Sculpting Edges
When we think about the challenge of literally "shaping" a body of water, we must start by thinking about edges.   The edge is the pond's DNA or blueprint.  It tells us almost everything about the pond.  Without being able to observe the edge, you can't discern whether it's a formal pond, lake or a sewage-treatment facility.  It might be a beautiful water feature or an eyesore.  The edges form our reference in defining the whole setting and are consequently of the utmost importance. We find this defining-edge concept at work in nature's own beaches, riverbanks and lakeshores, and it is a one that extends right through the heart of watergardening and all types of watershaping, whether architectural or naturalistic (or, as I commonly classify them, formal or informal).  No matter the focus or intent of our designs, we must always consider what will be happening at the water's edge.  This is the part that demands the most thought, skill, care and expenditure. The subject of edges is so massive that it will be considered here and in articles to come.  For purposes of this discussion, we'll limit our look to the use of edges in informal pond settings and situations in which we are attempting to create the impression that the body of water in question was originally