In a quiet corner of a backyard, a stream flows through a bed of perennials.
When the homeowners had to pay for dynamiting a granite rock wall that stood between them and their landscape makeover, the designer had to scale down other parts of the project, including this courtyard patio. Because the fireplace is a stronger architectural feature than the water feature, it was placed at the end of the patio; both are in full view of the dining area inside the home.
View of a Fountain
The fountain can be viewed as you enter the gate to the patio — and from the dining area inside the house.
The homeowners wanted their landscape to fit in gracefully with the designated wilderness area next door.
A simple four-foot pond, with a center fountain forms the beautiful centerpiece of a bluestone-and-brick patio.
Unlike the rectangle pool the homeowners had first imagined, the freeform shape of this pool better fits with the terrain as well as leaving more room for entertaining. The six-foot berm, installed with plantings for privacy from the neighbors, was met with objections from the neighborhood's architectural review board. In a compromise, the back side of the berm was modified to look less abrupt and was landscaped with rocks and plants, so now it looks like it's always been there.
The surrounding woods provides a beautiful backdrop, but the landscaping project required heavy equipment. A dozen trees had to be cut down to make room for the pool and gazebo then a large quantity of dirt was brought in to level the back end of the pool.
Plants for Privacy
This pool begins with a beach entrance near the house and includes three waterfalls. Sizable plantings of Leyland cypress, deodar cedar and hollies help provide enclosure and privacy for the outside. The best part of this pool however, is the outdoor kitchen (see the next slide).
The pool culminates in a swim-up bar and sunken pavilion and outdoor kitchen, where people both in and out of the water are at eye level. The homeowners asked the builders to raise the roof of the pavilion so the feature wouldn't look low and squat in the landscape. Flames from the fire pit are reflected on the water.
If your climate or budget rules out a water feature for the time being, consider creating an illusion. This marble-dressed succulent arrangement decorates a desert-style rock garden in this Los Angeles backyard.