Report on The Workshop for Landscape Design Professionals and the Fans of Backyard Ponds
Those fans of backyard ponds are amazing folks! Snow has not yet gone from the county houses’ backyards, ice is still there on the pond surface, and spring air is chilly enough, however those folks are already dreaming of vivid and changing water songs while designing in their minds big and small backyard compositions. Fantasies have to be professionally realized, and that demands special knowledge. How should the pond look like, how to create it, how to decorate and to build in the surrounding landscape? What plants to use and why? One could dig through mounds of literature and still wouldn’t grasp the most important details. Alternatively, you may get knowledge from the experienced people, the “Maitres,” and this kind of knowledge would be especially precious. To have a chance to meet people personally, to talk with them, the Workshopd has been organized; it took place on Saturday, March 20 at the Center for culture and leisure “Kirovets”, Prospect Stachek, 158, St.Petersburg. This extensive meeting brought together professionals of landscape architecture and just amateurs and fans of backyard ponds.
This Workshop, an event of great importance for the participants, became possible due to coordinators, the Internet-portal Vitawater, and the following sponsors:
ООО "Euro-Plant", plants for private orchards and town parks.
Group of companies "RIF", construction of ponds and decorations for aquariums.
Company "Agidis", official distributor of pond and aquarium equipment, Aquarium Systems in Russia.
The work shop was unforgettable for its participants, highly useful and informative due to excellent work of the invited speakers:
Sergey Chubarov, PhD, director of the firm "AquaSad", St.Petersburg. For a long time Sergey used to work as a curator of the collection of water plants, Botanical Gardens of St. Petersburg.
Alexander Marchenko, PhD, the most famous in Russia specialist in decorative water- and water-coastal plants, the leader of the renowned water plant farm.
Assuming you are a lucky owner of the country house with the adjacent property and a beautiful garden. But time to time a feeling of the landscape incompleteness occurs to you. Such a feeling is a good reason to think of a decorative backyard pond. What to begin with? What technology and materials to chose? Sergey Chubarov answered these and many other questions, basing on combination of the scientific approach and his personal experience.
Seregey Chubarov’s presentation
In addition, Sergey told us about peculiarities of planting of water vegetation, with the emphasis on the species and varieties, which would correspond to the climate condition of the North-Western region. The presentation was illustrated with many photographs. Good examples of decorating of the water basins, as well as the bad ones, were demonstrated to the Workshop participants. Common errors were carefully examined. For example, why big pebbles, arranged along the perimeter of the pond (so called "stone necklace") should be considered as a bad idea? To disguise this necklace one needs lots of plants, which most probably wouldn’t like to grow among tightly set stones; thus the pond will gain more or less nice appearance in several years at best, if ever. Sergey Chubrov demonstrated skillfully and beautifully decorated basins, most of which were "multileveled", i.e. composed of several levels of water plants, gently sloping gravel sandbank, and a damp zone of marsh plants.
Fragment of Sergey Cubarov’s presentation
If the water basin already exists on your property, and you are thinking of transforming it into a real Water Garden, in which harmony of water intermingles with tender fragrance of water lilies and the first dawn sunrays, the name of Alexander Marchenko should come immediately to you mind. Alexander is a true Magician, whose Water Gardens are famous all over the world.
Some copies of the Alexander Marchenko’s slide show
Alexander enthusiastically told us about creation of his fantastic gardens. All vegetation (more that 240 species) dwells at the depths no more than 80 centimeters. It turns, you do not need to make your pond deeper! 80 cm is already too much for our northern latitudes. There is a false opinion among the amateurs that the deeper the pond, the better. Alexander also provided precious recommendations on the choice and cultivation techniques of various water plants.
Alexander Marchenko’s presentation
Stunning slides (more than 400 were shown) demonstrated fragments of Marchenko’s Water Gardens and deeply impressed the audience. The presentation lasted 5 hours, and through all that time holds firmly the attention of the listeners. The questions were endless. Everyone wants to do the same, or at least to try. Alexander’s landscape miniatures overwhelm by their simplicity and thoughtfulness, art of maintenance and devoted diligence, and above all – by naturalism. They truly are good examples to copy. Is it really difficult to dig out and to hydroisolate a backyard pond? The technology Alexander shared with the audience, is pretty simple, but at the same time it is reliable and practical. Even more: given certain skill and a good taste, as well as knowledge of biological peculiarities of the plants employed, the artificial ponds and springs look like exactly as the natural ones.
There exist special techniques to make an artificial water basin look naturally
Indeed, not only plants make the pond alive. Many people like to keep fish. Pond fishes were also in the focus of discussions at the Workshop. The problems of their hibernation were touched by both speakers. During the breaks the well known ichtiopathologist, Oleg N. Yunchis, consulted people on the problems of pond fishery.
Oleg Yunchis –
, chief ichtiopathologist of the St. Petersburg Oceanarium "Neptun"
The Water Garden birth is a very important moment. The future of the very existence of the Garden depends on how it was founded. There are many technologies, which are to be applied in different cases to reach maximal effect, and experienced pond keepers know well most of those techniques. However, the representatives of the "Group of companies "RIF" Vitaliy Maltsev literally blew up the audience: he introduced a new technology of creation of a pond by spraying the hydroisolation layer based on polyur. Everyone who is interested in this new technology can read Vitaliy’s presentation now. This reliable and effective technology of pond building has the only one drawback, its cost. Nevertheless, the pond keepers got a new piece of knowledge that may by applied one day.
Commercial presentation by Vitaliy Maltsev, a representative of a Group of companies "RIF", turned to be informative and useful
It often occurs that while creating a flower bed or a new coastal design for the pond we came across the problem of the stock planting material. Its quality is very important indeed. That’s why Elena Poliakova, the owner of the famous St.Petersburg company "Euro-Plant" got the audience interested by her presentation about principles of choosing the stock material of high quality and viability for planting gardens, orchards, and water gardens. Her company offers a good choice of stock plants with the guaranteed quality from the best foreign nurseries.
Presentation of Elena Poliakova, a representative of the "Euro-Plant" company
Spring is a cheerful and energetic time that gives birth to a new life. And alike joyful mountain springs that merge into powerful waterways, experience and knowledge of the Masters of the Water Garden Design joined together during this meeting to reward the audience with a powerful charge of energy. Vivid interaction between all participants did not stop even during the breaks, and provided a strong stimulus for further progress and activities based on the obtained practical knowledge. Indeed, it is not the last meeting. By creating gardens we create Beauty, and we are ready to share this Beauty with everyone! So, we are looking forward to seeing you again!
Here are several videos and photos about the meeting.
Everything is ready to start registration of the Workshop participants
Before the Workshop starts, the representative of the firm "Agidis", Alexey Pavlov gave his presentation of the pond equipment, Aquarium Systems NEWA. This equipment can be purchased in our internet-shop
Indeed, it is much better to appreciate the beauty, or to acquire new knowledge, or just to talk with the fellow pond fans after or while enjoying nice food and a glass of light good wine. The Workshops with VitaWater are famous also for their buffets
Informal interactions are an important element of the Workshop
Alexander Marchenko and Oleg Yunchis discuss with the Workshop participants the problems of organization of the Water Gardens
Аквариум. Современная Аквариумистика.
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