preserving natural setting

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Backyard Landscaping Ideas: Preserving Natural Surroundings

When the homeowners of this dramatic backyard swimming pool oasis originally built their home, it was designed with care not to disturb the property’s mature maples, oaks and pines. So when Deck and Patio was later brought in to upgrade their outdoor living experience, we naturally were just as careful.

The key to our design was locating various water features within a limited space so as not to disturb the environment. Despite building restrictions, the finished project was rich in amenities:

 

Pool/Spa

Pool/Spa

 

— a concrete vinyl-lined pool with waterfalls, 

— a raised spillover spa with an additional waterfall,

and, 

 

 

 

Stream

Stream

Koi Pond

Koi Pond

 

— a stream with waterfalls

— plus a koi pond.

 

 

“We had a lot to consider when we designed this,” says Dave Stockwell. “First, of course, the trees had to be preserved. But we also considered the property’s topography, the soil, solar exposure, the overall size of the property, where we could place active and passive use areas, not to mention the home’s architecture.”

Dave adds that the each feature had to fit with nature and this particular landscape. Besides our technical knowledge, such an accomplishment requires a true passion for nature in order to balance the relationship between architecture with its natural surroundings.

“Needless to say we were thrilled to have been recognized for what accomplished in the design and installation of the pool, spa and water features: We won two prestigious awards from NESPA and APSP for the upgrade.

Here’s some more details for this project:

Pool With Raised Spillover Spa:

Pool With Raised Spillover Spa:

This concrete pool has a vinyl liner. We positioned it into the natural surrounding landscape considering carefully any existing trees and mature shrub root systems. Although it’s not seen in this photo, the clients can enjoy the nearby koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in their spa. The spa also has its own overhead heated waterfall, which can be adjusted to cool in warmer weather.

 

Multiple Waterfall/Stream:

Multiple Waterfall/Stream:

This 5’ high multi-level waterfall and 35’ meandering stream discharge into 10’ x 15’ freeform Koi pond (below). 

 

Koi Pond and Stream:

Koi Pond and Stream:

Pond was built to protect the fish against natural predators. Pond’s small cave, for example, provides a hiding place where koi can lay dormant during winter months and hide when necessary.

 

 Pool and Spa Design:

Pool and Spa Design:

The design of this pool and spa appears “organic” with its natural surroundings; they perfectly fit with the clients’ desire for harmonious bodies of water in keeping with their natural looking residence, patio, outdoor kitchen.

 

Pool Landscaping:

Pool Landscaping:

Vibration flowers and fragrance is provided by many varieties of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings — planned for successional color throughout pool season.

 

 

 

 

Design/Build Landscaping: Owning a Piece of Paradise, One Phase at a Time

A backyard oasis can be a major undertaking. Depending on the scope of the project, it isn’t always possible to bring it about all at once. Depending on when you get started, time constraints can limit what is possible to do in one season. Budget can also be a factor. Even local codes may cause temporary roadblocks.

When any these factors frustrate completing your heart’s desire in one season, the answer, of course, is build it in stages. However, in order to ensure that each stage  is in harmony with earlier work, the project’s design requires an extra measure of care.

Phase I should include enough enjoyable elements so that the family can experience a bit of paradise from the get-go. Certainly that was true for the project showcase we’re highlighting here, which was done in two phases.

In addition to a swimming pool and spa, the clients were passionate about having backyard water features in a natural setting that appeared as if Mother Nature did the work — not a landscaping firm. Our Phase I plan included just such backyard delights: a pond, stream and multiple waterfalls that seemed to have always been there.

“In addition to appearing natural, the clients wanted to enjoy beautiful natural sounds and sights from various points in their yard and residence,” says Bill Renter.

“A key decision we made was not to clear-cut their backyard just to make it easy on us to work,” says Bill Renter. “We kept much of the property’s mature oaks, maples and pines in the overall design. In the initial phase, we were also careful to leave sufficient space and access to where the pool and spa would be constructed the following year, taking care that any future construction would not interfere with anything already in place.”

Not only did the homeowners end up with their heart’s desire — owning a piece of paradise that was theirs alone — but the project won Deck and Patio three prestigious awards: Gold, Silver and Bronze from the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI).

 

Backyard Paradise:

Backyard Paradise:

Before any pool was built, Deck and Patio designed the property’s new stream and multiple waterfalls to transverse the rear property line ending in a koi pond. By using the existing topography, we created spills and changes to water direction so they could be easily heard as well as seen from the rear patio and from inside the residence.

