I’m so glad I’m not a judge this year! Granted, the Supreme Stream Court does all the judging for our Water Artisans of the Year contests, and then I process all the entries. But still — I wouldn’t want to have to make those decisions, especially this year (our largest contest to date). You guys (and gals!) out there are tremendously talented. Touche!
>> Have you seen the 2021 Winners and Runners-Up pond builds and water features?
That’s right, I said “gals.” We were so pleased to have our first female finalist this year, April Dugan of American Waterscapes. Her breathtaking waterfall build came in as the runner-up in the Most Naturalistic category. Congrats to April, and we hope her accolades will inspire a whole new wave of contest entrants in the years to come. I love to see it!
Our newest category, Rock Artisans, was also a huge hit, racking up more submissions than both of our staple categories, Best Pondless and Best Under $15k. We left it up to artistic interpretation, and a lot of you literally moved land and sea to come up with your creative concepts. We salute you and your larger-than-life endeavors, and I know our readers will too.
Our artisans aren’t the only thing rocking it in this mega-issue, we jump in the work truck with Steve Sandalis and ride through the Sierra Nevadas for a special mountaintop pond build unlike any other (“A Pond Away From Home”). There’s nothing easy about building a large-scale waterscape so far from your home base, but with a lot of talent and a little bit of local luck, the end result was breathtaking. I love it when things fall into place!
Kelly Billing is also back with tips for choosing the right aquatic plants for the water garden. The key to successfully keeping aquatic plants is knowing your environment and which types of plants can thrive in it. This information hasn’t always been readily available, but thanks to modern technology and Kelly’s guidance, the future has never been brighter for water gardens in all zones.