Whether it’s the long Labor Day holiday weekend created for workers, or simply the few scattered hours you squeeze out of a relentless workweek, it’s nice to enjoy some free time in blissful leisure at home.
Location, Location, Location
However, what if your property isn’t located in a pastoral area that allows for inviting quiet time? What if your locality is all hustle-bustle? Such was the case for these Deck and Patio clients. Their home is tightly surrounded by apartment buildings, traffic and noise — in the very heart of Queens, a teaming borough of New York City.
In this atmosphere, even adding a pool and patio wouldn’t provide the escape the homeowners desired. To create for them a real backyard oasis, we had to block out the noise and oppressive atmosphere.
Solutions, Solutions, Solutions
One of the best ways to screen out noise is a sizable waterfall and the clients opted for one to provide splashing sounds into their new pool. In addition, our clients asked us to build a 12-foot-high concrete block wall. While useful as a noise and environs barrier, a wall can be a bit oppressive in itself.
So the next challenge was to soften the wall’s appearance. First, we planted bamboo around its perimeter. Bamboo can be invasive so we encased the woody grass with concrete blocks to limit its spreading.
One thing great about interior and exterior walls is they make an ideal canvas. Taking full advantage of the wall, Deck and Patio designed and supervised the layout of a “living wall” that can hold multiple-sized pots for plants. When completed, the living wall became living art — changing in color and shape almost daily. (For details on living wall – see photos 5, 6, below.)
The result: the clients may live in a busy part of New York City, but their Labor Days — and every spare moment they can muster— will be spent in blissful leisure right in their own backyard.
Water cascading over rock into another water pool is a natural sound barrier that is peaceful and soothing to the soul.
The sounds of the waterfalls, the colorful landscaping and the dramatic concrete block wall together give a sense of refuge in this bustling part of one of America’s five largest cities.
The free-form vinyl-liner pool includes boulder coping, and a moss rock waterfall with robust plantings that help beautify the wall.
The pool’s surrounding patio is made from Techo-Bloc pavers that handsomely complement the 12-foot-high wall and smaller concrete encasement for the bamboo.
“There are many types of Living Walls; interior and exterior, permanent or seasonal walls, and then there is the ‘Plug n Play’ (manufactured and trademarked by Green Living Technologies, International or GLTi) that we used here.
The Plug n Play is very versatile and can be manufactured to accept multiple-sized pots (3” to 12″). Drip irrigation is set up on alternating rows and trickles down to each row below; excess water is either captured or drains. Plants are set on an angle with their holes faced downward so the roots/soil can sap up water via wicking effect. These units can be fastened to any type of wall; using the right type of fastener for each respective wall type.