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Bring Your Backyard to Life with a New Deck and Pond

Most are aware that when you add a pond to your yard, the water feature naturally attracts desirable wildlife such as birds, butterflies, etc.

But a deck can add life, too.

A deck that abuts a pond, for example, creates an idyllic spot for a variety of fun pursuits: cocktails after work, dining al fresco, bird watching, koi study/feeding, watercolor painting, book reading, and even meditation.

Because of such enticements, laughter and human chatter frequently mingle with birdsongs and the croaking of frogs. And backing up this vibrant symphony are the tranquil sounds of waterfalls and babbling brooks. 

The following Deck and Patio project is one such life-bringing project. (And we are delighted to say that it won for us two prestigious Gold Medal awards (APSP Awards/NESPA Awards).

Backstory

The homeowners felt they had neglected their love of nature long enough. They wanted a new backyard that was a home for desirable wildlife and lush vegetation, a place to regularly refresh the soul and spirit as well as entertain. 

The wife says she always loved birds and nature but hadn’t seen birds in a long time. A fully-blooming landscape was important to them, not only to attract birds but lots of butterflies. We proposed a multi-feature natural retreat that included a deck and pond. 

 

The Pond

 

Brooks, Waterfalls, Pond

Brooks, Waterfalls, Pond

This retreat includes two 35-foot babbling brooks and a four-foot multi-tiered waterfall that feed into the pond. The rocks we installed – some of which weigh over three tons — were imported from farmers’ fields in New Jersey. Each rock was hand picked for its particular use, sometimes for their ideal crevices in which garden perennials could be planted.

 

The Deck

For their deck, the clients wanted natural wood. 

“We often recommend using the remarkably durable Brazilian Walnut hardwood (Ipe – pronounced “e-pay”) that we used for this project,” says Dave Stockwell.

“Ipe’s strength, hardness and durability also resists splintering, termites, wear, rot, fire, chemicals, marine borers and almost every other threat imaginable. And because it is 100 percent natural wood, it is recyclable at the end of its long service life.”

 

Iron Woods “Ipe” Deck:

Iron Woods “Ipe” Deck:

Because we were installing the pond at the same time, we were able to design it all as a whole. Note how the pond seems to continue to flow under the deck, even though it doesn’t. The bridge, which was not done by Deck and Patio, was also constructed out of Ipe.

 

The Ultimate in Outdoor Dining (Long Island/NY):

The Ultimate in Outdoor Dining (Long Island/NY):

Imagine dining on your deck as the sun sets when you can not only hear birds singing goodnight, but being so near the pond, the gentle swish of koi swimming is part of the experience. That’s pretty much as good as as life gets. 

 

Aquatic Plants for Ponds (Long Island/NY):

Aquatic Plants for Ponds (Long Island/NY):

Creeping Jenny is one of the many aquatic plants Deck and Patio used here, first as a type of ground cover, but also for its cascading ability over rocks into the pond. Its pale green (chartreuse) leaves are shiny and luxurious and in summer boasts tiny yellow flowers. 

 

Pond With Waterfalls:

Pond With Waterfalls:

The four-foot multi-tiered waterfall feeding into the pond appears just like you see it in nature. To accomplish this, it is important to understand the way water moves over rock. Natural looking movement is determined by the type of rocks used, forcing water to move multiple ways when it comes down over the waterfall.

 

We also considered every detail carefully to ensure that it would fit perfectly with the additional elements the homeowners had hired other companies to do, such as the conservatory and small bridge — always taking into account how everything would appear in nature. 

 

 

 

 

Deck Nation: Why Do We Love Our Decks So Much?

Recent published statistics from the North American Decking and Railing Association (NADR) show that America’s love affair with residential decking is not abating. It is rising (4.8% last year).  As the economy continues to improve, experts predict future demand will be even higher.

One reason for the increase could be that Americans, like most humans, do not want to be hemmed in. We often feel constrained in our professional life, but when we come home, it’s Home, Home on the Range. Our DNA hungers for open space, blue skies and starry nights.

But why decks, in particular? Sometimes, we choose between a deck or patio because of topography alone. One will simply work better than the other. But a key element in favor of decks has to be: as much as we love looking at grass — in decades past, a picnic was considered the pinnacle in outdoor living — today, we want to be off the ground and track as little of it as possible back into the house. Decks allow you to be somewhat above the soil, sitting comfortably on an outdoor extension of our kitchen, den, master suite, etc. And there is no doubt that decking materials, be they wood or wood in appearance, add to that sense of extension.

There might be some financial considerations as well: “Perhaps not on its own, but when a deck helps stage an attractive backyard lifestyle, it will definitely add value to a home,” says Jacquie Lewisy, residential real estate agent at Signature Premier Properties’ (Huntington corporate office).

That’s some of Deck and Patio’s thoughts. Why do you think we love our decks so much?

 

 

Trex Decks:

Trex Decks:

Many homeowners today are choosing composite materials for their new decks, such as this beautiful Trex deck, explains Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter. This expansive deck, with recessed hot tub, overlooks a beautiful pastoral scene with pool.

 

 

Trex Decking and Stairs:

Trex Decking and Stairs:

Trex uses recycled materials in the manufacture of its decking. It boasts no cracking, rotting or splitting, protection from UV rays, no need for sealants, a slip-resistant surface and protection from insect, water and sun damage.

 

 

Iron Woods Decking:

Iron Woods Decking:

For this deck, the clients wanted natural wood and we used ‘Iron Woods,’ also called Ipe, which is an incredibly durable hardwood. It is highly rated for strength, hardness and durability.

 

 

Iron Woods “Ipe” Deck:

Iron Woods “Ipe” Deck:

We also installed a beautiful pond in this backyard retreat; note how the pond seems to continue to flow under the deck, even though it doesn’t. The bridge is also Ipe.

 

 

Trex Spa Deck:

Trex Spa Deck:

Another beautiful Trex composite deck, designed to capture views of a pool. Note how the choice of deck color was also used in the railing and as a case for the hot tub.

By |2017-01-21T16:34:45-05:00August 14th, 2014|Ask the Experts, Deck and Patios|0 Comments