Laughing Waters inc., Palos Park Residence
Laughing Waters inc., Palos Park Residence

The Designer:
Tim Krzeminski
Laughing Waters Inc.
Palos Heights, Ill.


The babble of brooks: The homeowners wanted a natural waterfeature that would be a safe place for their grandchildren to play. Tim Krzeminski answered with three streams that course over rocks to form waterfalls and islands and run into three shallow pools before flowing into a large pond at the bottom. The streams have injection points to release more water, which creates the look of deep pools, shallow creeks and rapids. Mastering the small touches that make the waterscape appear natural in the half-acre garden involved a lot of rock — and a lot of patience. The project used more than 80 tons of stone, and the key rhyolite and granite boulders were hand-selected from a quarry in Missouri. “[The boulders] tell us a story with the way they’re shaped — the characteristics, the strata. And when we’re placing a lot of these boulders together, we arrange them in similar textures and color so they look natural in their element,” Krzeminski says. Placing moss-covered boulders in shady parts of the feature, and brightly colored rock in exposed areas helps give the garden its authentic look.

Grand scope: Because the garden is so large, Krzeminski faced important choices when it came to showing off the project from the house. “We wanted to create different vignettes within the landscaping,” Krzeminski says. “We typically don’t reveal a waterfeature all at once, especially this one. We wanted to entice people to go out and explore the water garden.” The goal is to tempt viewers and reward their curiosity in walking the garden. The clients’ grandchildren also were a large consideration in both the design and construction. The shallow pools allow for wading, playing and chasing frogs, while creating a rock structure that’s both permanent and safe. Rocks are fastened into place with concrete and rebar to ensure climbing and hopping won’t dislodge the stones.