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W: Water Feature

Waterscapes aren’t just for show: they can add quite a few benefits to a property and serve various purposes. “Clients often like the calming, soothing qualities of moving water; they can increase enjoyment of the space, drawing you into the garden and often muting outside noise and traffic,” says Sober. Waterscapes provide homeowners with a place to sit and relax, to reflect and unwind. Emotional and mental benefits intersect with potential environmental perks as well. Sober further explains, “If you have enough room for a pond, it has significant environmental benefits. When positioned properly, it can collect water and filter it, as well as create a home for a variety of flora and fauna. Ponds are relatively low maintenance and quite sustainable.  Additionally, the settled debris at the bottom can be used as fertilizer.” Gregory Lombardi Design has created ponds that are stocked with koi fish and ducks to create a wildlife getaway for the homeowners and to help manage algae in the pond. Some ponds have featured waterfalls that act as a natural filtration and aeration system. 

That duality extends in unexpected places when it comes to fountain or basin waterscapes. Like the waterfall in the koi pond, fountains act as natural white noise, blocking out traffic or neighborhood noise. While they don’t create an ecosystem the way ponds do, they can be sustainably created using recycled and salvaged materials. The water basin shown in the top photo, opposite page, was created using a single, solid block of salvaged granite. “We had fun working with the masons at R.P. Marzilli to help carve the depth and shape of the basin. Having a native piece of stone delivered on site gave a little more of an agrarian feel to the final project,” says Sober. Also pictured is a home on Nantucket, with three spouts pouring into a basin. The limestone basin came from an antique dealer and was repurposed for the water feature. “The idea for that, from a design standpoint, was to create an opposing texture for the more modern landscape and wall stone. It then has three bronze spouts that recycle the water back through. It has become the focal point for the family entranceway,” Sober reflects about this Nantucket property. 

Photo courtesy of Richard Mandelkorn

The beauty of waterscapes comes from their unique purposes and styles. “I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a particular trend in water feature style or design, but there is a trend towards sustainable design and materials. Many of the properties with water features are using it as an opportunity to collect water, filter it and create an amenity,” explains Sober. “Our clients are leaning towards smaller pieces as well, with a focus on locally sourced and salvaged materials for fountains and basins.” Whether you are looking for a small fountain accent or a backyard ecosystem, Gregory Lombardi Design can create a water feature that will enhance your landscape in more ways than one.

For more advice, tips and tricks, check out the rest of the alphabet here!

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