Gartenart garden swimming ponds and natural swimming pools.

Gartenart | Portfolio | Sarah Doukas, Hampshire
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sarah Doukas, Hampshire
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sarah Doukas, Hampshire
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sarah Doukas, Hampshire
Gartenart | Portfolio | Sarah Doukas, Hampshire

Sarah Doukas, Hampshire

Sarah Doukas, founder and CEO of Storm Model Management, had built a swimming pool but could not get out of her head an article she had seen about swimming ponds and an exploratory meeting she had with managing director Tim Evans...

Given her experience, she believes that Gartenart deserve more of the word of mouth recommendation that triggered her own investigations. “Not enough people know. If more people understood what they could get, they’d feel like I do now.

"Fresh water is a different experience, totally different. I had no idea when we did it; I thought ‘we’re just going to look at this and say isn’t it beautiful?’ I was surprised by how it lured me in."

“The construction team was just brilliant. They had problems and worked in shocking conditions, with pretty much persistent rain. The aftercare was good, too. It was altogether a nice experience, unlike with my swimming pool.

"My kids wanted a pool because they couldn’t envisage the lake. I couldn’t, either – you can’t until you’ve swum in it. There’s something so liberating about it. It’s by these two beautiful oak trees – Adam and Eve – so there’s incredible bird life. Jackdaws, woodpeckers, treecreepers... I watch them from the water."

Her friends, she says, are fascinated by the lake. "As soon as one of them comes to the house they go out to see how the plants are growing."

Sarah admits that her husband "is not a great water person" but "he has come to love the aesthetics of it" and willingly undertakes "brushing the sides at the weekend", which is all the maintenance it has required.

"Everything about it works. If I had the time over again, I would build the lake and not the pool. A swimming pool is an inanimate, lifeless piece of concrete. It has an impact on the environment too, and it’s just water in a rectangle."

"I find the lake a complete de-stresser, coming down from London. If I got into the swimming pool it wouldn’t de-stress me at all.

"The lake is a living thing that is evolving as the plants grow, and as more wildlife is attracted to it. By the lake, you are very much one with nature because birds, swallows and dragonflies come... you look up at the trees then sit on the edge, watching water-boatmen and tadpoles turning into frogs... I’ve seen herons come to refresh themselves, and foxes and badgers come to drink. It’s a great thing to see all the wildlife coming together so naturally.

"You’re watching all this and it stops you in your tracks - your normal life-tracks. I would definitely recommend it."

  • Gartenart swimming ponds and natural garden swimming pools
  • Gartenart Swimming Ponds, Unit 105, Screenworks, 22 Highbury Grove, London N5 2EF
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