Since I was a small boy, I’ve always been fascinated with water, whether it was a creek, a pond, a mountain stream or the ocean – the sound, the movement as well as all the creatures that lived within. From about the age of ten, my brother and I began helping my Grandmother landscape her backyard. We built five ponds, two with bridges, two tree houses and three wooden birdcages, as well as all the planting. She did most of the work, but we did help. She was a very creative and gifted artist and gardener and had a strong influence on my early life.
While studying at the university, my favorite class was Limnology, the biology of inland water systems. We studied the local reservoirs and rivers in the Santa Cruz Mountains. After receiving a degree in biology, I started one of the first hot tub companies in California. There we installed hot tubs, pools, saunas, steam rooms and rural water systems. In 1981 we built a large koi pond that was featured in Sunset magazine as well as on the cover of the Sunset spa book.
Since selling that business, I have been designing and building a full range of landscape projects including decks, fences, retaining walls, patios, gazebos, ponds, waterfalls, fountains, play yards, fire pits, custom masonry and decorative lighting systems. About 15 years ago I decided to focus primarily on water features in the garden. I took a course in Oregon and learned how to build rocks out of cement, using different textures and colors to simulate real stone. Since then I’ve been experimenting with integral colors, stains and other decorative concrete treatments. After cleaning, repairing and renovating many poorly designed ponds and waterfalls, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and how to build them right the first time.
Throughout my 41 years as a contractor, I have continually strived to stay up to date on the latest construction technology, while at the same time constantly refining my landscape design skills.
– Lane Rider