You find the home of your dreams. You love it, but you’re not so much in love with the steep hill that makes up the majority of your back yard. One particular client of Dutch Touch Landscaping had just this issue to deal with, and so Maarten Randeraad and his team came up with a fabulous solution!
This particular project was an interesting one for Maarten and his team, as the client wanted a flat-surfaced backyard so there would be no need to mow a grass-covered hill, and they wanted the ability to install some built-in seating areas to enjoy their beautiful space.
The centrepiece of this backyard landscape project not only helped to resolve this issue, but it also created a beautiful backyard oasis for this family to enjoy. It was clear to see that for a backyard made up of such a steep grade, Maarten would have to not only build a retaining wall, but also provide additional grading work in order for the backyard to maintain proper drainage. What you don’t see is the actual retaining wall, because the stunning water feature, made of stepped natural stone, hides it beautifully. While this feature looks like a waterfall gently cascading down into the ground, there is actually a pond at the bottom of the structure that allows for the placement of the pump and the recirculation of the water. “The water feature needed a pond, but not everyone wants a functioning pond” explains Maarten. “Some ponds need regular maintenance, need to be treated, and some might even have fish that a client would need to tend to. With this project however, the client wanted something that looked beautiful but wouldn’t have all of the extra pond maintenance that would come along with it. So, we created a rock garden over the ponding area, and now the only maintenance for the client is to remove and store the pump when the fall and winter months arrive.”
And for this project, it works perfectly and meets exactly what the client wanted.
Another feature that the client wanted to incorporate were some beautiful seating areas situated throughout the design. Again, Maarten was able to work with the grading and retaining wall to create a small seating area at the top of the water feature, and using the natural stone, flow down into a larger one at the bottom. The whole design was installed to look like a natural rock structure, perfect for two to enjoy, or even for a big backyard family gathering!
Along with being lovely and functional, there are other benefits to having a water feature incorporated into your landscape design plans;
ENVIRONMENTAL – Backyard ponds, waterfalls, and brooks are relatively self-sustaining with minimal maintenance required. As well, water features attract many types of wildlife. From butterflies to birds, frogs, and salamanders, water features help sustain these creatures in your area.
HEALTH AND MINDFULNESS – Water features allow for a place to hear and see nature right at your fingertips. The sounds can be therapeutic in nature and allow you to escape the stresses of everyday life, right in the comfort of your own backyard.
SOUND BLOCKING/ABSORBING – An added benefit of a flowing water feature is its ability to block out ambient background noises such as neighbours, construction, or even a busy street.
Beyond just the water feature in this design, Maarten was able to create some additional texture and dimension by using various in-ground plants, standalone planters for flowers, and a walkout to the main patio space where the client can now sit and relax, listening to the beautiful sound of a gentle flowing waterfall. And best of all? Never again having to worry about how that steep hill grass is going to get cut!
Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks | Photography: Cory Bruyea