Where it all began

My interest in ponds and all things aquatic started from as far back as my early childhood. I was six years old when my parents bought a guest house in Torquay, Devon. The house came with a beautiful rose garden, we later discovered from the previous owners that the rose garden had replaced a pond.

Intrigued to discover what was buried and remained of the pond, my father and I dug it out and reinstated the pond, complete with goldfish. This was the start of our journey and lifelong interest in fish and everything pond related.

Being a guest house, the pond became a popular attraction with guests at feeding time. This further spurred my father's interest in fish and ponds, and lead to my parents buying a piece of land near to Newton Abbot,  to build ponds for breeding fish.

Dad's first pond build
The first pond my dad built

The land continued to evolve and be enhanced with continuous development. We built Polytunnels, barns, show ponds, a water gardening area and eventually a shop. I spent my weekends helping, and by the time I was 16, we'd created the first water gardens in Devon!

The inspiration and experience I gained by assisting in this development gave me the need to learn more. I decided to train in horticulture. I attended two years at Dartington College and a further one year at Bicton Agricultural college, and became a qualified horticulturist.

Our first pond
My sister and I, by our first pond in Torquay

I remember swimming in the larger ponds when they were first built. We also built specialist aquatic plant areas and polytunnels for propagating new plants.

It wasn’t long before I realised that water and the creativity that surrounded this element had become a focus and a passion for me.

In the years that followed, I spent much of my spare time helping my parents to develop the land further, by planting trees, landscaping the site and building ponds.

Me building a pond at my parents water garden
Me building a pond at my parents water garden

The family business grew into great success, I spent some time working in for my father helping the business. I set up on my own, starting a landscaping and pond construction company in 1994 serving customers in Devon and Cornwall.

The passion for creating relaxing spaces for people to enjoy their time has never left, I'm as passionate about ponds, water features and gardens as I was all those years ago when I started out.


Andrew Rawlins

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