Runners-Up for the 2021 Water Artisans of the Year

Published on March 3, 2022

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Second place is far from defeat — instead, it’s tangible proof of greatness and a solid motivator for future success. Check out the 2021 Water Artisans of the Year runners-up in this year’s contest on the following pages.

POND Trade magazine is proud to host the independent, unsponsored Water Artisans of the Year contest on an annual basis. The objective of the event is to level the playing field for all contractors, regardless of company size or affiliation, and provide recognition for projects that raise the bar in pond construction. We’d like to send a huge thanks to all our judges who presided over this year’s contest. We couldn’t do it without you! We were also proud to donate $1,700 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital on behalf of some of the most elite talent in the pond and water garden industry.

Now in its sixth year, the Water Artisans of the Year contest has become a staple in the pond and water-gardening industry. As you peer down your 2022 project pipeline, ask yourself — do you have what it takes? Be sure to document and photograph your work, because the eligibility period has already begun. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us; we’ll start accepting entries this fall. Next thing you know, you could see your own artistry gracing these pages next year!


Most Naturalistic Runner-up for Most Naturalistic | April Dugan

April Dugan — the Pond Girl — and American Waterscapes builds a bucolic beauty! With picturesque views from the master suite, kitchen and outdoor living space, a majestic waterfall spanning 6 feet wide makes a shallow drop into a large pool. Two spillways guide the water as it winds its way through large, mossy granite boulders, driftwood and native plantings. The average spectator might logically ask themselves, which came first — the home or the waterfall?


Best Pondless Runner-up | Scott McIlwee

Scott McIlwee of BEE Landscaping wins a favorite category among consumers, Best Pondless. Nearly 24 tons of rock in various shapes and sizes comprise this beautifully landscaped outdoor space, which doubles as a play area for the neighborhood children. Two rushing pondless streams meander through the landscape, trickling by the small, irregular flagstone patios before emptying into two large pooling basins. Enjoyment often spills into the evening hours, thanks to a soothing outdoor lighting arrangement and smokeless fire pit.


Rock Artisans Runner-up | Bobby Kenyon

Bobby Kenyon of C.E. Pontz does it again, he won it 2019 — seems like a lifetime ago — for Best Pondless . Sons Summer 2021 saw a major renovation and upgrade for this existing pond, with a complete reconstruction of the top wetland area, an extreme redesign and buildout of the waterfall area, and the installation of a new fish cave. Rocks now completely define this feature, with multiple falls cascading down the hillside in what might be easily mistaken for a Midwestern mirage.


Fountains & Formal Features Runner-up | Heath Webb and Shane Hemphill

The heart of Downtown Denver never felt so peaceful with this install from Art of the Yard, LLC! A three-spire, polished basalt fountain chiseled from a single stone presides over a 7,500-gallon dedicated koi pond at the front entrance of this urban residence. A third feature — a two-ton, polished basalt stone fountain — marries formal with contemporary to round out this shockingly serene environment tucked within a cityscape.   


Runner-up Under $15K | Tim Wood

Aquatic Edge Consulting and Tim Wood create a backyard pond for homeowners looking to attract songbirds. This soothing pondless waterfall has purpose-designed, low-profile sightlines and streamlined landscaping to allow open, unobstructed views of the seasonal songbirds that are naturally attracted to this active waterscape. Utilization of the space and materials was optimized to cater to the special interest of the clients — a pair of budget-conscious, avid bird watchers.

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