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Pool Slides: Enjoying Waterpark Thrills at Home

Imagine no heavy traffic, packed beach bags and lunches to bring the family to a waterpark. When you have your own pool slide, all those thrills can be enjoyed right at home.

Some of these home slides come in names like Cyclone, Vortex and Typhoon. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? S.R. Smith, for example, makes the Cyclone as well as Turbo Twister, Typhoon etc.) Aquaslide offers Julgle Joe and Jungle Joe II.

“Deck and Patio has been installing these brands on Long Island and the NY Metro area for years,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “In fact, a while back, one of our dramatic waterfall/slide projects, shown today at the top of this page, drew the attention of the famous group, Pool Kings, who asked us to start working with them.”

Dave adds that although the size and shape of our installed swimming pool slides vary — depending on the client’s budget, property size, and the amount of adrenaline rush they desire — they all provide a summertime thrill for the family and their friends.

“Although we specialize in dramatic and beautiful landscapes surrounding pool slides, clients can always opt for a slide to the simply well-secured to their pool without any of the special landscaping,” says Dave.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you would like a slide designed and configured to fit your property and landscaping plans, Inter-Fab Inc. offers BYOS 1 and BYOS 2 slides that are made to fit your plans and ideas.

“One thing very special about BYOS,” adds Dave, “is they can be funky and fun, or they can be set into a sloped landscape to look almost natural. You decide everything. That’s the neat part of it.” 

 

Side Benefit of a Pool Slide

After slides are installed, we learn from clients that an unexpected benefit from installing a slide is the calming sounds of water spilling from it into their pool. They say it transforms their ‘wild rides’ into a gentle water feature.

So, outdoor living lovers, your pool slide doesn’t have to be just for thrills. On any given day they can help you relax!

 

 

Wild Ride Slide:

Wild Ride Slide:

Next to the Wild Ride water slide with its water falling into the pool, Deck and Patio installed a separate moss rock waterfall that flows with force over extended rock.

 

 

Access to Pool Slide:

Access to Pool Slide:

One thing when installing a pool slide is to provide sufficient room to allow easy access to the slide and any surrounding patio. For this project, in order to cut back on having too much hardscape, we used stepping stones up from the patio to the slide, which are more in keeping with the slide’s natural setting.

 

 

Serpentine Slide:

Serpentine Slide:

Talk about thrills! Deck and Patio created this award-winning feature several years ago. It called for installing a large serpentine slide around a huge moss rock water feature. It is the one we mentioned above that inspired Pool Kings to contact us to participate in their projects and which have aired on HGTV.

 

 

Serpentine Slide:

Serpentine Slide:

This is the same slide project as pictured immediately above. When we worked on this water feature, we added large natural stones for the climb up to the top of the slide. Also note how an additional waterfall from the hilltop stream falls into the slide itself for an additional thrill.

 

 

Natural Retaining Walls:

Natural Retaining Walls:

When planning out this project, we suggested using Rocka steps, moss rock boulders, and creeping plant material instead of the usual retaining wall. This more natural setting provided the sloping landscape required for a fun pool slide.

 

 

BYOS Slide:

BYOS Slide:

This slide project is not one of ours. It was custom built by BYOS for Pulliam Pools in Texas. It’s a great example of perfectly fitting a custom-slide into a beautiful landscape plan. Photo: Courtesy of Inter-Fab Inc.

 

 

Soften Your Property’s Hardscape With Soothing Colors

Lots of us are looking for ways to quiet down the atmosphere around us, including with lovely outdoor plants and gardens. However, another way is to choose hardscape materials in soothing soft colors.

Granted, one doesn’t usually think of pool surrounds, patios and driveways as soothing. However, in their many choices of styles, the pavers available today can greatly add to the serenity of one’s outdoor experience. 

“Hardscape areas often take up a quite a bit of a property,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “So choosing soft tones can greatly add to a peaceful atmosphere.”

