Gartenart garden swimming ponds and natural swimming pools.

Gartenart | Portfolio | Sean and Rowena Moore, East Sussex
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sean and Rowena Moore, East Sussex
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sean and Rowena Moore, East Sussex
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sean and Rowena Moore, East Sussex

Sean and Rowena Moore, East Sussex

Sean and Rowena Moore and their family live near East Grinstead in East Sussex. "Ever since we moved here Sean said he wanted a pool,” says Rowena...

“He wanted to put a chemical blue pool in and I said over my dead body will you do that in our nice rustic garden! A blue pool would never fit in here, plus they stink of chlorine.

"I think we then saw a Sunday Times article about 6 or 7 years ago, and we went ‘oh – that’s what we’d like.’

"I also liked the fact that this water didn’t have chemicals, which aren’t good for you, and that there isn’t so much maintenance – and at least the maintenance is gardening. It’s a nurturing thing, and you have wonderful wildlife diversity with the pond.”

“I wanted something formal and structural, while Rowena preferred a more natural design that would blend with plants and the landscape. Gartenart helped us create something that incorporated both our points of view,” says Sean.

This was a “part-build” project – a local builder excavated and built the blockwork walls, Gartenart installed the liner and filtration system, including the plants, and Sean installed the decking and stonework himself. “Progress was smooth, all went very well,” says Sean. “Also, with this model we saved on what it would have cost for Gartenart to do all the work.”

“The whole family loves it,” says Sean. “We all swim in it, but the girls are also fascinated by the wildlife that congregates around the planted area. As for me, I’m drawn to the space in a way I would never be with a conventional pool. I just want to sit out here with a cup of tea, absorb the peace and contemplate the world.”

“We get a lot of use out of it,” says Rowena. “We had a party here for our 10th wedding anniversary, and there were kids all over it, people jumping in and bouncing all over it. The kids just didn’t get out.

"It’s beautiful. The kids spend hours here, just hours and hours…”

“It’s also lovely to sit here,” she continues. “In the summer when you are sitting here it’s the most beautiful place in the world to be. For example walking over the stepping stones is hugely satisfying… in the summer the children will walk back and forwards over these stepping stones for hours, and they see little things creeping about.

“Most of our friends, once they actually see it rather than just hear about it, want to go in, and really love it and enthuse about it,” says Sean. “When you say ‘pond’ people think there will be lots of mud,” agrees Rowena, “then people come here and say ‘oh, it’s really nice, it’s a proper swimming pool.’”

“I think our friends see it differently depending on whether they have swum in natural water before or not," says Rowena. "If you have swum in natural water I think you develop a love of it, and then you want to replicate this in your garden. It’s like wild swimming – but your very own wild swimming experience where no-one else is going to disturb you."

“Being in the water is very different from being in a conventional pool” says Sean, “it's much softer and is a much more uplifting swimming experience. One of the loveliest things is in the late afternoon, swimming with your head the same level as the water, watching the birds diving down taking a drink and watching the insects on the water surface.”

“What tends to happen is that we go in and out a lot and the girls are often in the pool 3 or 4 times a day. The nature of the water being soft and clean makes a difference – you don’t have to wash off the chorine, the girls just put their clothes on, don’t have to worry about having to wash their hair, and a bit later just get back in.

"I also find that I might do some exercise, have an outdoor shower and then jump in for a few lengths – I don’t need a normal hot shower afterwards and feel fresh and refreshed,” says Sean.

  • Gartenart swimming ponds and natural garden swimming pools
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