Gearing Up
'As winter draws to a close here in the northeast,' wrote Bruce Zaretsky to start his May 2009 On the Level column, 'we begin preparing in earnest to deal with the inevitable springtime rush.  There are contracts to sign, materials to order, plants to grow, schedules to set and hires (if any) to be made.  And we do all of this knowing that, once the weather breaks, we want to burst out of the gate like an odds-on favorite at the Kentucky Derby. 'To make this happen,' he continued, 'we
Neat and Clean
‘Perception is reality,’ observed Brian Van Bower at the head of his Aqua Culture column for August 2003.  ‘Regardless of whether that’s right or wrong, you are judged by appearances.’   ‘If your own appearances mean ugly-looking vehicles, sloppy-looking employees, shabby offices and job sites that look like disaster areas, you will inevitably be judged with that image by the clients who have hired you and by anyone else exposed to
2017/4.2, April 19 — Sustainable Persuasion, Formal Pondscape, Island Memories and more
Ponds and Ice
Ponds in winter are uniquely charming.  Where they teem with life and activity through the spring, summer and fall, they slow down when the weather gets cold - but never so much so that they lose their ability to surprise and delight. It's the seasonal changes that bring a welcome sense of drama to these settings when the days are cold and short:  Super-clear one morning, snow-covered or crazed with ice the next, in winter these watershapes offer up daily levels of textured, luminous variety that I see as
Precious Cargo
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
Wanted: Water Artists
'The way I see it,' wrote Brian Van Bower to start his Aqua Culture column in August 2000, 'we watershapers can look at ourselves in one of two ways:  as diggers of holes in the ground that hold water, or as artists working with one of the most exciting mediums on the planet.  For a lot of reasons, I like the second of those options, because the first is passive - the sole goal being to contain the water - while the second gets me more
Froggy Paradise
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