 

Cambridge Pavingstones with ArmorTec

One particular paving stone company — Cambridge Pavers Inc. — offers a special soft-hued line of pavers in their South Beach Collection.

In soft pinks and blues, these pastel shades have names like “Pink Sands” and “Sky Blue” and it’s easy to imagine these tones offering a beach-y feeling to any backyard pool area or water view — or around any outdoor space you was to be soothing.

 

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Deck and Patio surrounded the backyard retreat’s new freeform vinyl pool and raised spillover spa with handsome soft-hued Cambridge Ledgestone patios and bright plantings.

 

Techo-Bloc Pavers

Techo-Bloc’s Pavers

Techo-Bloc’s Pavers

 

Techo-Bloc, another company Deck and Patio uses a great deal, offers superb paving stones — or “artscapes” as they call them. Techo-Bloc’s popular “Monticello” pavers, for example, and their newest paver designs (left) provide pastel hues that are perfect for softening the landscape. 

Many of their outdoor slabs can be purchased in multiple colors. Two of our favorites are the Chocolate Brown with its slight rose hue and the Azzurro color with a blue underlining hue. Also, Techo-Bloc’s Mini-Creta collection, in Sandlewood, offers echoes of rose and blue from the gray.

 

How to Choose the Right Soothing Pavers for You

Sometimes the exact color (particularly its name) will not reflect how it will appear in sunlight, or shade, or at night once installed. Depending on these lighting factors, a sandy “earth tone” may appear pinkish depending on the conditions.

Now if you find comparing the colors of the many different landscaping materials daunting — viewing online photos can distort color and texture — Deck and Patio is happy to help you if you visit our design center or when we visit your property.

“If desired, our staff can explain the different benefits of each material — be it bluestone, brick, concrete pavers, permeable pavers, Travertine, etc.,” says Dave.

So Deck and Patio can confidently say: go yard-wide with soothing colors. Restful outdoor spaces are always in style.

 

Pool/Spa Surround in Techo-Bloc “Monticello”:

Pool/Spa Surround in Techo-Bloc “Monticello”:

 

 

Feature Photo Above: We used Techo-Bloc pavers to surround this pool upgrade and custom-installed portable spa Note: Deck and Patio has portable spas in stock and can provide custom design ideas to add it into your existing outdoor space.

 

 

 

Escape To Your Peaceful Garden This Summer

Flowers Are for Everyone 

Flowers Are for Everyone

Sometimes it seems like there’s no good news. But we can control agitation by making home a place of peace, including a delightful garden to escape to. 

One great thing about flowers is they respond to everyone the same way. They don’t care where they’re planted either. Spend a little time creating a proper  space — right soil, right amount of water, etc. — and they grow and blossom for you and everyone.

Also, a flower or plant doesn’t care if it’s alone. If taken care of, it will smile its bright colors, give off its scent to the breeze and feed visiting pollinators — all without companions.

Didn’t plant bulbs earlier this year? Don’t worry. Even though the heat of summer is almost upon us, there’s lots of stunning flowers that love summer that you can add — so it’s not too late. This weekend’s weather, for example should be temperate and have enough nice sun, so there’s time to spend in your garden.

 

Summer Plant Ideas

We have a list of plants below which are perfect summer plants. We begin with Lilies. They come in lots of colors and have a lovely symbolism. 

 

 

Lilies:

To enjoy these all summer long, you can plant a variety of the bulbs. Here’s the bloom times for some varieties:

Lilies Bloom from Early June

Lilies Bloom from Early June

 

Madonna Lilly:  blooms in early June

Asian Lilies: Mid-June

Trumpet Lilies: Late-June

Oriental Lilies: Early August

Nepalese Lilies: Mid-August

Speciosum Hybrids: September

 

 

 

Coneflowers (Black-eyed Susans)

A favorite Deck and Patio is the wildflower — the black-eyed Susan, a.k.a., coneflower. These plants are hardy and take heat and bright sunshine well. They provide gorgeous bursts of color to any garden, including around water gardens. 

