Need a Landscaping Idea for Your Backyard Slope?
A few years ago, Deck and Patio had clients whose property had an unused backyard hill area that sloped toward their house. And they asked us to think about how to best make use of it.
“At the top of the slope was a pool,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “Our idea was to take advantage of the slope by designing a stream beginning near the pool to run downward toward the house, ending in waterfalls and a koi pond. We also suggested a new patio and stepping stones as finishing touches.”
This Deck and Patio free-form pond and stream turned out to be a huge hit with the clients’ entire nature-loving family.
“Everyone loves feeding and watching the koi as they swim about. Because of good outdoor lighting, we even get to enjoy it all at night,” says the mother. “Plus, we can see it from inside our home and offices, too.”
The homeowners add they are particularly enchanted by the sounds of the waterfalls and the serenity everyone feels watching the fish swim. “It’s something we look forward to at the end of a long day.”
Frankly, the clients’ desire for a natural-scape in the yard helped inspire us at Deck and Patio,” owner Dave.
“Our design meandered the serene watery trail along their property’s formerly unused slope. Gravity is all that’s needed to move the water, so it’s also very energy-efficient.
The 35-foot-stream includes natural moss rock boulders and plantings, as well as river stones positioned along its banks; the stream ends where it tumbles over moss rock waterfalls into a 10’-by-15’ fish pond.
“The adjacent landscape is dotted with tall grasses like Miscanthus and evergreens such as Juniper Parsoni, giving a lush backdrop to it all,” adds Dave.
A natural setting such as this backyard project naturally attracts wildlife, which the homeowners particularly hoped would happen.
“The whole pond and stream areas attract so much delightful wildlife — like frogs and birds,” say the homeowners. “That really is one of our favorite things about having a pond.”
The Deck and Patio Company earned a Silver Award from the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA) for this project.
Deck and Patio used a flexible pond liner to create a free-form pond that would blend into the natural landscape. We planted Purple Cone flowers, Coreopsis and Spirea Anthony Waters, as well as tall grasses, and deep green ground cover. Together, the bursts of bright plant color and the sounds of moving water are soothing whether the clients are lounging by their pool, back patio or even in the house.
Having gone to “pond college” at Aquascape, Inc’s Pondemonium, Deck and Patio’s team has learned to look at a property from various viewing points — from wherever the clients will be looking at the water feature, including the house. Here we positioned an 11x 16 pond adjacent to their patio.
“Our clients found that in winter the moss rock boulders become sparkling ice sculptures so they enjoy their water feature all year-long” says Dave Stockwell. “Their backyard hill area sloped toward the house and a pool at the top of the hill. Our design allowed for the stream to begin near the pool and run toward the pond, patio, and house.”
Deck and Patio’s design called for an extended patio with bluestone stepping stones leading to the stream, natural stones to walk across it, and more bluestone on the other side up to the pool area.