Designing and building a water feature requires technical expertise, an eye for design, and years of experience. In many ways it’s akin to architecture because it lies at the crossroads of art, math, environmental science, and moving boulders. And because of that, we provide a licensed Landscape Architect, a Certified Aquascape Contractor, and a crew that will move boulders like popcorn—all working to create your perfect pond.
Tell us how you envision your water feature and we’ll design and build it for you. We can help you decide how best to blend your pond with the rest of your landscape. We can advise you on which plants, fish, and stone are best for your pond and we can suggest ideas for impactful lighting.
If you are considering a new water feature, we would come onsite to:
- Examine the layout of your space and the natural grading of your terrain.
- Advise you on the best location for your pond in terms of viewing areas and blending with the rest of the landscape.
- Evaluate draining options for servicing and power supply requirements.
- Calculate evaporation rates, elevation change, and water volume
- Recommend pump options, stream length, materials, etc.
- Advise what combination of stones would look natural. In our region, for example, designs mixing Delaware River Stone with Pennsylvania or Shenandoah Mountain Stone look great while reddish slates typical for the southwest look out of place (and yet, many use them).
- Prepare a detailed proposal for you.
We work exclusively with Aquascape premium pond products and use regional stone variety. We take pride in the quality and aesthetics of our work. Upon completion of the project most clients share that their pond looks better than how they envisioned it. At the end of the day, your pond is our best asset — most of our new orders are from neighbors or friends who were awed by your pond.
Generalized pond design scheme with most common components, including liner, skimmer, filter and pump.
A typical ecosystem pond varies in size from 4 x 6 feet to 30+ feet in each dimension. It has one or more shelves gradually increasing in depth up to 36 inches. Each pond has a few mandatory components:
- A pump skimmer with mechanical filtration
- Biofalls® (waterfall) box with filter media
- Liner and underlayment
- Dry stack masonry with natural stone
To fully complete your pond there are a few more highly recommended features:
- Pond lighting
- Installing an IonGen system (to prevent string algae)
- Building fish caves of natural stone to provide protection for your fish from herons and hawks
- Automatic dosing system
- Autofill valve
While a waterfall is always a part of the pond design, adding a stream to the water feature brings it to a whole new level. In many cases the stream can be the main focal point of the design. It is also the preferred bird-bath location and brings you the bubbling sound of running water.
Pondless streams and waterfalls are constructed using a hidden holding tank and a perfect complement to rainwater harvesting systems.
Pondless Water Features
Pondless water features are becoming increasingly popular in our region. They require less space, are typically less expensive to design and build, and deliver the sound and sight of water with very little maintenance. Because pondless water features are so low maintenance, they are the perfect solution for people who want to enjoy the sight and sound of water, but do not want the upkeep associated with a pond. Pondless waterfalls are also the perfect complement to rainwater harvesting systems. Any rainwater harvesting system reservoir can have a pondless water feature installed on top of it. This is a popular combination in our region where many people care about preventing storm water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.
A pondless water feature may be a stream, a waterfall, an artful arrangement of basalt columns or large urns, or any combination thereof. There’s plenty of room for creativity when it comes to pondless water features!
Pondless waterfalls are, in essence, waterfalls that vanish into the ground or flow into a stream that vanishes into the ground. We achieve that vanishing water “magic” by digging and lining a hole that we then cover with special extra-strong, non-toxic plastic cages called Aquablox®, as well as rock & gravel. Aquablox® retain the walls of the hole so that water can collect and then be returned by a pump back to the top of the waterfall through hidden piping. Pondless waterfalls can be at any time converted into a complete water garden with a pond.
Streams & Waterfalls
Streams and waterfalls are great complement to any pond from both aesthetic and ecosystem point of view. They add visual and sound appeal to any outdoor space and also deliver plenty of oxygen to fish and plants in the pond. Streams and waterfalls construction require experience, good craftsmanship and an eye for design. Adding a stream between the waterfall and the pond costs $100 per linear foot.
When building streams and waterfalls we consider many things:
- How long is the stream?
- Can you see the stream or waterfall from your home or patio?
- What’s the point of building a stream or a waterfall in the part of the property that nobody sees most of the time?
- Does it run under trees or not? Will it be evaporating too much water if too long and exposed directly to the sun?
- What’s the elevation change? Different pumps are used for different purposes, e.g. overcoming elevation, high gallon volume per minute or both.
- What combination of stones will look natural in our area? For example, designs interweaving Delaware River Stone and Pennsylvania Mountain Stone look great while reddish slates typical for the southwest look out of place (and yet, many use them).
- Will lighting be used in the stream? If you like to spend summer evenings in you backyard the ambient, deflected light in streams and behind waterfalls creates cozy, upscale atmosphere you usually find in five star resorts.