 

 

Swimming Pool with Spillover Spa:

Swimming Pool with Spillover Spa:

After a year of enjoying their water feature, we installed the pool and spa to complete the backyard renovation. The pool was designed to be “organic” with its natural surroundings and to meet the clients’ desire to have a body of water that would be harmonious with the residence’s existing patio, outdoor kitchen area, waterfall, stream and koi pond.

 

 

Spillover Spa:

Spillover Spa:

Built 12 inches above the pool water line, the spa provides a picturesque spillway that intermingles with the surrounding landscape. The clients wanted the spa to be unique and provide some seclusion from the main patio and other viewing angles. A 2-foot-high cascading waterfall into the spa not only offers a gentle massage should you sit under it, but it adds to the overall theme of having pleasant visual and audio effects of moving water.

 

 

Landscaping Backyard Oasis:

Landscaping Backyard Oasis:

The pool was also constructed with a moss rock boulder coping which brings the landscape right up to the beam of the pool in a natural setting. Vibration flowers with fragrance that also offer successional color throughout the pool season include a wide variety of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings.

 

 

Backyard Koi Pond:

Backyard Koi Pond:

The spa was situated by Deck and Patio’s design/build team so the client could view the koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in the spa.

 

 

 

 

Backyard Retreat In Keeping With Natural Surroundings

The Deck and Patio Company won major awards for this beautiful backyard retreat

 

This property’s residence was carefully designed and built amongst mature oaks, maples and pines. Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, and his team, also took great care to preserve as much of this as possible when we added the various water features: a concrete, vinyl-lined pool, raised spa, stream, waterfalls, and koi pond.

To accomplish this, many site-related factors had to be considered: topography, solar exposure, soil conditions, existing trees, property size, active and passive use areas, as well as the style of architecture.

We have found, in fact, that recreating water and nature is an art form that takes a trained eye, many years of field experience, extensive knowledge of hydraulics and plant material, a true passion for nature, and, most importantly, an understanding of how to balance the relationship between architecture with its natural surroundings.

In recognition for all we accomplished in the design and installation of the pool, spa and water features, this back yard retreat garnered two prestigious awards from NESPA and APSP in 2007.

 

Freeform Concrete Pool:

Freeform Concrete Pool:

Vinly-lined pool was nestled into landscape with careful consideration for existing trees and mature shrub root systems. From spa, clients can view koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing. (Note: Waterfall spilling into the spa acts as a delightful massage.)

 

 

 

Multi-tiered Waterfall/Stream:

Multi-tiered Waterfall/Stream:

5’-high multi-tiered waterfall and 35’ meandering stream discharge into 10’ x 15’ freeform Koi pond. The surrounding moss rock and plantings help create a natural look.

 

 

 

Koi Pond:

Koi Pond:

Pond was built with much consideration for the fish since natural predators exist in and around the locale. The pond’s small cave provides a hiding place where koi can lay dormant during winter months. Plus the pond is fed fresh water continuously from the waterfall/stream.

 

 

 

Pool and Spa Design:

Pool and Spa Design:

This beautiful lagoon-like free-form pool and spa were designed to be “organic” with natural surroundings; they capture very essence of clients’ desire for harmonious body of water in keeping with residence, patio, outdoor kitchen, and new waterfall, stream and pond.

 

 

 

Pool Landscaping:

Pool Landscaping:

Vibration flowers and fragrance — known to bring out the peace within —  are represented here in many varieties of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings that also offer robust successional color throughout pool season.

 

 

 

Project Showcase: Recreating Water and Nature As An Art Form

Design/Build Deck and Patio Company balances relationship between architecture and natural surroundings

At Deck and Patio, we are passionate about recreating water and nature in the “built” environment. We sees it as an art form; we also understand that it takes a trained eye, many years of field experience, extensive knowledge of hydraulics and plant material, a true passion for nature, and most importantly, an understanding of how to balance the relationship between architecture with its natural surroundings.

Our outdoor living expert says this is especially true when integrating water with the “built” environment, because many site-related factors must be considered: topography, solar exposure, soil conditions, existing trees, property size, active and passive use areas as well as style of architecture. www.deckandpatio.com

In order to preserve as much of the natural surrounding landscape as possible, for this beautiful project showcase, rather than clear-cutting the half-acre property, the residence was designed and built amongst the property’s mature oaks, maples and pines.

