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Enhancing Your Yard with Water Features: An Interview with Matthew Baumbach of Pro-Mow Lawn Care and Landscaping

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Pro-Mow Lawn Care and Landscape was unofficially started in 1993 as a dream by two middle school aged kids looking to earn a dollar while doing something they enjoyed: mowing lawns. Fast forward to 2003 when these same two individuals graduated from Hope College with Business degrees and the same dream of owning their own lawn care and landscape business, here is where Pro-Mow Lawn Care and Landscape LLC was officially started.

Fast forward to 2015 and our company now employs 25 full time employees and 10-12 seasonal employees. We offer the following services: mowing, fertilizing and weed control, underground sprinkling installation and service, landscape design/build, and snow and salt services.

Can you briefly describe what some of the most popular water features are for homeowners in Michigan?

The more popular water features tend to be of the pond less and fountain genre. Pond less waterfalls are gaining popularity because of how little maintenance is involved with keeping it operating. Natural or artificial stone fountains have also gained popularity in the last few years. These can be created in smaller spaces allowing for even less maintenance and usually less cost. A whole is typically bored through the stone and then that stone is placed on top of a basin where the water collects as it falls back down the stone after being pumped through the bore hole. These create fantastic focal points and are good conversation pieces.

What are some of the basic choices a homeowner will need to make during the design process?

There are few choices the homeowner must make to start the design process. They must first decide what type of feature they like. Is it a water fall that cascades into a babbling brook with a coy pond at the end of it, or is it a large stone that they want to have next to their patio that gives them the sound and sight of trickling water. They must also decide on what type of materials would go well with the existing home or landscape. Water features can be built out of natural field stone round boulders, and a variety of flat and irregular shaped outcropping stones. Of course both of these options have different textures and color options available.

How long does it typically take from start to finish to design and install a new pond?

That really depends on the scale of the project. A simple pond less fountain can be designed and constructed in a day whereas a larger waterfall pond less or not could take weeks or months to design and build.

What's the difference between an outdoor waterfall and pondless waterfall?

A pond less waterfall differs from your traditional waterfall only in that the water doesn't pool into an accessible and visible pond. Instead the water pools in below grade basin where the water is pumped back up to the top of the fountain to make the fall back down again. You still get the ambience and visual of gently moving water but you avoid the challenges of keeping an exposed body of water clean. Sunlight creates algae in the pond, changing of the seasons creates a mess of the pond with everything that falls into the water. These are both reasons why it is less maintenance to operate a pond less water fall.

What are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to installing a fountain?

Accessibility is typically one of the large challenges with installing a fountain. Often these are installed after the fact and equipment and water/electric accessibility is something to seriously consider before starting the process. A large stone can require a large piece of equipment to set it and if the area is surrounded by concrete/pavers or extensive landscaping this will cause issues or added expenses. A fountain needs to be powered via electricity and if there isn't a plug accessible then that can be a challenge as well. Lastly, water evaporates naturally, and filling the pond periodically will be necessary. Having available water is essential.

What advice can you give to people about proper maintenance for their new water feature?

Properly maintaining a water feature is quite simple, but requires commitment and frequency. Letting the pond go too long can turn a small task into a very large and overwhelming task. I recommend consulting with the installer as well as a favorite search engine to get tips and trick about maintaining the specific water feature that is installed.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way to contact the professionals at Pro-Mow Lawn Care and Landscape is to visit us on the web at www.promowlandscape.com or through face book at www.facebook.com/ProMowLawnCareLandscapingLLC. You can also reach us by phone at 616-878-9669.

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