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  • Writer's pictureTom Cavan


Is there any element you can add to your landscape more tranquil, more captivating then the element: water? ......., sound, motion, reflection, depth of perception and more importantly natural beauty. Not all of us are previlaged to have a river run through our property but with a little planning you can have the experience.

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Every time I encounter any water feature in nature, whether it be oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, marsh and my favourite "water falls" I am captivated and drawn closer, I am mesmerized by shear existance, its power to navigate through rock and soil, reflect anything surrounding and by all measures super relaxing to me.

Think about coming home after a stressful busy day and stepping into the backyard with your favourite cocktail (optional) and be greeted by a water feature.

Photo credit: Stellarlandscapes

You will be instantly transported away from the world you just left to a ringside seat with Mother Nature.

And before the lights go out you get one more glimpse and you cannot wait to go back for more. NO matter how small or large, the results are addicting.

Small Pond and Waterfall: Stellarlandscapes

Imagine looking out the kitchen window and seeing this inground hot tub.

Photo/Design/Install: Stellarlandscapes

Then flip the switch and you are in a waterfall and whirlpool delight ahhh...

Even the dogs can enjoy lifes little pleasures. There was an uncontrolable spring leaking onto the property so I designed and created this grotto where fresh water runs through (the overflow goes down to the pond with a simple field drainage tile.

As it turns out the client enjoys dipping their feet in the cool watering with their favourite cocktails! Seating for 12 anyone?

Waterfalls into pools has become very popular, but rarely intended for human interaction, how about taking a walk up the steps, sitting on a bridge (cocktail in safety cups optional) and dipping your feet in the falls, then hop around on natural stones and jump in for a swim (WARNING NOTICE limit one cocktail prior to jumping in). All the rockery used for water features should be granite as all other types of natural stone will not survive Mother Nature's wrath.

To all my clients over the years that have allowed me creative license to implement water features into their landscapes and all have their own unique purposeful setting, I thank you....but alas her are my favourites.

Multi-level falls to immitate (biomimicry) a nearby waterfalls on the Credit River.

Award Winning Design/Install: Stellarlandscapes

All stone was collected from the property (defunct quarry) no dissruption to the enviroment at hand, just hunting and gathering.

Each ledge was stacked by hand.

Pump and filtration system hidden in lower pond, surrounded by lush plantings of native ferns and the ever reliable hosta troops.

Massive stone bridge cantileevers over upper main pond (10,000 gallons) yes the stone was lying in the forest waiting to be of service and yes we used a crane to extract without tearing up the forest floor then place them on large boulders hidden below.

When you arrive and walk into the house you cannot help but and stop and say WOW! every time. This project won an Award of Excellence with Landscape Ontario in 2008 as best Water Feature.

And for my most recent opportunity to imagine without restraint...and bonus, work with my son, check this out:

Main patio made from XL flagstone, garnite raised firepit and upper level waterfall.

Upper level waterfall #1 with a protruding stone weir amplifies the sound of water.

Take a walk beside nature. Large natural stone steps with landings take the stress out of the the journey and you cannot help but stop and admire. *Note the contrasting colour of steps for easy ID.

With every step you take, you are transported into a state of awe walking back up you hear and feel the rush of the stream and 2nd waterfalls.

Down to the lower pond enhanced with the 3rd waterfall, and detailed flagstone sitting area all surrounded with family groupings of colourful plantings to get away from it all. I cannot wait to see this landscape evolve!!

And at night, spell-bounding, walk on XL flagstone, barefoot or heels no matter as its made for all walks of life.

Custom cut granite raised fire pit... where's the marshmallows?

With subtle moon lighting it continues on, Enjoy ahhhh....

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