Choosing just five winners from the 66 quality entries we received almost seemed unfair. Our judges remarked how blown away they were by this year’s tight competition, and we on the editorial staff have to agree. Our winners clearly deserve the accolades, but in each category, there was at least a handful of other projects that could have been declared winners in their own right.
The runners-up in each category are listed on the following pages along with a sneak peek at their projects. When it comes to showcasing the pond and water-garden industry’s “best of the best,” it’s becoming increasingly clear year after year that the Water Artisans of the Year sets the industry benchmark.
Are you inspired yet? Start saving your notes and photos of your most jaw-dropping projects, because we will start accepting entries for the 2019 contest early this fall. Do you have what it takes to be a Water Artisan of the Year?
We’d like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s contest and their financial contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We at POND Trade are proud to support such a talented field of professionals.
Runner Up — Under 15k | Ryan Hunting, Big Boulder Pond Company
Bunting and his client go way back, so he enjoyed full creative license on this project. He and his team braved the July heat to build this 20-by-11 pond with two streams that each lead to two distinct waterfalls. The project was crafted with the enjoyment of both humans and dogs in mind. “We made sure that the dogs have their place for enjoyment — which is the whole pond — and that the humans got some love, too,” Bunting said. (Big Boulder Pond Company)
Runner Up — Best Hardscape Combination | Eric Arntson
If you follow the whimsy, winding pebble mosaic around the house and through the courtyard, you just might forget you’re in central Texas. With wine bottles incorporated into the courtyard walls, you’ll be compelled to enjoy a glass or two beside this alluring waterscape, which is crafted atop large boulders of weathered limestone. Arntson and Stonebridge are known in the region for their beautiful boulder work, and this portfolio standout is no exception. (Stonebridge Landscape)
Runner Up — Most Naturalistic | Weston Zimmerman
“They’ll literally get in it to relax,” Zimmerman says of his clients, who are smitten with this 50-foot pondless feature in their backyard. To their delight, the family can observe this feature from multiple angles, including from the kitchen window, the back patio and a smaller patio situated next to the bottom of the waterfalls. Constructed with weathered limestone boulders from the Ozarks, this timeless waterscape appears as though it could have existed just like this for decades. (Tussey Landscaping)
Runner Up — Best Pondless | Bob Wambach
Sometimes the projects that are most worth doing also happen to be the most difficult. Wambach and his team had to cope with budgetary, construction and materials-related challenges presented by the client in order to construct this residential-turned-commercial, sprawling water feature. Five drilled, weathered limestone boulders tower over the pondless feature, which comes to life with the help of 20 full-color lights, 250 tons of weathered limestone and 120 tons of river rock. (Proscapes LLC)
Runner Up — Best Waterfall | Landon Malave
In an elevated degree of difficulty, Malave and his team had to carefully work around all the recently completed landscaping to complete this 4 ½-foot waterfall. It feeds a 30-foot stream that leads into the main attraction, a 14-by-6 ½ waterfall with cascades at several different elevations. The 3-foot-deep, 20-by-18 pond at the bottom can be enjoyed from the patio, the deck and even the kitchen window in what Malave calls some of LCM Landscape & Design’s best work to date. (LCM Landscape & Design LLC)