Four seasons of outdoor enjoyment in the Pacific Northwest.
No matter the season these homeowners wanted to be able to enjoy outdoors. When we first met them, they had an architectural drawing of an outdoor covered patio they were planning to build. They hired us to help them design and integrate the outdoor space into the landscape environment, expand their entertainment area to handle 24 people on a routine basis and determine how to incorporate moving water.
The biggest challenge was creating enough of a slope so the water feature would cascade down 3’ naturally and not look like the water started on a man-made mound of dirt or rock. The existing backyard sloped away from the house approximately 4’ to the furthest corner. While this could have worked, the homeowner wanted the spillways easily visible from the inside of the house as well as all the outdoor seating areas. The solution was to raise the grade of the existing backyard surrounding the future outdoor covered patio (upper terrace).
This accomplished a couple of things. The upper terrace no longer was elevated above everything else and the elevation change eliminated the need for a railing around the elevated deck thus keeping the site lines open for viewing the spillways and the rest of the garden. By raising the grade around the upper terrace, what had been lattice skirting was replaced with cement block, cement and flashing. The area was then backfilled with ¾” minus gravel and an 18” layer of topsoil. The water feature was then installed in the area built up by the gravel and the spillways were directionally positioned based on the most dominate sight line.
To retain the gravel and soil a rock wall was installed. The rock wall had columnar boulders installed aiding in the elevation transition from the upper terrace to the lower terrace. A set of curving stairs was installed matching the same material used for the upper terrace. The lower terrace was designed to be large enough to handle a sit down meal for 24 people. Given this was a large surface space, the water feature’s final spillway and pool was designed to be much larger than all other spillways and pools. In addition, the water feature’s final pool was cut into the patio helping to integrate the two design elements.
While installing the backyard above, the homeowner requested a front yard make over. The front yard’s issues were awkward access and a lack of a focal point. The design changed access to occur from either the public sidewalk or the driveway and made the front door the focal point. Having the walkways approach the front door directly rather than from the side and by planting two privets on each side of the front columns the front door became much more noticeable.
Our team of talented landscape designers work with your wishes, needs, and budget to create a custom space just for you.
National Award Winner
Work with our award-winning team on creating a space that you'll love for years to come.
Inspired? Join our newsletter, where we update you on our favorite new projects!