But they don’t just turn the outdoors lovely. As cut flowers, they make great bouquets.

The following two photos celebrating coneflowers are Deck and Patio projects.

 

Coneflowers/Curb Appeal (Deck and Patio project)

Coneflowers/Curb Appeal (Deck and Patio project)

 

Coneflowers/Backyard Beauties.  (Deck and Patio project) 

Coneflowers/Backyard Beauties.  (Deck and Patio project)

 

 

Red Coleus

Again, this gorgeous plant thrives in the sun. With beautifully leafed flora, they are great as container or bedding plants. Right now is certainly a good time to add them to your gardens — or anywhere you’d like a spot of color — as they don’t survive during frost and cold climes unless you take them inside.

If you plant them now they’ll thrive through the warm months…just pinch the tips from the stems regularly to help growth.

The following Deck and Patio project shows coleus we planted near a water feature.

 

Red Coleus for drama.  (Deck and Patio project) 

Red Coleus for drama.  (Deck and Patio project)

 

 

Globe Amaranth

This lovely annual looks like pom-poms; their flowers come in purple, red, and white and last into fall. Hardy as it is, do water it from the soil, not overhead, which can cause a powderly mildew to grow.

The plants will die back when frost appears. But their seeds will germinate after winter.

 

Globe Armaranth/Three cheers for pom-poms.

Globe Armaranth/Three cheers for pom-poms.

 

 

Hibiscus

 

Hibiscus/worth coddling 

Hibiscus/worth coddling

 

People often think of hibiscus (which is our feature photo today/top of page) as a tropical flower — which it is. But it will thrive surprisingly well elsewhere, including the northeast. They do need lots of space, rich well-drained soil, and plenty of water but are worth the coddling.

Some varieties of hibiscus can grow into trees. How about that.

 

 

 

 

Verbena

Talk about saving the best for the last. Verbena shows its stuff (beautiful blooms) during the hottest of summer heat. Available in annual and perennial varieties, they are long lasting spreaders. They come in 250 varieties so there’s lots of color to choose from, including white, pink, or purple.

Some of the species are drought resistant, too, if that’s on your mind. They are often used in herbal teas…and as if all this wasn’t good enough, butterflies and hummingbirds love them.

 

Verbena/Ideal summer plants

Verbena/Ideal summer plants

 

 

If you’d prefer to have Deck and Patio help plan and landscape your garden, just give us a shout at:

631-549-8100!

 

 

Give Dad an Outdoor Kitchen Design Session

Give the Gift of a Design Session

Give the Gift of a Design Session

If like many Dads yours enjoys barbecuing, have you considered giving him the opportunity to design his own outdoor kitchen? 

Remember, while time may be too short to design/build him an outdoor kitchen, you can certainly schedule a design session for him by Father’s Day. 

All you need do is give him a card with the scheduled time and date. And if you’d like to wrap something he can open, why not print out some examples of Deck and Patio’s outdoor kitchens. 

For that purpose, below is a sampling of our custom projects. But you can choose another design from our files or online, and he can bring that to our design team.

 

#1 

Deck Outdoor Kitchen

Deck Outdoor Kitchen

 

 

This outdoor kitchen is sitting on a Trex deck (Spiced Rum) where we also created a bench against the railing.

Note how we faced some of the outdoor kitchen with matching boards so it all fits nicely together.

 

 

 

 

#2

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area:

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area:

Dad, or the rest of the family, may want a bar and dining area as part of his outdoor kitchen, which can be accommodated depending on the space available and how the yard is laid out. 

For this bar/outdoor kitchen, Deck and Patio designed it in a curved shape to fit with the patio design. The kitchen/bar is faced in natural stone. The lounging area’s outdoor umbrella is portable and can be used where needed, including at the outdoor kitchen/bar.

