Date: 2020/21

Location: North Coventry, Pottstown, PA

Categories: Landscaping Design, Patio, Haradscaping, Sitting/Retaining Wall, Outdoor Lighting, Plantings

Products/Materials – PA Irregular Flagstone, Western Mountain Flagstone Mountain Fieldstone Wall-stone, Ironstone boulders, Mountain Fieldstone Slab steps, Techo Bloc Blu 60 HD slabs, Techo Bloc Antika / Valet Border, Trex Decking Materials

Co-owner of Whitehouse Landscaping, Ted Whitehouse had a vision for his backyard but was too busy to execute the plan.  Instead, he was focused on showcasing his talents to clients and making their outdoor living dreams come true.  The “shoemaker’s children have no shoes” was the reality until COVID hit.  As challenging and sad as the pandemic was, there was a silver lining.   Kids’ sports, activities and family social commitments came to a halt which opened up more free time to install the casual and comfortable oasis that his family would enjoy for years to come.   

Challenges

Pre-renovation, the family spent most of their outdoor time on their deck but it was small and starting to deteriorate and become uninviting.   The backyard they overlooked was a partially sloped lawn and the rain caused drainage issues under the deck and other low areas.  The yard lacked social space to entertain friends and family.

Project Planning

A new composite deck replaced the current, aging wood deck.  The deck was expanded from 10’ x 12’ to 16’ x 20’.  The old deck barely had room for a table and a grill.  The new deck allowed for more space around the existing table and grille and enough space for a new sitting area with a propane fire table. Trex materials were used and the upgraded cocktail railing added a great spot to put a beverage down.  The new deck provided a distinct look and at the same time minimizing long term maintenance needed.

An Irregular Flagstone Walkway connects the new deck and the new Irregular Flagstone Upper Patio.  Irregular Flagstone was chosen for this area to help provide a more natural feel to the overall space.  A fire-pit area was created using a boulder fire pit ring and a custom made metal insert was added to raise up the fire and to make for easy cleanup.  The fire pit provides a great focal point to their patio and is a feature that brings everyone together.

A Set of Mountain Fieldstone Slab Steps would be installed connecting the upper patio to a new lower patio.  The natural feeling of the project was continued by using the natural slab steps here.  Boulders and landscaping were added to make these steps a visually appealing feature instead of just a functional one.  

The lower patio was installed under the new deck using Techo Bloc Blu 60 HD Slabs and a Techo Bloc Antika / Valet double border.  This extended their space to relax and entertain and to connect with the children playing.  Extending the patio under the deck would also take care of the muddy conditions and give the family additional space for an outdoor area.  A custom standing table was added around a deck support post to provide and area for groups to socialize. The table was a focal point of the area and was made out of a custom stonework pillar and a custom made Sapele table top.

Multiple retaining/sitting walls were cut into the slope to allow for level spaces for the two patios.  These walls were constructed using a mix of Mountain Fieldstone wall-stone and Ironstone boulders.  Western Mountain Flagstone from an existing patio under the old deck was re-used to build custom benches for the fire pit area. This offered additional seating to make it a more comfortable space to hang out.  The walls would also border and help frame some of the landscape beds.

Decorative river rock would be used to add an aesthetic addition to the landscape beds.  It helps give the beds a more natural feel and also serves a valuable purpose for drainage by minimizing runoff during heavy rains.

Outdoor lighting would be added throughout the project.  Path lights guide you through the space at night.  Under cap lighting was incorporated in the walls and the pillar table to show off all the beautiful stone work.  Down lighting was also added to the pillar table.  Up-lighting was added throughout the landscape beds to help add a vertical element to the space.  Overall over 30 lights were incorporated into the project to make it just as beautiful at night as during the day. 

Colorful Plantings were needed to soften and surround the outdoor living spaces. These plantings would add texture and interest and be selected for seasonal interest.  A weeping Japanese Maple and Globe Blue Spruce are focal points in the center island bed.  Also a beautiful ceramic planter was added for another focal point on the backside of the fire pit area.  Some of the perennials used are: Coneflowers, Astilbe, Allium, and multiple types of Sedum.

All the excavated soil from the project was used to help level the upper section of the backyard.  Once this area was leveled better it was sodded. Now that everything would look updated, it would make sense to start with a healthy lawn.

Result – A Social-Ready, Comfortable Backyard

A beautiful backyard optimized for outdoor entertainment, relaxation, play and sharing good moments with loves ones. Not only was the outdoor space more usable, but it worked with nature and enhanced the overall natural look of the woods that extended from the back of the home.

Lots of ‘little details’ were incorporated to make the space useable and enjoyable to the fullest.

A Great Landscape Design

A complex space like this truly warranted a professional eye for design with a strong focus on aesthetics and functionality.  In addition, the proper execution of construction is equally important. Ted’s re-envisioned backyard will be enjoyed for many years to come. 

To see more examples of our work, take a look at our online landscape design portfolio and  if you'd like more information on an outdoor living project at your Pottstown, Chester Springs, Collegeville  or surrounding area home, contact us for a free consultation  or give us a call at 484-300-4290.