Year over year, it’s always the hardest part of administering the contest. No question, the winning projects are jaw-dropping, but how do we not show off a few of the other sensational entries we received? Limiting the love to just five winners simply isn’t our style.
Here are the runners-up in each of our five categories, along with a sneak peek of their project submissions. You might notice a couple of familiar names. In a couple of cases, just one vote separated winners from second-place finishers.
Are you inspired yet? As pond season revs up, start saving your notes and photos of your most impressive projects, because we will announce the categories and start accepting entries for 2020 early this fall. Will we crown our first three-time winner? And do you have what it takes to be a Water Artisan of the Year?
Runner-up | Best Hardscapes Combo
Bobby Kenyon, C.E. Ponte Sons www.cepontzsons.com
Installing outdoor porcelain tile over the top of an existing concrete patio created a perfect viewing area for this feature that combines fire and water. A gas burner cored into a natural boulder was integrated into the middle of the water feature, which also includes a two-column basalt fountain and a custom driftwood stump fountain.
Runner-up | Most Naturalistic
(See image, at the top of the article) John Schwarzlose, Freshwater Ecosystems www.lakesponds.com
In the backyard of a 50-acre homestead deep in the Texas Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio, this large-scale feature is inspired by the limestone creeks and rivers that meander throughout the surrounding area. Recirculating from a nearby 1-acre pond, it flows at about 190 gallons per minute.
Runner-up | Ponds Revisited
Jason & Tony Lenox, Ponds Inc. of Illinois www.ponds-inc.com
This pond in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, has withstood the test of time, featuring updraft wetland bog filtration to maintain optimal water quality without a lot of hassle. Over the years, the surrounding landscape has evolved, growing in beautifully around the waterscape and showcasing just how lovely a pond can be when revisited.
Runner-up | Under 15k
Jonathan Marston, FallingWater Scapes www.fallingwaterscapes.com
This front-yard pond is built up against the house’s foundation, allowing the sights and sounds of this feature to seep right into the home office. Work breaks consist of gazing out the bay window, a vantage point that cantilevers the viewer over the pond. If the window view isn’t satisfying enough, an Adirondack chair awaits just on the other side of the front door.
Runner-up | Pondless
Tom Dieck, TRD Designs / Aquascape East, www.landscape4life.com
Wrestling with this New York property’s steep slope and tendency to flood, Dieck’s team installed a giant waterfall with a 7-foot main drop viewable from a new, enchanting terraced garden. Visitors are rewarded for their effort to climb this harrowing path when they encounter the origin of the falls — a large, bubbling boulder that can only be seen while basking in the warm glow of the campfire