Award-winning water garden designer Larry Carnes is introducing a new concept for backyard swimming pools that incorporates plants in the design and functionality of the pool for a natural, lagoon-like swimming experience. The system is revolutionary in that it’s the plants that actually clean and filter the pool water and remove impurities, completely eliminating the use of chlorine and other harsh chemicals. The pools can be built in nearly any shape, size or style, from naturalistic to geometric and modern.
The technology that enables this eco-friendly and body-friendly approach is called BioNova®, a system which has been in use throughout Europe for many years. The time-tested and patented system uses natural biological filtration that is environmentally sustainable, consumes very little energy, and allows for a beautiful and unique aqua environment for exercise and play. No more burning eyes, dry-skin, or damage to color treated-hair that chlorine causes.
Visitors to the annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show can see one of these natural swimming pools in a demonstration garden designed by award-winning landscape architecture firm Culliton-Quinn. The contemporary, urban garden space designed for the show is entitled “Growing Up Green”, which pairs with this year’s show theme of “Do Green, Do Good”. The theme aims to inspire, educate and motivate visitors to transform and enhance their green spaces with practical ideas that are simple to incorporate, creating a yard that’s easy on the eyes and easier to maintain.
Reflections is constructing the 55’ x 45’patio space and pool on a raised platform to accommodate a 2’ deep body of water. The design features a sundeck, a spill-over water feature and lounge area, a wall garden, a built-in fireplace, and a dining terrace nestled under the canopy of tall shade trees. Visitors can walk through the space and get a realistic idea of how the bio pool utilizes aquatic plants rather than harsh chemicals to filter the water, and how the swim environment might look. The “Growing Up Green” garden is exhibit space #7 located in the northeast corner of the exhibit hall at Navy Pier.
The 4-man construction team from Reflections has only 7 days to build the entire display beginning on March 5. This includes construction of an 8-foot high back wall that is 44-feet long, and a retaining wall that is over 200 feet long; 550 square feet of patio space; a pool and reservoir that holds more than 5,500 gallons of water; and the installation of four large trees, perennials, aquatic plants and 1,600 native plants. Other raw materials being brought in include:
1,000 square feet of rubber liner for the pool
3,000 square feet of geo-textile fabric
16 tons of rough gravel
2.5 tons of pea gravel
187 tons of sand
15 cubic yards of soil.
Reflections Water Light Stone, located in West Dundee, Illinois, is the exclusive designer and builder of the BioNova® pool system in the Chicago-area. Larry Carnes, who founded Reflections in 2011, has been building naturalistic water features for nearly ten years and has been a CFGS participant for the last four years. “We have had the pleasure to work with Reflections Water Gardens for the past several years at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show”, remarks Tony Abruscato, the show’s Director. “Larry and his team have presented wonderful natural water feature exhibits that inspire and educate our attendees. Their craftsmanship and designs are always a show favorite.”