The Trouble with Liners
'As modern building materials have been developed,' wrote Japanese garden specialist Douglas M. Roth in October 2003, 'we humans have been remarkably proficient at applying them in ways that go well beyond the vision of their inventors.  Such is the case with roofing membranes, which now are widely used as liners for backyard streams and ponds.   'It's understandable that landscape designers and contractors have taken to these rubber liners.  After all, they make pond and stream construction inexpensive and easy.  But from the perspective of the Japanese gardener or quality watershaper, convenience and affordability alone do not
The Dirt on Soil
Watershapers are still fairly easily divided into two groups, one with its origins in the landscape trades, the other hailing from the pool industry. For all the distinctions that might be drawn between them, however, watershapers of all stripes have one very important thing in common: We all work with the stuff we find under our feet on the job site - the stuff we generally call dirt or soil. Dirt is the more inclusive of the two terms, and unless the contractor is working with a tricky site or faces compaction issues, it is simply what is carted away or rearranged to make room for a watershape.  By contrast, soil is a blanket term covering