The Clarity Class
It only stands to reason that you can’t have a watershape without the water, but I sometimes wonder just how much watershapers really know about the chemical compound that stands at the core of their endeavors.
We’ve all heard voices extolling the aesthetic, health and even spiritual virtues of water, and we certainly all understand that water is essential to life on this planet as well as its geology and natural history. We might even know that water covers about three-fifths of the earth’s surface, is a worthy component of cocktail hours and picnics and can be used to generate electricity. We also might follow speculations that, someday, water may be just the thing to propel our automobiles down the road.
We may know all those big, important points about H2O, but for all of that popular intelligence, what do most of us really know about its physical properties and chemistry? Do most of us really understand what makes water tick?
For a long time now, I’ve gotten the sense that most professionals in the watershaping trades believe that the maintenance of the water that fills their products is a matter best left to service technicians or homeowners who come on the scene after they’ve taken the last project payment and have said their farewells.
But when you stop to consider the ways in which water can affect the materials used to construct any given watershape and its equipment – not to mention the impression that the water and its quality make on those who will be spending their time in it and around it – then it’s clear that water chemistry should really be a major concern for everyone in this business. It’s not just an issue for service technicians, but for everyone in the industry.
In this issue, chemistry expert/long-time watershaper Jeff Freeman launches a new series of articles that will delve into the often sublime and (at times) confusing subject of water chemistry.
This time (click here), Freeman not only tackles the overall scope of concerns related to water chemistry, but also argues forcefully that designers, engineers and builders should sit up and take notice. In doing so, he comes at the information from an entirely fresh perspective, and I urge you to approach it with similarly open eyes and open minds.
In this issue as well (click here), you’ll find a pictorial of uncommon beauty from master watergardener Eamonn Hughes.
For some time now, I’ve ranked him on a very short list of practitioners who manage to achieve results that are virtually indistinguishable from nature. Although far too modest a gent to put it in such terms, Hughes is generous enough to explain in some detail how close attention to the patterns seen in nature can pay off with respect to achieving naturalistic results.
Even if watergardening isn’t your line, Hughes’ work is well worth several looks if for no other reason than it dramatically demonstrates just how beautiful ponds, cascades, waterfalls and streams can be when the work is approached with sensitivity, know-how and a bold creative vision.
To my eyes, watershaping doesn’t get much better than this.