The Fountain Vase

A recent project about which I have written several times finally came to a close. The centerpiece of the landscape design-a fountain of generous proportion and clean lines.  My clients have a decided interest in contemporary design, and an equally decided interest in classically symmetrical spaces.  The right mix would serve them well.  I am lucky in that both of them are articulate, and interested in being involved in the process. A contemporary landscape with reference to classical design-my intent. 

The last part of the landscape to be finished might be my favorite part.  The fountain basin, clad in acid washed steel with a limestone coping set at seat height, and a fountain vase forged of the same acid washed steel- is the strong and simple foreground element to the focal point of their property-a beautiful golf course.  The dark blue-black surround,vase, and pool interior reads in stark contrast to the softly green background. 

A 3-point leveling system of bolts in the bottom of the vase made it possible for Buck to level that pot after he installed it.  Should you use a pot as a fountain, setting that pot level is the most important part of the installation.  Water always sits level; should your installation be askew, it will be obvious.  The action of the jet water hitting the surface is producing clearly concentric circles; the vase is level.

A pair of cast stone pots on hand cast concrete pedestals- identical in shape but smaller than the fountain vase- flank the fountain.  A limited palette of shapes and colors speaks to massing a central idea. One idea, sufficiently explored. Contemporary landscapes ask for serious editing.  

On the ground plane, the central portion of this landscape is spare. A concrete aggregate terrace, concrete pedestals, ad the decomposed granite are variations on a same materials theme.  Four trunky and columnar trees are set in a level lawn  plane.  The rest of the story-the golf course.

The view of the frame of decomposed granite surrounding the fountain is available only to my clients-from upstairs.  From the public view via the golf course-you might miss all the action going on; this I like. The best of contemporary landscapes do not lecture; what they have to say requires  a thoughtful and inquisitive viewer.       

These clients of mine-they made this.  I speak a few languages, and I can interpret; this was my part.


  1. This project is my all time favorite for many reasons. I thank both you and the client. You do inspire and bring sheer joy.

  2. Deborah,
    This is pure perfection. And it has been so much fun to follow your installments on how it all came together.

    For your clients? Proof positive that “all good things come to those who wait”. What a treasure for them to enjoy now — and for many, many years to come. Truly, special.

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