Pretty ponds: Trevor Strever creates serene garden features

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By Lanier Laney

Trevor Strever never imagined he would one day be know as the “water feature expert of the Lowcountry” when he married Sharon Carter, a Kingsport, Tenn., native, 21 years ago in the remote bush country of Transkei, Africa.
Trevor was a game ranger there, having gotten a biology and nature conservation degree from the College of Praetoria in his native South Africa, the country next door.

Pond and water feature designer Trevor Strever.

Sharon was there doing physical therapy for children with polio in the remote villages with a medical group of visiting doctors.  She had signed up for three months but ended up staying for three years. After Sharon and Trevor met on a guided nature hike, they fell in love and married in the tiny remote village of Umtata.
Sharon eventually had to return to the United States and Trevor was apprehensive at first about coming to America because he loved his job in the wilds of Africa. But he found a job as a biologist for the Florida Department of Natural Resources studying redfish in Tampa Bay and began to enjoy the great diversity and outdoors in the U.S.
On a visit to good friends who lived in Beaufort, they fell in love with the town and the area. They decided to move here and Trevor started and ran a successful fishing guide business for many years while they raised two children, Matthew, who is now 16, and Caroline, 14.
What started out as a backyard project to create a wildlife habitat with a pond eventually turned into a thriving business as friends asked Trevor to create similar beautiful ponds and water features for them.  Trevor then went to Acquascape college in Ohio to learn all he could about creating successful water features and they awarded him a Certified Aquascape Contractor degree after he completed his studies and they reviewed several projects he did for clients. This led to his current licensed and insured business: Island Garden Features.
Says Trevor, “I specialize in design and construction of low maintenance water features, which brings nature to your home with the soothing sound of waterfalls, fountains and ponds. I also build garden bridges, pergolas and natural flagstone walkways and stone walls. I find that water features can help turn your landscape into something special, providing a focal point and attracting wildlife.”
And in case you might be worried that your new water feature will attract bugs, Trevor adds, “Our installed ponds are complete ecosystems with the best filtration to ensure clear water with low maintenance. There are no mosquitoes at all and the water  is continually moving and being filtered 24 hours a day to keep it clear.”
You can see examples of two ponds that Trevor has done at Grayco in the outside garden department. Both have clean, clear water and a variety of beautiful blooming plants, many growing in the water.
Trevor has done water features for clients all over Beaufort, Spring Island, Bray’s Island, Bluffton and Hilton Head. And he also does regular follow-up maintenance.
The cost of fountains can start at $300 and the cost of ponds depends on the size, number of waterfalls and complexity of plantings. For more information on what Trevor can do, go to his website at www.islandgardenfeatures.com or email him at strever4@earthlink.net or call 843-575-1997.