Natural Retreat

Design Overview

With this yard and design we really wanted to lean into the client’s request for a natural feel custom finishes. In order to do this we added in items like the wood bridge, dense planting, meandering water feature, and natural stone to pull in some natural feel. This was then paired with intricate brick work, a more formal wall around the firepit, and adding a bubbling sphere to the water feature to create the high-end custom look the client wanted.

We as well solved several issues within the yard to ensure a long term homeowner friendly space; saturated soils under the walkout deck that heaved and caused concrete failure in the past, creating a staircase down the overly steep side of the house, adding a landing and area for garbage bins off the side of the garage, and fully automated watering systems for plants and grass.

Who said solving problems needed to look boring!

Yard Tour

Build Specs

Belgard Mega-Libre in Victorian with Techo-Bloc Antika inset rugs in Chocolate Brown.  We paid extra intention to the patio subgrade because of saturated soils. To solve this we amended the wet clay soil to firm it up and added a drainage line under the entire patio to wick water out from the patio base. The patio base material itesld is all clean stone base (no fines) in order to allow water to freely drain through the base.  Lastly, the patio is graded to divert water away from the house in order to keep the house foundation safe. PAVING STANDARD BUILD SPEC

This 30′ long  pondless waterfall is kept crystal clear with an automatic dosing system and properly sized pumping system. Water is constantly in motion and any standing water is below ground in a resevoir. This means this feature will never be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and water quality issues like algae become virtually non-existent. Further, in order to give this feature that additional custom element we added a  medium stacked slate sphere as a focal point at the stream and a custom wood bridge that invites you to cross it and overlook the feature. PONDLESS STANDARD BUILD SPEC

The large block natural stone walls are built from Armour Stone. These large block natural blocks create a more natural aesthetic while creating purposeful retention and division between the different areas of the landscape.

The firepit retention and seating wall is built from Belgard Ashlar Tandem Wall in charcoal. Like with the patio all of the base prep and back fill is clean stone to ensure water management is taken care of. This wall is multipurpose insofar as that it both retains the base material in order to make sure the patio height is at the right level, and, it extends above the patio height 2′ in order to double as a seating wall while providing a visual backstop for the patio that makes the entire area feel cozy and protected. RETAINING WALL STANDARD BUILD SPEC

The goal was low maintenance and organized natural. In order to make this possible we stuck to a planting palette of local hardy and native plants and make sure to plant in structured patterns and groupings that will fill out to engulf the planting spaces. An emphasis was given to grasses, evergreen trees and shrubs for winter interest, creeping groundcover plants to fill in around the water feature, and pockets of grouped colours via perennials. Maintenance wise these plants require an annual pruning while the watering is done automatically via a drip irrigation system the homeowner can adjust from their phones.

The side stairs were created to control the slope of the property while allowing for easy traversal from front to back yard. These Belgard Step Units provide the perfect rise and run for a casual step while also giving visual anchor points up the slope to play off of with strategic planting and boulder work. A staircase does not have to be boring and can be a feature all on its own.