The front yard was a design that, like many other Exterior Concepts projects, evolved through the construction process into what you see from the attached photos. Normally, our water features are constructed in the rear of the home where they interact with the outdoor living spaces we create. However, due to the limited space available at this particular property, the front yard quickly became the best option for a pond/water feature.
The water feature is a 3 tiered pond, with two standard koi ponds on the upper levels flowing into a pondless water feature at the lowest level. The two ponds are oxygenated by water plants and stocked with koi.
The upper pond is fed from two water features; a waterfall, built against the garage wall that aims to achieve balance by channeling the flow of water outward and away from the home, and a small basalt. There are two drops into the bottom pool. This bottom pool acts as a reservoir for the entire system. To complete the organic cycle, a pondless waterfall faces the main water feature back towards the home, which in turn directs the energy correctly towards the house, a concept we try to accomplish with most of our designs.
The rest of the hardscape was done using Old Castle product. The original driveway was concrete (a construction product that we do not care to use in our designs, nor do we consider it a medium for outdoor living.) It was poorly aged and cracked in many places and was also at least 2′ too narrow to be a usable 2 car driveway. The new design was widened and can now comfortably fit a 3rd car. After the driveway was completed, it comfortably fit two cars and with the widening contour on the left front side, possibly three.
From this driveway, two walkways were incorporated. Both walkways lead to the gate on the right side of the home and were designed with bridges passing over the koi ponds because a water feature becomes more natural when one can interact with it. These bridges had a curve as well as an arch incorporated into the design to follow the contour of the pathways.
We used Mega-Arbel and Arbel, both with the Knights Bridge color, from Old Castle to create our desired look. The Mega-Arbel was used in the driveways and beautifully blended into Arbel for the walkways.To create the contour for the bridges, we had a custom cut done along the sides of the pavers to create the organic form. The entire design is woven together, giving life to the property instead of being an ornamental piece with no purpose other than a common showcase.
Coloroc, a company we have been using for at least 12 years now, had been purchased by Old Castle some years back. When choosing pavers, Old Castle is our first choice, but with cultured stone, Coloroc is our favorite. I chose a cultured stone that would match closely to the stone used to construct the pond. Growing up fishing in trout streams in the Poconos, I am partial to using Pennsylvania antique field stone and accent boulders for most of our water features. As seen in the attached photos, certain walls were chosen to use cultured stone for the full height where the others were built 3′ up in height. This helped to create a smooth flow with the upper waterfall stemming from the garage wall.
The two finishing touches necessary for any project to become an organic whole that is greater than the summation of its parts, are always the landscaping and lighting.
Our main goal is to give our customers the best experience possible, and we accomplish this by personalizing the atmosphere created by our outdoor living artwork. This project was landscaped in such a way that even though this pond is in the front of the house, it is intimately private for the homeowner and their guests, and not easily viewed from the street.