Fred Swisher has built Water features for the last 20 years. The biggest are ponds ½ -3/4 acre in size, the most famous waterfall, water course and pond package was for ABC TV network back in 1995. He has removed several poorly build water features and fixed many done by the competition that leaked, never got clean and/or lacked the artistic factor. He can tackle smaller projects, but has turned many projects down not because of size but because proper placement and construction techniques can’t be compromised. Water features aren’t cheap and definitely not a panacea or quick fix. They do create a focal point, they can mask road noise and attract wild life. And of course if done by someone with both technical and artistic skill they really are beautiful and an enduring asset to the place.
Boulders are Fred’s favorite medium. They create a sense of scale, they are very permanent and have no maintenance requirements. There are several different choices for rock here in Bend, Oregon. Most often the best choice is what’s on site and what blends in with the existing landscaping features near by. Fred likes to use rock and shape the site together in a kind of alchemy that transforms the place itself. Most people don’t go beneath the surface and just set rocks and even boulders on top of the ground. Fred transforms the shape of the ground and fits the rock into an improved shape that reflects the sites best attributes. In this way of tying in the rocks with the earth into a bigger picture the landscape can really come to life and have dynamic “personality”.
If you want to see some of Fred’s work here in Bend we can give you some addresses to look at or show you around a few of the many he’s done here working with big boulders. The biggest boulder to date is 24,000 lbs and is one of several in a landscape where State and Congress street intersect near Drake park.