linked below offer a case in point: We were called in to build a pool at the base of an oceanfront lot rising

15yearsagoBy Brian Van Bower

‘As you spend your days creating structures that contain and control water,’ wrote Brian Van Bower to open his January 2003 Aqua Culture column, ‘it’s easy to lose sight of the water itself.  Yes, we’re conscious of the fact that we have to filter, treat and sometimes heat it, but in its role as the defining feature in our products, water is so familiar a participant that in some ways it almost becomes invisible.’

‘I’d like to heighten our general awareness by

10 year logoBy David Tisherman

‘Not long ago, I was asked by a reporter from The New York Times to define the main difference between swimming pools now compared to what they were 20 years ago. As we talked,’ wrote David Tisherman in his Details column for the December 2007 edition of WaterShapes, ‘it became clear that she was mostly thinking about technological breakthroughs in pumps and chemical treatments and the like.

‘I confirmed for her that, yes, those products had come a long way. But I wouldn’t let her stop there, suggesting that there was much more than