This garden has a pond that appears to extend under a low deck. There will also be an overflowing urn fountain about 25 feet from the pond. The water will flow over the rim of the urn and disappear into a hidden reservoir under the container. We wanted to visually connect the urn fountain with the small garden pond as well as solve a drainage problem.
The solution was to build a dry stream bed using the same stones we used in the pond and around the urn. The dry stream gives an illusion of flowing water and in the imagination and mind of the garden visitors, the urn is a perpetually flowing source of clear fresh water for the pond.
In order to fool the eye and create as natural-looking a stream bed as possible, I took my inspiration from the way bedrock, boulders and cobbles come to rest in a mountain stream. Too many times when folks attempt to create a dry stream bed in their landscaping it results in something that looks really unnatural -- or worse. The tendency people have is to dig a swale or channel; line the edges with large rocks and fill the center with smaller river rock. That isn't the way river dynamics form streams in nature!
In the center of the above poster, you can see the rough sketch I started with before this garden was started. Fortunately I was able to stay involved in the construction process to make sure the final results matched what was in my head.
- Looking to Nature for Inspiration
- Lawrence Halprin, master of seeing garden/landscape forms in nature
- Reflecting Nature: Garden Designs from Wild Landscapes
- Through Nature's Eyes: the look of a low-maintenance landscape
- Using Plants to Soften Rocks, from the Journal of Japanese Gardening
Above, more pix from this garden installation. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version, and from there, you can see the entire album. Enjoy!