In developing our landscaping plans, taking into consideration the size of the property and overall dimensions of the house became an important aspect for Deck and Patio’s design/build team. We also left space for, and access to, where the pool and spa would be constructed the following year. Our plan also ensured that future construction would not disturb anything already in place.

 

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Our design plan left space for, and access to, where the pool and spa would be constructed the following year; we also ensured that anything already in place would not be disturbed during this process.

The client wanted our design/build team to consider visual and audio impact as key elements, taking into account viewing angles from inside the house and when entering the back yard, as well as interaction with the water feature when sitting outside.

 

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Our design/build team took into account the viewing angles from inside the house, when entering the back yard, and interaction with the water feature when sitting outside.

To make this water feature successful, the installation process was very detailed and relied upon our design team’s keen eye for rock placement which includes comprehensive knowledge of its direct correlation with the ‘architectural’ elements of form, texture, shape and height, including the finishing touches that plant material and gravel provide when recreating nature.

 

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Our design team’s keen eye for rock placement includes comprehensive knowledge of its direct correlation with the ‘architectural’ elements of form, texture, shape and height, including the finishing touches that plant material provide when recreating nature.

So as to minimize the impact of this feature against the much needed lawn area for the clients’ active children, we designed the stream and waterfall to transverse the rear property line; we utilized the existing topography to create multiple spills and changes in water direction so it could be easily seen, as well as heard, from the rear patio and from inside the residence.

Low-lying evergreens and groundcover perennials were used in and around the rock outcroppings and stream for color and texture and to soften these large boulders which would otherwise stand out and detract from the overall intent of looking “natural.” Larger flowering plantings were installed behind the water feature to provide accenting and screening as well as to blend with other mature plantings that existed on the site. On lower portions of the slope, the water feature was planted with flowers for cutting and small beds for annuals so the client could interact with the stream garden throughout the season.

 

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Deck and Patio designed the stream and waterfall to transverse the rear property line and utilized the existing topography to create multiple spills and changes to water direction so it could be easily seen, as well as heard, from the rear patio and from inside the residence.

After a year of enjoying their water feature, the clients decided it was time to install the pool and spa and complete the back yard renovation. The swimming pool had similar design constraints being that the depth of the property was minimal at best; it would take up the majority of the left side of the rear yard once installed. The pool was designed with the intent to be “organic” with its natural surroundings. The 24’ x 42’ freeform concrete wall, vinyl lined swimming pool and raised 8’ diameter spa with spillway captured the very essence of the clients desire to have a body of water that would be harmonious with the residence’s existing patio, outdoor kitchen area, waterfall, stream and koi pond.

The pool was nestled into the landscape with careful consideration for existing trees and mature shrub root systems so that minimal impact would occur during excavation and construction.

The spa was built 12” above the pool water line, providing a picturesque spillway intermingling with the surrounding landscape. From certain vantage points you could see the spa itself, but the client wanted the spa to be unique and provide some seclusion from the main patio and other viewing angles. A 2’ high cascading waterfall was incorporated into the spa design which provided not only a gentle massage should you sit under it, but it also added to the overall theme of visual and audio effects of moving water in the rear yard.

The spa was situated not for ease of access from the pool; rather it was so the client could view the koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in the spa. Since the client did not wish to remove the entire existing brick patio, nor have a walkway around the entire pool, a random bluestone coping was incorporated which brought the lawn area up to the pool. This also aided in creating an “organic” relationship between landscape and hardscape. With minimal space, such inventive ideas must come into play in order to conserve on cost and impact to the surrounding setting.

 

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A 2’ high cascading waterfall was incorporated into the spa design which provided not only a gentle massage should you sit under it, but it also added to the overall theme of visual and audio effects of moving water in the rear yard.

 

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The spa was situated by Deck and Patio’s design/build team so the client could view the koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in the spa.

The pool and spa is fully automated with state of the art technology salt chlorine generator, mineral purifiers, pumps and filtration system. All of which can be accessed from inside the house, by the spa or by remote. With rising fuel and energy costs, many of the pool functions are energy efficient and can be programmed to perform minimal tasks to keep the pool water clear and circulating and, when needed, the functions of the pool and spa power the waterfalls, spa jets and filtration system.

The pool was also constructed with a moss rock boulder coping which brings the landscape right up to the beam of the pool and created a natural setting. Vibration flowers and fragrance provided by many varieties of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings creates successional color throughout the pool season.

In recognition for the design and installation of the pool, spa and water features, this back yard won two prestigious awards from NESPA and APSP in 2007.