Adding a bar to this outdoor kitchen allows space for guests and family to gather. And we installed this particular one near a Deck and Patio water feature with waterfalls next to a portable spa. (And, yes, we do have portable spas in stock.)

 

 

#3

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

For some Dads, space will be at a premium. But he won’t have to sacrifice style.

One trend we’re seeing in outdoor kitchens is warming/cooling drawers made by companies like Ronda. These insulated drawers are sealed and work without electricity. Your drinks stay cool or your food stays warm depending on what you put in its lower drawer.

(Note: Deck and Patio frequently locates outdoor kitchens fairly close to the inside of the house — unless the property has a destination pool. In the case where all the outdoor living areas are a distance from the house, this requires different planning.)

 

 

 

#4

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

For this project, Deck and Patio constructed a custom activity area on the mid-level of a 3-level deck.

Just steps from the top-level’s large seating area, the custom outdoor kitchen/dining area includes a new grill, refrigerator, a small bar to enjoy the water views, and even a smoker/cooker — all set within curved custom cabinetry with a raised bar that mimics the decking in style and design.

Wherever you locate your kitchen, just remember you don’t want to get burned up from intense sun during cooking or dining. A pergola is one answer. But another is to have moveable — yet sturdy — outdoor umbrellas for flexible shade.

 

 

 

Basic Outdoor Kitchen:

Basic Outdoor Kitchen:

 

# 5

Sometimes space is really tight and that’s no problem.

However. Providing an upgrade to Dad’s old grill may not require a whole lot — just some careful measuring and choosing the perfect amenities to fit the space.

 

 

 

#6

Small Deck With Outdoor Kitchen

Small Deck With Outdoor Kitchen

 

 

Another example of Where there’s a will, there’s a way! to fit a full outdoor kitchen. All you could hope for tucked in the corner of a small deck.

 

 

 

 

If you’d like a few more ideas to print out for Dad, click here:

 

Feature: Outdoor Kitchen

Feature: Outdoor Kitchen

Feature photo at top of page: If you happen to have a pool, Dad may want his outdoor kitchen to be pool-side — where all the fun is happening.

In the case of this project (left), the kitchen is part of a drink/dining bar for fun gatherings. It includes ample work area, barbecue, sink, refrigerator along with the eating bar with bar stools.

 

Memorial Weekend: Bringing It Outside!

We Remember.

We Remember.

Fingers crossed the weather will be good as outdoor living kicks off over Memorial Weekend.

Of course, Memorial Day is first of all an important time to honor our fallen soldiers. And we all want to do that. 

But it is also a precious long weekend. A time of getting together with family and friends. As the first weekend of the outdoor living season, it’s the perfect time to open pools, heat up the barbecue, spend time gardening — or just revel in being outside.

 

 

Where to Locate Your Outdoor Kitchen

Locating Outdoor Kitchen

Locating Outdoor Kitchen

One important outdoor living amenity is a fully equipped kitchen.

If you don’t already have one, deciding where to locate it is key. There are reasons for positioning it away from the house — should you have a ‘destination’ pool, or if other outdoor living areas are set at a distance from the house.

However, it’s generally a good idea to place an outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible.

One obvious reason is you want it close to your indoor kitchen. In addition, your home’s extended roof, not to mention house walls, can provide your outdoor kitchen protection from the elements.

It’s also easier to hook up electricity by being so close to the home’s utility lines.

 

Combo Kitchen/Bar

Combo Kitchen/Bar

If your outdoor kitchen is for more than cooking and serving food, when it’s intended to also be a dining and drinking spot, you may want to set it where the activities take place.

When this is the case, your outdoor kitchen should be fully equipped so there’s less back and forth to the house. This requires lots of storage for bowls, cooking utensils, condiments, and definitely it should have a sink.

Wherever you choose to locate it, consider how much sun will be pouring down while dining, cooking, or drinking. A pergola can help or you might prefer moveable — yet sturdy — outdoor umbrellas for flexible shade. 

