The scope of this project was to create a natural landscape with functional spaces that could be enjoyed by the homeowners and their guests. It would showcase the gardens, and would accent the overlook of the natural wetland below.
In designing the hardscapes, the homeowners requested materials that would accent the architectural characters in the home, which included a repeating theme of squares. So we carried this in to the design to create a front entrance with a seating and viewing area that reflected the theme.
To make the space seem more inviting, and to allow the homeowners to casually entertain guests, a seat wall was installed to match the square patio. It was built to overlook both the garden spaces, and the wetland area. Savannah stone was chosen for the patio and seat wall to accentuate the colors of the home and natural stone veneer of the house. Using irregular steppers and working to hand fit each piece into the patio, no stone was cut. Even the cap of the seat wall was fitted with uncut natural stone pieces. Grading was necessary to make the patio level, and the final grade of the hill was made to flow away from the house and fit the natural drainage pattern of the yard.
To alleviate problems with erosion on the front hill, large outcroppings of Savannah stone were 'planted' into the slope. Plant material was also strategically placed to prevent erosion of the garden beds.
As the house was built into a hill, and contained a walk-out basement , adjustments had to be made to the grade, both in the front and back of the house. Due to the existing structure and the existing trees, however, the grade could not be heavily modified, so retaining walls were vital. Two retaining walls were built under the front deck, and a retaining wall was built under the back deck. All three walls were constructed of natural stone steppers and wall block for a variation in size, height, and color. Stones were mortared in place, and set on a large wall block base approximately 8"-10" in height. Drain tile behind each wall tied into the main drainage system leading to the rain garden.
Near the walk-out the homeowners decided to use recycled brick from thier past home as a paver patio. An additional natural stone wall of wall block and steppers was created in the walk-out space to prevent erosion onto the patio, and allow for a planting bed under the deck steps.
In the back yard several mature trees prevented any extreme change of grade. Large Savannah stone outcroppers were brought in and placed at random in the steepest section of the hillside to allow the homeowner space for a collection of rock garden plants. A slight swale was added to the back lawn to allow all water from the back yard to drain to the lowest part of the yard.
In an effort to be ecologically conscious, the homeowners decided to add a one foot by one foot drain the width of the driveway. The drain would carry water from the steepest part of the driveway, and would tie into 4-5 additional lines connecting all downspouts from gutters. The large tile line was created to lead to a rain garden in the low area of the west side yard. This rain garden was excavated, and approved soil mix was added to the excavated space to allow for drainage. A rain garden overflow was also created leading to the adjacent wetland area.
With a combination of specimen trees, shrubs, and perennials, the garden had a great sense of flow and a number of great textures and colors in both foliage and flower.
- Landscape Award Winner 2018
Pleasant View Gardens