By Eric Herman
There was a time not long ago when the thought processes of swimming pool and spa designers and contractors stopped at the edge of the deck – or even at the coping in some cases – while the area beyond was strictly the domain of landscape architects, designers and contractors. The result was often a pool or spa that looked like it was part of one yard and landscaping that seemed to be part of another.
As professionals in both trades have looked at ways to improve and expand what they do for a living, forward-thinking members of the pool and the landscape design communities have come to the very same conclusion: Reaching across the bond beam and integrating water-containing hardscape with traditional landscape-design elements enables every practitioner to better serve the needs and desires of an increasingly demanding clientele.
I’d go so far as to say that the traditional landscaping and traditional pool-building trades are now on convergent paths. Both work on the same backyards and commercial properties, both require a clear vision of customer desires, and both strive for the integration of multiplicities of visual and functional elements. That’s why, from the beginning of our work here at WaterShapes, we’ve brought the work of these two trades together under one banner.
It just makes sense for landscape professionals to move beyond their perceived boundaries by encompassing vessel design, just as it makes sense for pool people to see their work as a part of an overall landscape design. True, experts from both trades may arrive at this common ground with different things in mind and skills at hand, but when it comes to making a client happy, the issues and challenges are virtually one and the same.
So here, and in every issue of WaterShapes, you’ll find articles and columns that utterly and completely blur the lines between the trades. We consciously illuminate a broad range of possibilities and do all we can not to pigeonhole activities or principles on one side of the line or the other. In our promotional material, we call WaterShapes “a new magazine for a new era” – and we take that slogan seriously.
Certainly, we have no desire to turn landscape professionals into pool builders or vice versa. Rather, we want to break down some walls and draw inspiration from both sides as we seek to broaden perspectives on principles of design and application. As I’ve mentioned previously, we’re creating a forum in which all can participate, share ideas, learn a new trick or two and, along the way, come to appreciate and understand that the two sides of the market are inseparably intertwined and really do operate on common ground.
We’ve added a new wrinkle to the postage-paid cards in the back of the magazine, placing a couple of blank lines on the lower right side that encourage you to give us your feedback on this and future issues of WaterShapes.
As we work to provide you with meaningful and innovative articles, you can help us immensely by letting us know what you think and what you’d like to see down the line. This is a forum, after all – and we thrive on your feedback!