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Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

As reported in my July 11 blog, I’ve recently spent the best part of four weeks flat in bed, nursing my way through epic lower-back spasms that at one point sent me to the emergency room. I am delighted to report that I am mostly recovered and am spending more time at my desk each day. I am confident that the articles you’ll find in our next newsletter on August 8 will be anything but recycled!

Last time, I compiled a selection of past articles that ranked at the very top of the clicks we’ve received since we went all-digital several years back. This time, I’ve selected six additional past articles – none of which have drawn epic counts of clicks but all of which, in my humble opinion, deserve much more attention than they’ve received to date.

The list includes some exceptional articles from the magazine days as well as one from the newsletter era, including:

q  'Eastern Eclectic,’ an article from 2008 in which Ben Dozier describes the five-year process of turning a spacious backyard into a sequence of gloriously appointed outdoor rooms that reflect French and Asian roots via inspired use of garden statuary, pottery, plants, trees and hardscape details – not to mention an abundance of water.

q  'Graceful Cascades,’ a 2006 feature in which Steve Sandalis reports on a project in which he turned 1,000 tons of stone, an immense liner and countless plants into a composition so achingly romantic that it changed the owner’s ideas about how he would use the property.

q  'Living Art,’ a 2004 article in which pioneering artificial rock artist Philip diGiacomo and Mark Holden describe how far beyond basic aesthetic considerations one needs to reach if the ambition is to produce compositions in faux stone that truly speak to the hearts and minds of those who observe them.

q  'Healthful Waters,’ where Aviram Müller discussed, back in 2009, his conviction that watershaping’s future is intertwined with environmental consciousness. It’s a combination, he suggests, that seamlessly integrates water into built spaces in ways that spread benefits to clients, cities, owners, observers and anyone else lucky enough to enjoy the setting.

q  'Simply Fascinating,’ a Travelogues I wrote in 2012 – this one about the Fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Just thinking about the space brings a smile to my face: It’s the perfect combination of power, beauty, grace, elegance and drama – with an occasional waft of cooling spray that’s often welcome amid the desert heat.

q  'Delicate Dynamics,’ one of David Tisherman’s Details columns from back in 2002 in which he amped us his campaign to call forth new creativity among watershape designers – this time by going into great detail about the potential mere spillways have to create emotional bonds between clients and their watershapes.

As was true last time, we’ve rounded out the historic content with brand-new items in The Shopping Cart and the WaterShapes Web Café as well as a new WaterShapes Professional Network Update.

My doctor has finally given me clearance to get back to work full time. I’m still a bit sore and balky and my back gets tired on me at the slighest provocation, but I’m back in the groove and the newsletter will be back in its usual splendid form next time. Can’t wait!

PS: Thanks to those of you who’ve wished me a safe, speedy recovery – and sympathies to those of you who’ve shared your own tales of lower-back-induced woe. I’ve appreciated the thoughtfulness, believe me!

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