planting pockets

Pocket Change
To make a pond or stream successfully "natural," the designer and installer must know what it takes to produce a convincing illusion that the end product is actually a naturally occurring body of water.   It's no secret in the trade that this illusion is made or broken at the edges, where the physical boundaries between waterway and the hardscape and plantings must be both precisely controlled and completely concealed.  Necklaces of stone won't cut it, nor will waterlines sharply defined by lines of terrestrial plants.  In fact, the challenge here is to make visually linear boundaries disappear, and that's a tall order for even the best pond/stream designers and builders.   In my own projects, I work almost every day in tweaking and refining my approaches to these margins and edge treatments, and I've come up with many ways to enhance the natural appearance of my ponds and streams.  In recent years, I've been honing a technique for landscaping in and around the water that's given my work an entirely new dimension:  It's a type of planting container I call a "dirt pocket" - a simple structure that lets me plant a broad range of non-aquatic plants directly in contact with