Date of publication

3 August 2015

Paperback ISBN-13

978 1 85341 150 2




92 colour photos, 15 plans & line drawings, 3 bills of quantities.


210 x 297 mm landscape format (paperback only)




£25.00 (discounted to £21.00 for students in design colleges, and for members of the Society of Garden Designers when ordered from the Publisher). Postage & packing in the UK is £2.50; £7.00 to EU countries for a single copy

Water Garden Construction - A Technical Guide for Designers
Martin Kelley


Water is the most destructive and elusive of the elements, yet also the most alluring and dramatic. While attempting to control and introduce it to the landscape there can be no half measures: attention to detail, quality of materials and installation are paramount.

The purpose of this book is to aid garden designers, their clients and contractors in their choice of water garden. By describing some of the commonly followed construction processes and explaining many of the practical design considerations, this book will help readers to avoid many problems and disappointments while their garden or landscape project is still in the design stage.

The technical design of both formal and informal water gardens is described, and construction techniques that will be cost-effective yet durable are considered. The other fundamentals of water level control and maintaining water clarity, both chemically and biologically, are also examined.

Several case studies are included which take the reader through the design and construction process of individual water-garden projects. They explain the reasoning behind the designs, the negotiations involved and ultimate conclusions. A schedule of works and budget costs is also included.


Part 1 Formal Water Gardens: Basic construction details; Pond liners; CASE STUDY - Raised rectangular pond with jets; Water treatment; Examples of formal pools; Infinity edges; Alternatives to chemicals; Water tables; Water pavements; Jumping jets; CASE STUDY - Brimming pools; Water pumps; Flow rates; Water garden safety; Water walls; Chutes; Water usage; Examples of errors.

Part 2 Informal water gardens: Place for informality in the garden; Excavation; Liners for lakes and ponds; Beneath the liner; The fringes of ponds and lakes - edges, marginal planting; Clay-lined ponds; CASE STUDY -Extending a clay- lined pond; Natural water courses; Water storage and attenuation; The maturing pond. Further reading. Index.



Martin Kelley

Martin Kelley has been involved in the construction of water gardens for all his working life. After training with Anthony Archer-Wills from 1982, Martin set up his own company, M. W. Kelley Water Gardens in 1993, subsequently trading as Fairwater Limited from 2001. The company is based in Ashington, West Sussex, and acts as consultant, technical advisor and contractor for many of today’s leading garden designers and architects.

Recent commissions have taken the company from Sweden to Ireland and Jersey. Projects range from the smallest bubbling stone to new lakes of several hectares in area with fountains, waterfalls, streams, modern water sculptures and natural swimming pools in between.

This book is based on Martin’s lectures to members of the Society of Garden Designers, to members of the British Association of Landscape Industries and to the students at the Oxford College of Garden Design and other institutions.

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