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The essence of a water garden: You don’t know what your outdoor living space is missing

Good Earth Water Gardens creates intimate outdoor living spaces that are designed around water. Contractors Dan and Kevin Stanza come from a diverse background of landscape experience. Growing up they often worked with their father, who was a landscape contractor in St. Louis. From an early age the boys learned how to install plantings, patios, retaining walls, and eventually water features – which was what really sparked their interest!

Fast forward to today and these brothers own and operate Good Earth Water Gardens, a niche company that takes backyard (and front yard) water features to a whole new level!

“Our goal is to create more than just an outdoor living area with some nice features and accents. We want to create an intimate area that people are drawn to and feel immersed in an experience,” says Dan. “The best way to get people to spend more time in an area is to add the sights and sounds of moving water. To me, an outdoor living area with no water is like a cake with no icing. Outdoor living areas that only include landscaping and hardscaping may be nice for a little bit, but no one is going to sit for hours and look at the blooms on their daylilies. I’ve been in many backyards, and the people who have water features enjoy their outdoor living spaces so much more!”

Good Earth’s customers seem to have the greatest appreciation for water features, too. Whether they are seasoned fish hobbyists or experiencing their first water garden, Dan says people always seem to have positive stories about their pond or waterfall – about how calm and relaxed it makes them feel or how their grandkids just love playing in the stream.

“It is also so gratifying to see the reaction of the homeowners when we finish a project,” he adds. “We have literally seen people cry after turning the waterfall on for the first time because they cannot believe what they have in their yard!”

When designing a backyard, Good Earth’s philosophy is to start with the placement of the water feature first. They think of the water feature as the main accent, a focal point or gathering spot that is going to draw everyone’s attention. Hardscaping and landscaping are then designed around the rest of the feature to create a seamless, cohesive space that ties the space together.

“We frequently see missed opportunities to create much more enjoyable outdoor spaces,” he notes. “We have seen designs where the pond is in the back corner of the yard – away from the new patio and outdoor living space – or waterfalls that face the complete opposite direction from the main viewing angles. Many times, we can look at an existing space and create a plan where we can marry all the elements together to create a spot that’s going to maximize the impact, which will make the client appreciate the investment they made in their yard so much more!”

When you are ready to bring your outdoor living areas to life, contact Good Earth Water Gardens at (816) 720-7577 or visit

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