Water and stone live in perfect harmony in Miramar Beach, Fla.

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0710 Choice

Most AQUA Choice winners are taken from the custom pool and spa category - by far the largest in the contest - but each year's lineup of great aquatic projects includes one particularly interesting and appealing water feature.

This year, that outstanding project is this lush mosaic of rock and stalk from a courtyard in Destin, Fla., aptly titled, "Perfect Harmony."

The courtyard, as AquaVisions Pool and Spa owner Rod Ogilvie found it, is completely exposed to the harsh Florida sun, which was making plant maintenance very difficult, and preventing its use for relaxing and enjoyment.

His task was to design and build a residential water feature using flagstone as the primary material. The project also had to be relatively maintenance free and make the owners feel as if they were "one with the environment."

Ogilvie chose this particular spot, he says, "because it was underutilized and would allow me to create a personal space the owners could be a part of. My inspiration came from the owners' vivid childhood memories of hopping from rock to rock while they crossed mountain streams. The main challenge was to capture this magnificent feeling and to integrate it with the rustic brick home, yet maintain a safe passage for visitors to navigate."

Of immediate visual interest is the free-form shape and texture of the flagstone, installed on clearly defined geometric lines. In all, there are 436 lineal feet of meticulously hand-chiseled flagstone, carefully placed to create all those straight edges on the steps and rills. And within each of these, the flagstones were hand-shaped to maintain tight ½ to ¾-inch joints between each other.

All these hard parallel lines are softened by leafy green splashes of color and the magic of moving water. "The result," says Ogilvie, "is water seemingly appearing out of nowhere and gracefully dancing down the rills built into the top of the walls on each side of the water feature, and ending with the soothing sound of two small waterfalls gently cascading into an 8-inch-deep pool filled with several flowering aquatic plants."

The blend of organic and inorganic elements creates the oneness the owners were looking for, and "draws you into the harmony that exists with the home and the environment," says Ogilvie. "This self-sustaining ecosystem operates with the aid of an energy-efficient, high-volume, low-pressure pump and a bog filtration system where the plants at the perimeter convert pond pollutants and organic waste into beneficial nutrients that are absorbed through the plants root system. This waterscape also uses a biological filtration system where beneficial bacteria detoxify the water and restore harmony and balance to this habitat."

Submit your pool project for the 2011 Aqua Choice Awards at www.aquamagazine.com. Deadline is Oct. 1, 2010.

AquaVisions Pooland Spa

Miramar Beach, Fla.
Category: Water Feature

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