Fountain with a past

Garden decoration: Scottsdale, Arizona

"Fantastical, gutsy, and refreshing" is how jurors described this garden. Its fountain recalls the water channels of ancient civilizations; landscape architect Gregory Trutza calls it an "8-foot-tall ancient aqueduct with faded Sumerian hieroglyphs that suggest remains of a past culture." In this desert climate, running water soothes the soul. The added humidity soothes plants, too. But this fountain does so much more. "The interplay of the wall texture and plant foliage is especially striking," one juror noted.

Local artist Mitchell John translated Trutza's design on Italian lime plaster. A 30-foot-long pond captures water falling from the aqueduct. The structure accommodates an existing palo verde tree and complements Adele and Steve Revella's art collection (the aqueduct is viewed from their living room window).

This unusual fountain may not be suitable for every landscape, jurors commented, but its success in this garden demonstrates that designers should continue taking risks.

Designer: Gregory Trutza, New Directions in Landscape Architecture, Phoenix (602/998-4399)