2013 ALE: A Courtyard Inspired by Sculpture contemporary-patio

2013 ALE: A Courtyard Inspired by Sculpture

Hively Landscapes http://www.hivelylandscapes.com/
Project Entry: A Courtyard Inspired by Sculpture

2013 PLNA Awards for Landscape Excellence Winner
Category: Residential Hardscaping $60,000 & Over
Award Level: Gold

Project Description:
This project began with many challenges from access, to staging areas,and just trying to figure out how to turn this long and narrow space into something that the homeowner can really enjoy and appreciate. Immediately I thought a wall, the stretch of the property, will be a great feature. Through the design process I was able to break up that length with lower shelves for planter pots of other sculptures.

Originally I was asked to design a way to showcase a rustic cast iron bell. In my original design,a crossing set of cast iron rods were to hang the bell from where they met. This ended up not being enough for them so then they surprised me with the newest purchase, the pendulum and fire pit. I worked hard to really show off their new sculptures. All the lines in that area are designed to flow around those pieces of art. I designed the gaps in the top course of wall curving into the pendulum to draw your eyes,but also mimic the square openings in the pendulum itself. This was a great way for me to tie everything together.

The client was big on recycling and not getting rid of any materials unless absolutely necessary. I loved that about them. I was able to reuse almost all of the pattern cut flagstone already existing on the property. I used clay brick to frame and showcase the colors in the flagstone as well as helping to accent the fire pit.

Originally considering a natural stone wall, I realized that the cost of the project would be through the roof. Although it was obvious that the client was ready to spend some money I knew it was going to be out of their scope. I quickly turned my attention to ChapelStone which I felt was the best representation of real stone and would be great for the free standing wall as well as easy on labor. I finished the wall off with rock faced thermalled bluestone caps to tie it in with the natural flagstone an brick.

The bank across the back property posed an interesting obstacle forcing me to be extremely careful with my placement of the wall and draingage. If you notice in the pictures there is about 15" of river gravel across the majority of the wall. That is a French drain all across the front collecting the water and draining it through the wall. At the fire pit and pendulum area we had to drill 12- 1" diameter holes to move the water so the patio could meet up flush with the wall.

The most exciting task I had was to create something out of the large granite pillars that were buried and edging the existing small patio. When they came out of the ground my mind started churning. We create a beautiful granite bench and a wonderful array oftapered pillars to recycle these historic materials. As a whole this project was a beautiful piece of art.

Plant List
1- Cercis Canadensis
2- Lagerstoemia indica 'Whit IV'
1- Picea pungens 'Giobosa'
1- Cedrus atlantica 'Giauca Pendula'

Photo Credit: Hively Landscapes
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