The client is a business owner, whose work requires extensive travel, long hours and high pressure. His escape from this work environment has been exploring nature, rock climbing and a passion for the beauty of nature’s waterfalls. His desire was to satisfy his passion by prioritizing the designed landscape improvement over a planned remodel of his home, later remodeling the home to focus specifically on the new landscape features.
The design created a natural style waterfall for his steep, blackberry covered backyard. A dramatic set of falls flows to a koi pond, bluestone patio with outdoor kitchen and sitting areas with access paths along the entire falls. Custom decks and house windows were also precisely integrated into the grade to take the greatest advantage of the falls and stream flows.
Construction access along with all materials for the improvement was imported from the bottom of the slope adjoining a cul-de-sac of homes. We gained approval for access and built a road traversing up the slope to build the project from the top down. Boulder walls were required throughout the slope to hold back the grade, create terraces, sitting areas and integrated tiger wood decks with cable railings. The final falls and bluestone patio alone have over 28’ in height of support walls.
Secondarily, the improvement of the bland East side yard that the garden room looks toward was to have a water feature to compete with the backyard waterfall, but be completely different. The installation is a series of spillways directed toward all planned views from the home remodel, with the effect rushing directly toward the home.
Challenges included the need to carefully allocate power, as the client had previously blown circuits during heavy power demands for large parties he has given. We brought in electrical experts to re-allocate power throughout the home to gain what we needed. We also installed high efficiency pumps and LED lighting to conserve power requirements.
Additional challenges included a narrow side yard, existing grades sloping toward the home and a wet, snowy winter weather installation for both projects. Access was not available from the backyard so another road was built from the front driveway requiring removal and relocation of existing 3000+ pound boulders and the transplant of a massive 30 year-old rhododendron and azalea.
Sub grades were reversed away from the home and pond liners with drains were installed to direct water back toward the ponds and away from the home. Boulder rockery walls were introduced to provide integrated plantings and allow spillways to drop close to the home for dramatic views from planned floor to ceiling windows. This also allows for views of the falls from virtually anywhere inside the home. Natural plantings and a dramatic 4000 pound stone bridge over the stream completes the effect.
Extensive low voltage LED lighting highlights all waterfalls, paths, patios, sitting areas and existing trees throughout the improved areas. Spillways are brightly enhanced with shadows cast along stone bridges and accent boulders while the lighting of large existing trees provides a grand night time view.
Finally, a new driveway was requested to replace the 30 year old gravel road to the home. The improvement needed to provide a hint of all that will be seen along the side and backyard. A new boulder edged paver driveway with tight integration of pavers to boulders plus an additional stream and waterfall seen as you corner the curved drive create a sense of the special landscaping experience that awaits.
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