For many there is nothing more relaxing than the sound of water in their garden. For centuries they were the preserve of grand stately homes and given the complexity and scale of some of these water features it’s hard to believe that they were created using no machinery and primitive surveying techniques and equipment.
In more recent times many clients have opted for natural looking waterfalls and streams with dramatic waterfalls and crystal clear pools. If the space, budget and topography allows there is little doubt that one of these water features can become a jaw-dropping garden feature.
Ironically, with the swing to more contemporary property design a new generation of formal ponds and long rills have emerged. Using modern construction materials (as well as more traditional ones) these can also be simply stunning
My interest in water features was really ignited when I was in charge of constructing a Chelsea Flower Show garden. It was back in 1992 and I was a student at Merrist Wood College. Our garden contained a long winding stream leading to a small pool at the front. The feature was created using Purbeck stone and I recall spending a full day in Dorset with my ‘foreman’ David Dodd (who now runs the multi award-winning landscaping business The Outdoor Room in west Sussex) carefully choosing and marking each boulder that was to eventually make up the waterfall.
Next to our garden was a brusque Lancastrian called Douglas Knight. A Chelsea veteran, he’d made his bones and his reputation on creating spectacular water gardens which were often sold at the show and then recreated at the purchasers property afterwards. His ‘garden’ was really just a series of waterfalls and a pool on a truly grand scale and it looked fantastic.
I was intrigued to see how Douglas put his gardens together and how he got such a great natural ‘look’ to them using the stone natural strata and disguising the edges so successfully. It was inspiring and I followed his basic formulae from then onward.
Douglas Knight is still plying his trade in the north and several others like Martin Kelly and Paul Dyer have since followed in his wake to become well-established water garden specialists.
The Gardenmakers create fabulous water features!
Many landscapers shy away from water features – and often this is a wise decision. Creating even simple pools can be more complicated than you might think. To look and function properly they need to be built with great care and as much work will go into the unseen elements as it does into the bits you can see.
At the Gardenmakers we’ve always had somebody on board who knows exactly what they’re doing and using decades of experience we can put together water features that look terrific and function smoothly.
These days our water garden specialist is Tom Bradley and Toms skills are a fabulous asset to the business. His flair and knowledge, particularly in creating natural waterfalls and pools, gives a genuinely unique selling point to our business.