Spatial Emotions
Designing spaces for human use -- especially those of the recreational variety -- starts by understanding that the primary goal is to generate a positive emotional response, regardless of style, the size of the property or the client’s budget. That’s why Mike Farley considers the ways that different spatial configurations make his clients feel. ...
Frank Wall Offers Forming System
Frank Wall Enterprises (Columbus MS) makes AquaForms, an aluminum forming system designed for vinyl liner…
A Perfect Coda
The conclusion of the pond installation process offers moments to create lasting client impressions. As Dave Garton points in this final entry in his series on client relations, it's a critical juncture where all of the physical work and management of expectations come together.  
Perfecting the Look
This was a project that might easily have run off the rails. First, the glass tile selected by the interior designer wasn't appropriate for pool applications. It might have been lovely as a backsplash in an interior kitchen or bathroom, but it came with no solid information about its source or pedigree that would have made it a wise choice for use in a critical outdoor application. Second, the tile was rectangular and, at one-and-a-quarter by five inches, was too big for its intended use as an all-tile finish for a complex pool and spa - particularly given
Wilma’s Baubles
Pond installation offers lots of opportunities for straying off the naturalistic path, but to me, there's no more problematic detour than the unfortunate "string-of-pearls" effect. When this happens, the edge of a pond looks more like Wilma Flintstone's rocky necklace than it does like the banks of a natural body of water. And it's a double shame, because the installer went to all the trouble of sourcing and placing natural material - but ended up with completely unnatural results. I've seen too many of these nightmare ponds through the years. Some are the result of a do-it-yourselfer's lack of awareness. It also happens with
Hard-Won Wisdom
I retired a while back after working for more than 20 years as a pond designer and installer. The result of that change in life is that I'm busier than ever. I still hear, for instance, from old clients who want me to come back to modify or expand an existing pond/stream/waterfall system. Those requests, often from people who have become good friends through the years, are hard to resist. More often, however, I'm being asked to teach. I'm frequently approached by
Gravel’s Virtues
Puzzled by its bad reputation among some of his clients, Mike Gannon began doing research on gravel. He'd always believed in its value, he says, but found a rich history that now aids in him on occasions when he needs to talk his clients through their moments of doubt.    
Blue Thumb Offers Pond-less Waterfall Kit
Blue Thumb (Saginaw, MI) assembles the Elite X-Large 40″ Cascading Falls Kit for pond-less waterfalls.…
Creative Spirits
This project came my way as a lot of them have through the years: A landscape contractor had been tasked with organizing things on a large estate property and called me in to work with the homeowners on the pond they wanted. During our first meeting on site, I took an immediate liking to the couple, and she in particular had bountiful ideas about what she wanted. As we walked the estate together that day, she pointed toward the boggy depression at the edge of the property where we'd be placing the pond - quite close to a community bridle path - and said she wanted
TigerDeck Offers Hardwood Decking
TigerDeck (Portland, OR) manufactures strong, durable decking systems made with Tigerwood. Available in a variety…