Private Oasis in Ford's County

Materials: Pool; Pavers; Stone; Boulders; Landscape Lighting; Drainage Parts; Compost; Sod; Seed; Plants; and Mulch.

New Construction Challenges

Building a new home comes with many unique challenges. There’s a million small decisions and many big decisions- all of which have to be made over just a few months.

​We knew a pool was coming to the back at some point. As we started mapping out the layout and finalizing the multi-phase design for the landscape, we realized the shape of the lot only gave us one good way to get a pool to the backyard. Right where the driveway was to be located.

​After more discussion, the decision was made to make it all happen while the new home was still under construction.

Starting from Scratch

Phase one started us from scratch. We started by setting the height for the pool. We knew where we wanted the grades to end up, we moved a lot of dirt to make it happen. We started with the rough grade, All the topsoil was pulled back and out of the way. We set in on creating the general swales and pulling the locations for our pool and walls.

The Plans

The Quickest Part

Getting the pool in the ground goes pretty quick on a new construction site. There are no major obstacles, the landscape is already torn up, and we don’t have to work around many utilities. River Pools & Spa was able to install the I30 pool in just few days and have all the plumbing set quickly.

​Our client want a dark lagoon look for the space. In the design she wanted to see different shades of grays, definitely no tans. The Midnight finish of the pool pulled it all together. Almost black with beautiful metallic flecks.

Our Pool Color Scheme

We used Techo Bloc pavers for the floors and Belgard blocks for all our walls. River Pools installed a concrete coping around the edge which we lined with a dark Charcoal paver.

Levels of Pool

Once the pool location was set, we started building out the walls and pavers. There’s about 5’ of elevation change from one end of the yard to the other. We captured this slope in three walls.

The first one was just to retain the soil and the backend of the pool. Not much to see, just very functional. The third level we used to create a location for the hot tub so it wouldn’t be too far from the home. The middle wall we installed right along the edge of the pool. We had a goal of creating a unique look and feel for the space.

Accepting Landscape Challenges

The slope in the backyard had initially created some challenges. We decided it was best to actually steer into these challenges as we created the design. We used the middle wall to support landscaping and a water feature. The water feature quickly became the focal point of not only the pool area but also the upper porch area.

Waterfall Flowing into Pool

We wanted the water feature to appear as if it was flowing into the pool. We used two weirs plumbed directly into the pool and then built a water feature in the space behind the wall that was completely separate. Now she could leave the water feature on year-round and winterize the pool when needed.

Filling the Void

We used Aquascape Aqua-Blox to create a void space for the water to be housed. We then added out boulders, spheres, and bowl to the platform. Plumbing was tight just because of the location of the walkway on one side and the wall on the other. We still managed to fit a large basin in the space.

A lot of boulders were used through the yard to create depth and interest but also tie it all into the water feature.

In the initial designing the landscape, our client wanted a low-maintenance space. Something where trimming and pruning might only need to happen once a year. We used a lot of cotoneaster to control the slopes. We also used spicata liriope to eventually spread and fill in the beds to avoid the need to mulch. We used no grass in the front, sides, or rear of the yard. The only place we HAD to have a lawn was over the septic field, unfortunately there was no way around this layout.

The Final Landscaping

We brought in mature trees for the back of the pool. Our client wanted the pool to feel part of the woods. We wanted extra screening but we didn’t want it to feel like a wall of evergreen. We used a mixture of magnolia, cryptomeria, maple, and even a yellowwood. As these mature it will create a dense cover for the pool.

Low-Voltage Lighting

We incorporated low-voltage lighting through the whole space. Inside of the walls, around the fire pit, the paths leading around the home, and of course inside of the water feature.

Ready to Enjoy!

Our client is super thrilled with how the space came together. As time progresses and the landscape fills in the space has many one-of-a-kind vistas and sights. They are now ready to entertain and enjoy life.

Another phase?!

Yes! We came back roughly a year later to add another fire pit. We created a sunken area with a waterfall wrapping around the hardscape. Check the video here to see how phase one matured and how cool the waterfall element is.