 

 

Stand Alone Outdoor Bars

Pergola/Outdoor Bar with Water Feature:

Pergola/Outdoor Bar with Water Feature:

Depending on what amenities you already have, or your particular landscape, it can be wise to have an outdoor bar/dining spot separate from where the cooking is being done.

And don’t limit yourself to what a bar can be. You can even add waterfalls. The elegant sheet falling ones seen in the photo here gave our clients the sleek modern look they wanted. And, of course, they also provide a very pleasant relaxing sound. This helps friends and family de-stress and invites easy conversation.

 

 

Adding Pool Amenities

Pools with Waterfalls

Pools with Waterfalls

Speaking of de-stressing. You might think that being able to cool off, do laps, or play water polo is enough to demand of a swimming pool.

But adding waterfalls can provide a whole new delightful experience.

Not only are these beautiful to look at, but imagine treading water underneath one. Or swimming under it.

Adding such a feature to a pool opens up lots of possibilities like incorporating other fun amenities with it: diving rocks, slides, as well as bright plantings.

 

 

 

Pool Waterfall

Pool Waterfall

 

 

Today’s Feature Photo: Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!

Backyard Waterfalls: A White Noise That’s Always Welcome

Yes, a welcome sound can be white noise! If the sound is coming from the frothy rush of bubbly-white falling water. Not only are the sounds of waterfalls relaxing, they can be employed to block out unwanted sounds like nearby traffic.

“Many parts of Long Island are fairly built-up,” says Deck and Patio owner Dave Stockwell. “In Nassau County, the homes can be quite close together. But even in Suffolk, it’s hard to get completely away from traffic.”

The following Roslyn, NY, homeowners had longed for a respite from the noise of a busy four-lane road close by. It was hard to imagine enjoying a pool and spa amid such clamor.

“We were happy to reassure them that they could have an undisturbed backyard oasis,” says Dave. 

“The key was including in the landscaping design a substantial rushing waterfall near the pool. It would not only be beautiful to look at, but its relaxing sounds would mask unpleasant street sounds.”  

Note: A short video that captures the sounds of their waterfall can be found below after our first two photos.

 

Natural Moss Rock Backyard Noise Barrier:

Natural Moss Rock Backyard Noise Barrier:

Today’s feature photo: Not far from the right edge of the pool, Deck and Patio built a 19-foot natural moss rock barrier with a “pondless” waterfall.

A small upper patio sits between this attractively landscaped barrier and the project’s spillover spa with its own waterfall.

“The waterfall also gives the impression one is vacationing on some south sea isle — away from everyday life,” says Dave.

 

 

 

Backyard Waterfall Blocks Out Traffic Noise:

Backyard Waterfall Blocks Out Traffic Noise:

This is a closeup of the very eco-friendly main waterfall. Water flows down moss rocks in a natural-looking way and seeps through river rock where it is captured in an underground reservoir. The water is filtered and recirculated.

Here’s the promised video that lets you hear the delightful sounds of rushing water at this Roslyn, Long Island, NY, project.

 

 

 

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Deck and Patio surrounded the backyard retreat’s new freeform vinyl pool and raised spillover spa with handsome Cambridge Ledgestone patios and bright plantings. 

The raised spa has its own separate overhead waterfall as well as a spillover into the pool. All this adds to an undisturbed backyard experience.

A diving rock and landscaping cutouts add to this pool area’s summer charms. In addition, the Cambridge paving stones are tough when it comes to winter’s cold weather. The pavers seem to withstand abuse better than any poured and stenciled concrete.

 

Backyard Paradise That is Noise Free:

Backyard Paradise That is Noise Free:

Pleasant sounds are the very opposite of unpleasant noise. And this backyard retreat is blessed with delightful sounds that can be enjoyed: in the pool, while sunbathing on a wide patio, when relaxing in a quiet upper patio, when rocking back and forth in the outdoor swing — not to mention when relaxing in the spillover spa that boasts its own overhead waterfall.

