Words by Andrea Darr | Photo by Matthew Anderson
A steep hill presents the perfect natural condition for a multi-head waterfall in Weston.
ondi and Duane Krehbiel—a Reece & ReeceNichols real estate duo—weren’t scared off by a rundown property in the hills of Weston. Other buyers were, but the Krehbiels saw a gem in the rough, and they had ideas on how to polish it up beyond compare.
Zondi envisioned transforming the slope alongside the driveway into a full sensory experience with a monumental water feature. After stopping by Good Earth Water Gardens’ showroom for a DIY workshop on how to install a fountain on her patio, Zondi reconsidered the scope and decided to go bigger.
“I have this hillside…,” she said to Dan Stanza, who helped the couple transform their front yard. Co-owned by his brother, Kevin, the company specializes solely in water gardens, from installation to maintenance.
After removing a jungle’s worth of trees and overgrowth, they grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint and laid out two lines that would become the foundation of the large-scale project.
“We had no formal design plans; she trusted our vision,” Dan says.
Good Earth built up the soil and sourced 30 tons of weathered limestone from Southeast Missouri—the kind that won’t disintegrate over time.
Water bubbles up over the top of a trio of urns and cascades downhill into an underground reservoir, where it then gets pumped back up to the top.
“Water adds a living element to the landscape, often in a way that a tree or fire pit can’t,” Dan says. “It creates so much movement, and it’s something you can look at for hours.”
Zondi and Duane participated in the process—planting the trees, bushes and plants. Groundcovers, tropicals and sweet potato vines flourish in the lush environment. A native of South Africa, Zondi also brought an element of her native continent—an elephant—onto the site, seen in a statuette at the top.
Lighting adds another dimension. “It’s a whole new way to engage with the space and use it every day and into the evening,” Dan says.
“Guests see it and feel like they are at a resort,” he adds. But more than for guests, the Krehbiels get to come home every day to a living landscape, with the sights and sounds to put them at ease.
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