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

By Scott Cohen

12-5 cohen art--smallIn Part 1 of this article, we explored the nature and variety of the possible disagreements that can arise when couples really get down to the business of saying what they want in a backyard watershape or landscape project. (To see that item, click here.) These conflicts can be

201005DP0By Dave Peterson

During the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching hydraulics to watershapers in a variety of classroom settings.  It’s been exciting, believe me, particularly because of the eagerness of the students and their hunger for good information.

These courses, which have been presented under the auspices of Genesis 3, ask a lot of the students who sign up for them.  Especially given the tight economy, I find it enormously encouraging that so many people are focused on spending the time and energy required to

By Brian Van Bower

15yearsago‘Whenever I’d call my mother on the phone when I was a kid,’ began Brian Van Bower in a column he wrote for WaterShapes’ January 2002 edition, ‘she’d start the conversation by asking me, “Are you smiling?” ’

At a time when the pressure is on businesses to perform with higher levels of client service and accommodation than ever before, that question might carry even more significance than it did when Brian first wrote about it. He continued:

‘Back then, I never gave her greeting too much thought because

By Randy Beard

8-22 beard art LPIn lining up this string of videos on dealing with and overcoming access and/or excavation issues, I thought after the last one that I’d run through most of the possibilities and could put down my video camera for a while.

But then I ran into a site that offered super-slim access (no more than a smallish wheelbarrow could get through) and awful, heavy soil that left me with a need for yet another get-it-done solution. My initial supposition had been that we’d need to

15yearsagoBy Brian Van Bower

‘Believe it or not,’ wrote Brian Van Bower in his Aqua Culture column for November/December 2002, ‘goals can guide almost everything we do, from how we schedule our time to how we establish our business and personal relationships or determine the things we

201005BVB0By Brian Van Bower

The great poet and philosopher John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island” – a wonderfully simple declaration that none of us is really alone and that we all exist in a world filled with others.

There are exceptions, of course, and I’ve run into my share of loners who resist the notion that we are all interdependent on some level.  But as I’ve moved through the world and have met people I perceive to be talented or successful in some way, it’s been my observation that they have substantial support systems of one sort or another.

That support may come from a spouse, a life partner, a live-in companion or a boy- or girlfriend.  Or it may come from

By Brian Van Bower

5-yrsIn his year-end column five years ago, Brian Van Bower began by addressing the need every businessperson has to step back periodically and evaluate ‘where you fit within your corner of the industry.’

‘To me,’ he continued, ‘understanding the Big Picture is a practical necessity, because failing to do so means I’m almost certain to miss opportunities and, just as bad, will not be prepared for conditions in the market that influence

By Scott Cohen

11-21 cohen art -- smallWhen couples get together to plan their backyards, sparks frequently fly. Once they really dig into the process and start defining their individual desires, they find all too often that their wish lists are actually worlds apart.

As an outdoor designer, I’ve worked with couples who’ve run into these sorts of vision-related snags at some point in the process, and it all boils down to

By Bruce Zaretsky10 year logo

Ten years ago, Bruce Zaretsky began his “On the Level” column with a question: ‘Have you ever turned down a client who really wanted to work with you and you alone?

‘It’s a hard thing to do,’ he wrote, ‘which is why most of us have found ourselves at one time or another saying “yes” despite the fact that we believe something the clients want simply cannot be done or, more important, that we’ve developed serious doubts about them. Just at that point where we really need to sit them down and tell them to go

By Stephanie Rose

15yearsago‘When it comes to business,’ observed Stephanie Rose in her October 2002 Natural Companions column in WaterShapes, ‘I know that being a soloist carries me only so far:  Rather, it’s the relationships I’ve established and maintained within the business community that have taken me beyond the

By Brian Van Bower 

Five years back, columnist Brian Van Bower wrote passionately about the opportunities he found in attending trade shows.  At that time, the industry was doing very, very well, and it’s likely his plea had a tough time finding receptive ears.  Is it possible that 

By Paolo Benedetti

12-7 benedetti picWhen people talk about pools these days and have something ambitious in mind, many of the conversations focus on vanishing edges, perimeter overflows, infinity edges, knife edges, wet decks, disappearing edges and whatever other terms one might use in describing water-in-transit effects.

In lots of these cases, if not most, these discussions are misdirected: Just because

 By Brian Van Bower

10-year logo‘For all the talk about the spectrum of watershaping – the existence of those who, on one extreme, pursue high-quality, truly custom projects and those on the other who live in a low-end, cookie-cutter realm – I must say that I’ve yet to run into anyone from the fringes of latter camp who’s stepped forward to