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Building ponds is creating serenity

By Ed Brock

Craig Luna steps into an empty backyard and sees a masterpiece waiting to happen.

He sees a pond, but not just a pond. As the owner of a pond supply store the 50-year-old Luna sees a complete aquatic environment.

"It's really therapeutic, it's nice," Luna said.

It was 18 years ago that Luna built his first water garden. At the time he was working as a recreational therapist for handicapped youths at the Georgia Retardation Center and he built the pond with his students.

"I taught them that it was an in-ground aquarium," Luna said.

After that he got involved in a pond society and one day his parents asked them to house-sit while they were on vacation.

"They came home and the old, dirty embankment we rode our bikes on and played football on was now a water garden," Luna said.

Reaganomics took his job so he enrolled in some business courses and started a business. Winning first place at a college water garden seminar also helped.

"Then I just ventured out with my little business and next thing you know I was in garden shows and gallerias," Luna said.

Now he has 1,281 clients in different states and he's been featured on Home and Garden Television. His customers, like Barbara Barnette of Jonesboro, seem satisfied.

"I went to a pond show (in 1992) and he was there and he was the nearest one to me," Barnette said. "We had several areas where we couldn't get the grass to grow because of too much shade."

Luna also advises anyone planning to install their own water garden to do careful research.