 

Poolside Landscaping:

Poolside Landscaping:

Bright plantings with green ground cover, along with river stone gravel and delightful stepping stone path, add to the natural look and serenity of the barrier/pool area.

 

 

Create Your Ideal Outdoor Space

It is natural that what is considered an ideal space varies from client to client. Sometimes it’s making room for a pet run, or a deck or patio for dining; other times lush landscaping is wanted to entice the family outdoors; or the sounds of falling water is strongly desired; often it’s comfortable spaces for entertaining that is key. And, sometimes, it’s all of the above.

“One feature many of our clients love,” says Dave Stockwell, “is an outdoor room. These come in all shapes and sizes — from an enclosed pool house to pavilions, and even outdoor rooms without walls.”

 

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

But as you can see from our feature photo today, sometimes all that needs adding is a handsome pergola, comfortable furniture, and a patio to provide the perfect level of contented breathing room.

The elegance and size of this Travertine patio, for example, gave our clients the perfect floor for a comfortable outdoor living room.

Note how the pergola’s overhead slats create a shadow carpet that helps define the sense of an outdoor living room.

Along with the adjacent dining area, it is only steps from an outdoor kitchen/bar/barbecue, veneered in natural stone.

 

 

 

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

 

 

When it comes to enjoying your ideal outdoor space into the evening hours, you also have to think about lighting.

One way to handle this is with a closed roof. This shingle-roof pergola/pavilion with fireplace project was installed at the edge of a patio.

Note the handsome lighted columns set on stone pillars that match the fireplace. The lighting on the pillars and inside the roof contribute to a perfect evening ambience.

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Room on Deck:

Outdoor Room on Deck:

 

Of course, your ideal outdoor space doesn’t require a roof, let alone walls. Along with a hot tub set into a new multi-level deck (we sell CAL Spas at our showroom!), all the homeowners needed to carve out their own ideal space was a fire pit and a television.

Note: Today’s LED televisions can be properly encased to be theft-free.

Encasing the television carefully will also ensure the proper internal temperature control/circulation to protect it.

There are also televisions designed for outside use which resist rain, dust and other elements.

 

 

 

Landscaping Can Define Space

Landscaping Can Define Space

And, of course, your ideal space can be designed with no fixed structure at all. Landscaping can beautifully define the perfect outdoor spot. 

Along with lush plantings, these Deck and Patio clients opted to shade a self-supporting hammock with a tilt umbrella. 

They positioned the two next to their pool’s waterfall — creating a dreamy relaxing spot to enjoy leisurely time outdoors. And when the purple Allium is in bloom, (forefront), the space is all the more enticing.

 

 

“You don’t need a pool or waterfalls to create an ideal space,” says Dave. “A simple container garden can be grouped with seasonal flowers and you have the perfect place to relax outdoors.”

 

 

For Mother’s Day Flowers: Think ‘Aquatic’

 

If Mom has a backyard pond, stream or water fountain, rather than giving her the usual bouquet, how about gifting her plants for her outdoor waterscape.

 

Plants for Water Fountains

 

Aquascape Inc. Garden Fountain

Aquascape Inc. Garden Fountain

 

A water fountain that is set in a basin is the perfect spot for adding flowers and greenery. Consider free-floating plants which are perfect for a fountain garden. 

Tip: Don’t forget a bit of Miracle Gro. In a fountain basin, floaters won’t get nutrients from other decaying plants that are found in ponds, etc., so they’ll need some nutrients. 

Another tip: Put these plants in the calmest section of the fountain’s basin so they don’t get too much water splashed on them. If the basin is large enough, perhaps there’s room for a few koi as well. Koi and aquatic plants work well together in keeping a healthy waterscape.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a very short video of the sounds and beauty of a fountain-garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deck and Patio Built Pond

Deck and Patio Built Pond

Aquascape Inc., in St. Charles, IL — the country’s leading experts on all things pond and water gardens — describes the basic groups of aquatic plants as:

  • Water Lilies Lotus
  • Marginal Plants Water Lily-like Plants
  • Floating Plants Submerged Plants

And don’t worry if you’re choosing the right plant. Ponds are all the more beautiful with a variety of greenery and color.

