Garden spirit

Gardening thoughts and inspirations

Month: August, 2014

Relaxing with Waterscapes

When I was growing up I lived inside a park. My Dad was the manager of a fish hatchery located in the park that was situated right along a creek.  I did learn a lot about the life cycle of the salmon and their part of the creeks ecosystem. But of course, I also spent a lot of my time outside in and around the creek.

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Most of my summer days were spent playing in the creek – wading through the cool water, jumping on the rocks along the banks of the creek and searching for crayfish in the stiller waters. At the time, I knew I was lucky. I really enjoyed my time in nature and exploring the creek and its surroundings. Nature became a place that I could find fun and relaxation in and also a place that nurtured a spiritual connection in me.

It really effected me and what I have chosen to do in life. As a landscaper , I draw my inspiration from nature. I am always hoping to create gardens that work with nature, not against it. That fit into their surroundings and that become an outdoor space of relaxation and fun for people. Over the last few years I have expanded my landscaping to include water feature design and installations. To begin with I wasn’t sure why I was so drawn to water in the garden – really?…sometimes I am a bit slow!  Of course, I eventually made the connection – it had everything to do with my time as a boy playing in the creek. Now , I get to create naturally looking streams that take inspiration from that creek.

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 Stream design and installation by Rich Earth

Water features come in many forms – a pond, a stream, a fountain or gurgling stone. I enjoy designing and building natural waterscapes that are built with  stone and logs and surrounded with beautiful plants. Water features that attract wildlife like frogs, birds and dragonflies. The goal is to bring a calming piece of nature into peoples busy lives. Creating a space that allows the sounds of the water to relax you as you sit back and forget about the stressful day. Also, the educational aspects for children are endless with waterscapes in your back yard.

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                                   Waterfall and stream design and installation by Rich Earth

I have found a company that makes water feature products which shares the same love of water and nature as I do : Aquascape. Their founder, Greg Wittstock, began building ponds at the age of 12 to initially be a home for his turtles. He continued working on his turtle pond as a teenager – perfecting it as he went. When he finished college , he began building ponds for a living. His goal was to create natural looking water features that worked with mother nature to create naturally balanced ecosystems. Today , he has one of the largest water feature companies in the world – still creating beautiful, natural looking ponds and water features in peoples back yards and supplying landscapers like me with the products to do it too.

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Greg and Aquascape continue to grow and move forward into the 21st century. This September, a reality show called POND STARS, premiers on the Nat Geo Wild channel. It follows Greg and his company as they install water features across the USA. He is able to share his passion for water in the landscape and his passion for “ponds done right, customers served right.” It is exciting what he is doing for the water feature industry and to bring the idea of water into everyone’s home via this new reality show. As Greg always says : “Everyone wants a water feature – they just don’t know it yet!”

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Please check it out : POND STARS begins on Friday sept. 5th. Nat Geo Wild. Check your listings. To check out more about waterscapes by Rich Earth and the POND STARS show go to my website:

www.richearthgardenservice.com

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hot, hot, heat!

It has been a long,  dry summer on the west coast this year.  There were quite a few scorchers. Even though it has cooled down a bit, we are still well below average for rainfall amounts since June 1st (according to the weather network).

This kind of weather can be tough for our gardens to handle. Deep watering, mulching, and the right plants in the right places are a few rules to help. It is possible to have a great looking garden thru a hot summer.

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Ornamental grasses like the above fountain grass ‘karly rose’ , just thrive in the summer heat.

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This dwarf fountain grass ‘hameln’ looks good in pots too. There are many perennials that will actually enjoy a lack of water – crazy plants! -and grow even better.

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The electric blue of this sea holly really brightens up a garden. So, enjoy the dog days of summer. Find places to add some plants that will add some summer interest to your garden, but won’t put more demand on our precious water resources.

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