A great way to get inspiration for blog topics is simply to take a look at my pond. There is always something going on that I can find interesting enough to get some words down. Sometimes, however; I need to look further than my own backyard pond. As my “Pond Princess” says, sometimes I need to “Think Outside The Pond”. That leads me to look at the lifestyle of water features and pond keeping as a whole. What is going on out there in the world, who is doing cool stuff, who is creating unique works, what are the pros doing, what are the do-it-yourselfers doing? Luckily there is a whole world of possibilities out there so for this blog I am stepping up to the globe and giving it a spin.
The fist spin brings me 7500 miles WAY outside my pond to Africa. Zambia to be exact, near the capital city of Lusaka. Lusaka is in Southern Africa with a growing population coming up on 2 million. Outside of this growing metropolis we find Neli Stoyanova. Neli is a DIY pond builder and globe trekking koi collector traveling to Japan to make selections for her koi collection. Neli also is in the process of building a very large formal koi pond. This pond is not her first though. When I first “met” Neli she was sharing with me her first pond that she designed and built. It is a very unique large pond with a free form shape, a center island with seating area to enjoy and feed her fish, stepping stones, cascading waterfalls, pooling areas, streams, and lush aquatic plantings. This whole scene nicely packaged with a beautiful landscape full of interesting plants, artistic rock designs, and beautiful lighting. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1341963241181.2048981.1594227676&type=3 However, Neli is not done! Her latest DIY project is a very large formal style koi pond. This style is a far cry from her first project. This pond is truly formal with symmetry, straight lines, and a new approach to filtering. The new project has presented Neli with some serious challenges along the way with acquiring plumbing, filter, and other material issues. Some construction challenges have come up too. While excavating the pond Neli struck some very VERY large boulders buried deep in the ground, of course right in the middle of her pond site. It took lots of man power, a bit of machinery, and time to get these mammoth boulders out of the way for the koi pond to go in. Now the new formal DIY pond is well underway with all of us watching its progress to see the finished result! https:// Good Luck Neli and keep all of us around the world that are following your progress posted!
Let’s continue the trip and get even farther out there to a different continent! How about another 3800+ miles northwest to Sri Lanka, an island country located in the Indian Ocean off of the Indian sub-continent. Sri Lanka has one of the oldest running histories known to man going back 3000+ years. Colombo is the capital city of about 750,000 bustling souls and home to a very unique artist Sanjaya Pushpakumara. Sanjaya is one of the most unique artists I’ve ever come across. Not only does he paint, photograph, and create interesting landscape creations he also designs and creates amazing relief sculptures that feature flowing water coming right out of the sculpture into a ponding area. These designs have to be seen to be believed! How Sanjaya does it exactly I still don’t know, but what he does is pure pleasure to the eyes. Beautiful scenes of nature, forests, and rock seemingly stretching away from the viewer while water comes flowing and cascading out of the relief sculpture right down to the viewers feet! His work is a 3D experience of carefully sculpted, beautifully painted scenes from nature. Many of them are large scale and stunning in their beauty; a marvel of artistic execution. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4087218591742.158363.1620996487&type=3 Sanjaya’s website https://www.gallerysl.com shows his diverse abilities and showcases his amazing work. Videos highlight his work as well and listening to the language is very interesting since it is heavily laced with English. Sanjaya’s work is making quite a splash among other water feature artists and appreciators and I can picture a day when Sanjaya’s unique style of water feature design could be in high demand. Sanjaya may find himself traveling the world someday fulfilling commissioned pieces of aquatic art!
Finally a quick jaunt of about 9000 miles, to yet another continent, brings us back to the USA landing us in the tiny state of New Jersey. Here we can find another incredible aquatic artist creating amazing works of art with pure raw materials of stone, plants, and water; bathed in light. BJ Linger, owner of BJL Aquascapes, resides in New Jersey and is another truly unique, award winning aquatic artist. BJ has been building his aquatic works of art in his home state of New Jersey and across the USA for many years now. So much more than just a pond builder, some of BJ’s design work has even been molded and manufactured for the water feature market at large. I have had the opportunity to visit several of BJ’s creations and have personally witnessed the incredible detail work that BJ has become known for. BJ’s style of design in creating ponds, water gardens, and water features is likely one of the most influential styles that current day US pond builders, including myself, try to emulate in their own designs. I think it is safe to say that BJ has influenced hundreds of pond builders and thousands of installations with his incredibly detailed and imaginative designs. BJ creates artistic palettes of texture, color, patterns, and motion that dazzle the eyes in daylight. At night his designs create an entirely other world when his lighting designs come alive. Each single design is like having 2 designs, day and night, for those lucky enough to own some of his work. Amazing waterfalls and streams pour into the clear water ponds filled with colorful koi and aquatic plants that grow wildly beyond what one would ever typically see. BJ has combined art and nature with technical functionality to a degree few have attained. BJ’s various projects can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/BJLAquascapes . Aspiring pond builders and seasoned pro’s looking for some inspiration would do very well to have a day of mentoring from BJ no matter what the fee may be. What can be gleaned from BJ would pay dividends to any water feature designer many times over. And hey, BJ is just a real nice guy to spend some time with. You may even get to meet his sidekick Yogi; who is quite a fetching fellow.
A trip around the world reminds us that pond builders, aquatic artists, and water shapers of all types are busy creating features that change peoples lives in just about every corner of the globe. Back in New Jersey is where we will stay for now until our next trip “outside the pond” spanning the globe in search of water features, koi ponds, water gardens, and aquatic artistry. Be sure to connect with our friends from above and let them know the LOVEYOURPOND Blog sent you. Check out their sites for many pictures and video of their work. My work here is done and I am sure my “Pond Princess” will be very happy to see that I took her words of “Think Outside Of The Pond” quite literally!! See ya.
All copyrights to this material is solely owned by Mike Gannon.