“In fact, the best designs for ponds and water gardens utilize a wide mixture of plants in different heights, textures and color from at least three of the above groups,” says Deck and Patio’s Dave Stockwell. 

“This gives the most natural look. When installing these, at Deck and Patio we don’t do it in a symmetrical way. We find that a more random placement provides the most natural look.”

 

And when it comes to gift giving, “random” makes the choosing all the easier.

 

Here’s some more aquatic plant ideas:

 

Aquatic Plants and Pond Landscaping (Long Island/NY):

Aquatic Plants and Pond Landscaping (Long Island/NY):

 

The tall aquatic plant on the left of the pond (canna lily) offers a nice tall statement. It thrives in water conditions that are 70-80 degrees F, with a pH of 6.5-7.5. 

They’re also easy to care for, love natural light and are ideally suited near the edges of a pond. The weeping hemlock at the top right in the photo flourishes in moist soil and offers a bit of shade which helps balance the water temperature.

 

 

Aquatic Plants (Long Island/NY):

Aquatic Plants (Long Island/NY):

 

 

So think water garden plants for this mother’s day. These plants will live a long time in their water bed. And with the outdoor season coming fast toward us, Mom will thank you indeed for the extra color and texture around her favorite sitting spot. 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Upgrades: Two Different Ways To Cope with a Slope

There’s no denying that, even for design/build experts, sloped properties can be a challenge. In the end, as with much of life’s problems — creativity ends up being the key.

“The creative process begins when as we discover who our clients are and what their hopes are for their yard,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “Devoting enough time to the interviewing process is an important first step.”

Today we’re highlighting two very different ways to ‘cope with a slope,’ The first project was for Long Island, NY, clients whose yard had a seven-foot elevation rising up from one end of their yard to the other, says Dave.

 

Project # 1

“The clients’ hopes for a full outdoor retreat — pool, spa, patio, waterfall, custom fire pit — all on a tight budget and created in a tighter space — added to the challenges of dealing with their yard’s slope.”

 

Full Outdoor Retreat on Sloped Property

Full Outdoor Retreat on Sloped Property

“Our biggest problem to solve was how to make everything appear like it fit in naturally without it all looking like a giant hill.”

Our design/build staff approached the project by taking on the grade in small bites — working out from an existing lower level patio to a new raised patio and then up to a pool. 

Note: By surrounding the hot tub with natural stone boulders with colorful plantings, the hot tub has a custom set-in-garden appeal. It was also positioned close to their back door so they can enjoy easy access year-long. (Note: You can ask our team about the portable CAL Spas we sell.)

 

Pool Moss Rock Waterfalls (Huntington/NY):

Pool Moss Rock Waterfalls (Huntington/NY):

Here you see the completed moss rock waterfall with the sweet potato vine we added. Landscaping helps bring a setting to life and softens the hardscape.

For more details about this project, click here.

 

Project # 2

Our second project earned The Deck and Patio Company a Silver Award from the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA). These homeowners are nature lovers. And their property had an unused slope near their patio. 

Our idea was to design/build a 35-foot-stream, with two stepping stone paths on either side, that gently moves along the grade solely with the help of Mother Nature’s gravity. 

We also positioned natural moss rock boulders and plantings, as well as river stones along its banks to make a perfect area for strolling, bird-watching, etc. The water flows down into a lovely free-form pond near the patio.

 

Nature-Loving Family (Long Island/NY):

Nature-Loving Family (Long Island/NY):

This stunning free-form pond is a huge hit with the clients’ entire nature-loving family. Everyone enjoys feeding and watching the vibrant koi as they swim about in it. “We even get to enjoy it all at night,” says the wife. “And we can see it from our home and offices, too.”

