What’s the one thing that’s always associated with ponds? Water lilies, of course. These iconic plants have captured the hearts of aquascapers ever since Claude Monet’s first began lovingly painting these delicate white flowers.
Of course, water lilies aren’t for everybody. You know what they say – one man’s water lily is another man’s pond scum. OK, maybe that isn’t exactly how the phrase goes, but you get the picture. If water lilies don’t fit your style, then there are thousands of other options available.
Thanks to modern technology and the invention of plastic, we can make just about anything float. We’re even trying to build floating islands, so any art piece you can envision is small potatoes compared to that leviathan project. Strap on your floaties or jump in an inner tube, because today we’re going to take a look at unique alternatives to lily pads for your next backyard aquascape.
Floating Solar Panels
This bizarre installation by Dutch artist Alex Vermeulen takes a unique approach to art. The message here seems to be “That which is useful is also beautiful.” These floating black orbs are each equipped with a solar panel. The solar power is used to generate a magnetic field, which levitates a meditating Buddha in the center of the pond. This art installation sits at the crossroads where spirituality, technology, and aquascaping intersect. You may not think it’s beautiful, but you certainly have to admit that it’s unique!
CDs went the way of the dinosaur thanks to iTunes and the digital revolution. So, what do you do with all of those ancient relics? UK artist Bruce Munro transformed 65,000 CDs into this bizarre art installation for Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. They almost look like pixelated, gigantic lily pads – like some sort of bizarre hybrid between nature and technology. To be perfectly honest, they’re actually kind of pretty.
Floating Plant Books
Envisioned by artist Selina Swayne from the UK, this floating art display brings up interesting questions about how we absorb information. The books, which were made from wood, serve as the floating platform for a new generation of plant life. It’s immediately reminiscent of the cycles of life and death – will one of these plants eventually end up a piece of paper? Another important thing to notice about this exhibition is that it is temporary. The books will eventually decompose, leaving the plants to float on the water or begin growing on the shore. Don’t be afraid of using temporary art installations for your pond aquascape. There is an urgent beauty in ephemeral art.
Polar Bear down the River Thames
A UK-based natural history channel celebrated their launch by building a 16-foot-high replica of a mother polar bear and her cub, and sent it cruising down the River Thames on a fake glacier. This eye-catching display emphasizes the grim reality of global warming, but that doesn’t change the fact that the piece is quite stunning. You may not want a polar bear in your back yard, but this art piece demonstrates that floating statues aren’t that far-fetched.