Pool Enviroment 2000
- By Miriam Raftery - July 2000

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     Yet another client carried the "total environment" concept a step farther-creating views for golfers on a neighboring golf course. After installing a vanishing-edge pool, Cunningham's company added ledger-stone to a five-foot wall, creating a whitewater effect of cascading water.

     Kathy Leech-Marosz, owner of Enviroscapes, is a licensed contractor and landscape architect who designs pools and surroundings. :I try to create a complete exterior environment that can hopefully blend with the home's interior as well," says Leech-Marosz, who works with pool companies such as Spectrum Design as well as on her own.

     Rencently, Leech-Marosz was hired by clients who had recently moved to San Diego from the East Coast. Although the home had contemporary architectural elements, the homeowners had traditional tastes in furnishings, and misses the seasonal changes from back East. Leech-Marosz combined a contemporary-shaped pool (including water features with vanishing edge) with plantings chosen to add a traditional feeling to the yard.

     "I was able to use a lot of deciduous trees, so the yard will be very dynamic-different every season," she says. A Chinese flame tree and two golden rain trees provide vibrant hues in winter; purple jacanranda blooms provide color in summer, while evergreen pears sport white blossoms in spring. Azaleas, camellias, and day lilies add a variety of color and texture.

     The backyard environment also includes areas for entertaining, including a step-down patio below an elevated edge on the pool, a barbecue with side-burner and sink, and a flat-topped gazebo. Quartzite steps, pavers and coping connect the areas visually, integrating contemporary and traditional elements.

     "We work with a lot of landscape architects and landscape contractors, and we do a lot of design work in our own office,"" says Rob Ault, President and Owner of Pacific Sun Pools in San Diego. "One of the things we do a lot of now is finding ways to accentuate water features and come up with different styles, whether it's a staircase, cascading waterfalls, meandering rock features, or vanishing-edge water features."

     Melanie Jaurequi, owner of BioMirage Landscape in La Mesa, believes in comprehensive design. "I've gone through an evolution from believing that the pool is the main focus to believe that no, the pool is really secondary," she says. "It's a total environment. I like creating mystery and drawing people into the landscape environment to explore."

     Juarequi invites exploration by creating small windows to views beyond, by utilizing refgelctive properties of water, and by incorporating architectural features such as arbors, among other methods.

     "There are illusions you can create with turf, making it appear longer, hidding it and drawing it around a section to create an illusion of depth. Line design and curves draw your eye." She adds mischievously, "Sometimes I even hide the pool. You don't even know there's a pool in the yard!"

     Recently, Juarequi designed a pool to resemble a pond nestled discreetly into a backyard in Poway. "It has a grass edge, with no coping along that section. That's never been dont before, that I know of," she says. Paths Meander abround the pond-like pool, wandering over a footbridge spanning a stream. Water trickles down a stacked rocks into the stream lined with lavender, ceanothus and lotus, ultimately spilling gently into the pool. Viewed from rolling grass mounds in some sections of the yard, the pool becomes nearly invisible. Mirror Images of trees reflect in the glass-like surface. Flowering myoporum spills over stacked rock surrounding an oval spa at the opposite end of the yard completeling the total environment. "When there's no wind, it's like a mirror," Juarequi says of the pond-like pool. "The reflective quality of water is very important."

The homeowner, who enjoys swimming laps in the 40-foot-long pool, agrees. "It's so peaceful when I sit out here and listen to the water and the birds singing; it's like living in a park!"

     Juarequi, a landscape designer and artist related to Norman Rockwell, brings a unique perspective to her work. "I want to draw people outside to reconnect with nature and to find some peace and solace," she concludes. "I put that love and passion into everything I create. This is about art-and the feelings you get as you experience it"

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This is a reprint of an article originally printed in Decor and Style - July 2000