You might remember that in our last featured project, the landscape design was anchored by a large swimming pool. Well, this landscape project in Garrison, New York is similar: Our client wanted a relaxing backyard centered on the swimming pool. Their newly constructed home was built on a hill â€”Â as so many homes in our area are â€” so the land drops off in the back, leaving room for a raised deck and a patio underneath for a great view of the pool.
Those were our initial marching orders, and we took things from there.
Of course, the finished product looks deceptively simple. (It’s hard work making this look so easy!) If you’ve ever had a landscaping project done, you know how much “behind-the-scenes” work goes on before the real cosmetic work can begin.
In this case, because it was a new construction, we had to “build” the whole backyard. We re-leveled the land, laid the sod, cleaned out the woodsy area nearby and made way for a groundcover planting there. Around front, we did everything from basic plantings to constructing a stone wall along the driveway.
The initial work on this project took only a few months, with a few contracts to follow for some additional work that tied everything together, from the backyard all the way around to a gorgeous front gate that linked a full ring of deer fencing.
There are two things that really make this pool area special: the scalloped edges at each end of the pool, and the beautiful stonework around it.
I love the edges of the pool because they’re one of the only rounded design elements in the backyard â€”Â the other major curve is behind the pool, an area that now holds a lovely patio table and chairs. The lines are so striking and graceful, made even more so by the fact that they’re so rare in this design.
As for the patio stonework, I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s actually Unilock, a concrete paving stone that is a more cost effective choice compared to natural stone. It’s not only easier to install than natural stone and take care of, but it also provides a beautifully uniform look. We trimmed the pool and stone wall with natural bluestone coping to tie things together.
Back toward the house, there are a couple of features to note. First, the deck: When we started, there was another one in place. We wanted to dress things up just a little, so we replaced that deck with one that had just a little more “je ne sais quoi.” It’s a little more solid, a little more elegant and a little better suited to the house. We painted it white to give the entire backyard a coastal resort feel.
The white paint on the deck also lightened up space below it to make way for that secondary patio area. Of course, that patio offers yet another place for the Garrisons to sit and take in the view, and even enjoy a little shade on a hot day.
And, of course, no landscape would be complete without the plantings. I think they play second fiddle to the other elements in this case, but we chose an assortment of hydrangeas, rose bushes, native grasses, and even some plums to blend beautifully with all the work we’d done. Groundcover plantings near the woodsy area and other native plants leading to the side yard and up to the front gate complete everything.
More than five years later, I’m happy to say the finished product has matured beautifullyÂ â€” with room to grow. In the future, if the Garrisons get an itch to make a simple design change, a pergola would add some vertical dimension to the area behind the pool (where that patio table now stands), a great touch to echo that gorgeous white deck that rises so high behind the pool!
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