Backyard Landscape Design Ideas
Waterfalls - Patios - Walkways - Pergola

What an exciting project this was! Many great backyard landscape design ideas were used. Yet they were all integrated so that everything flowed beautifully as you walked through the yard.

I worked with the client fine tuning this design...even when I relocated to Virginia. (The projects is in New Jersey.) The room with the main view to the outside had lots of windows, so what they saw was very important to them.

Makes sense! If you are going to embark on a huge backyard landscape design, you should be able to enjoy it from the inside also.

What I loved about the way this design turned out was that from the minute you entered the yard from the driveway, you felt as if you were in paradise, starting with walking through a beautiful arbor. Also, most of the beautiful parts of the design could be seen from all vantage points!

It turned out beautiful. The design encompasses many great backyard landscape design ideas, such as:

Backyard Entry

Arbor At Driveway Leading to Patio Pergola

Entering the backyard, one walks through an arbor which is part of the pergola structure. Flowering vines will be growing up the columns. This feature leads to a bluestone patio and joins the patio pergola. Gates are at the entry as part of the pool fencing.

See the video of this project

Pergola

Pergola Over Patio

In this photo, you can see the entire pergola covering the bluestone patio. The stone wall you see is the back of the custom outdoor kitchen. The plantings soften the wall when viewing from the rear part of the yard.

When designing a pergola, thought must go into many elements so that it works well.

1. How wide should it be?
2. How long will it extend for?
3. How far apart are the columns...and how wide.
4. How tall are the columns?
5. What does the lattice on the top look like?

Many people wonder about how much shade a pergola will provide. Part of this depends on your property and where the sun is coming from (along with which part of the day you need the shade most). The closer the slats at the top of he pergola are, the more shade you will have.


Walkway to Pool

As you leave the patio area, a curvilinear bluestone path leads to another patio, which is raised and includes a spa. As you meander along this walkway, interesting foundation plants can be enjoyed.

The spa was designed so that it had a built in look. Wide steps were located right next to the hot tub. By the time you walked from ground level up to the patio, you were almost at the top of the spa!


But wait! What's on the right?? It's a pond!

To create even more interest, a beautiful pond was added and designed so that it is tucked into the existing wood edge. There are two waterfalls, lots of plantings, and fish.

Notice how natural the pond looks, as if it was always there. Placing it partly into the woods helped to achieve this. It takes someone who has a good, artistic eye to create this effectively. The design is only part of its success. The contractor was excellent!

If you like waterfalls, take a look at some beautiful waterfall photos.


Raised Patio and Walls

The second patio is actually a raised terrace. There is a large grade change from the house to the ground. A gradual transition was created with a landing porch, steps to the patio, and then steps to the yard.

Built in planters serve as protection instead of railings. When thinking about backyard landscape design ideas, consider this option for raised patios. It's much nicer.

See more wall pictures here.


Large pieces of fieldstone serve as steps leading down to the lower back yard level and to the swimming pool decking. This type of stone used for steps might have different names, depending on where you live. They might be known as bluestone steppers, Karney stone, or as mentioned above, just field stones.

On either side of the steps there are lovely plantings to enjoy. Notice how they are not one long flight of steps but are divided into sections for a more comfortable transition.


Patterned Bluestone Walkway and Plantings

As you reach the bottom of the steps, you can either go to the pool area or to another entry into the house on the lowest level. Or just venture further out and enjoy the open lawn area. The ornamental tree adds some height and additional interest to the design.

Here is a "fun" video I made showing Seven Great Patio Design Ideas (very cartoon-like!) Stay tuned until the end to see all of the backyard landscape design ideas for a patio come together!

The bluestone for this project has been dry laid and set on the diagonal to make for a slightly more interesting stone pattern.


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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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