 

Picture-Perfect Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Picture-Perfect Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

It takes expertise and experience to position rocks in such a way as to coax water into waterfalls just like it happens in nature. Members of Deck and Patio’s team enjoy the woods and hillsides of upstate New York — frequently stopping and studying how water flows over rock, how plants crop up alongside of such water trails, etc.

“The whole area attracts so much wildlife — like frogs and birds,” says the homeowner. “This is really one of our favorite things about having a stream and pond.”

The homeowners say they also enjoy the sounds of the waterfalls and the serenity they feel watching the fish swimming in the pond. “It’s something we look forward to at the end of a long day.”

To learn more about this backyard stream and pond, click here.

 

 

Backyard Shade Ideas: Casting the Right Shadows

Since pre-Revolutionary times, Long Island has been a summer playground. Our beautiful shorelines, rivers and lakes and endless summer sun make it a truly enviable locale.

But even those who are sun worshipers require a little shade now and then. And in our own backyards, the key is casting the shade.

There are many forms of shade structures — pavilions, trellises, gazebos to name a few. But today we’re focusing just on a truly popular shade thrower: Pergolas.

What Exactly Defines a Pergola?

“A pergola is constructed with open rafters at the top and is supported by posts,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “It’s usually of simple, durable construction and is free standing.”

Deck and Patio clients also love the pergola’s open design, adds Dave. “Whether it’s made of vinyl, cedar, or fiberglass, etc., the structure allows for refreshing cross currents of air, yet is elegant enough to frame a picture-perfect outdoor sitting/gathering area. Plus, because of their simple design, you can expand them to fit pretty much any size space.”

Consider the following pergola which is also shown above as our feature photo today. It is a nice example of how creative one can get when designing this shade structure.

 

Pergola Shade

Pergola Shade

This Deck and Patio pergola crowns a handsome bar with stone facade with openings for two sheer descent waterfalls. It also defines the space elegantly, and most importantly, it provides lots of shade when positioned well like here. So along with the relaxing sounds of falling water — it’s the perfect shady spot for a summer drink.

 

Outdoor U-Shaped Bar with Pergola:

Outdoor U-Shaped Bar with Pergola:

With striking white columns this Deck and Patio pergola offers architectural drama as well as sufficient shade amid the day’s bright sunshine.

We designed it to provide shade for a dramatic outdoor bar area we designed/built which also claims a swim-up bar with in-pool bar stools. The U shape bar turns into a patio-bar nestled underneath the handsome pergola.

 

Pillared Pergola:

Pillared Pergola:

This pergola was built long and wide to shade a comfortable outdoor sitting area that includes a fire pit. It was positioned adjacent to a dining area shaded by a large umbrella. At the right time of day, the shade cast by the pergola’s rafters looks almost like a carpet — perfect for an outdoor sitting area.

 

Custom Pergolas:

Custom Pergolas:

Stepping out of the pool house we created, a 25-foot-wide shade pergola was built to shade guests from the hot summer sun. Underneath, there is also a stunning bar area, complete with sink and all components necessary to keep everyone supplied with fresh beverages. 

The bar and raised spa are faced with matching cultured stone, which ties the areas together from a design standpoint.

 

To Sum Up: Pergolas (and trellises) make attractive architectural statements. They require less materials than a gazebo (or 4-season room) to construct, and provide limited shade with just support beams and rafters.

Taking the time to grow vines on a trellis/pergola, however, will eventually increase the amount of shade. In the meantime, one can always add a canopy overhead if needed — a good idea if the space underneath is used frequently when the sun is high.

 

By |2022-04-21T14:02:19-05:00April 21st, 2022|Backyard Escapes, Backyard Refurbishments, Backyard Upgrades, Creative Design, Deck and Patios, Outdoor Living, Patios & Decks, Pergola, Trellises|Comments Off on Backyard Shade Ideas: Casting the Right Shadows
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