To our landscape designer for this project in Saratoga, CA, it was immediately obvious the backyard had the potential to be the showpiece of this sumptuous estate. The client had visions of transforming the nondescript but spacious area into both a retreat after a hectic day and a gathering spot for friends and relatives.
The property owners wanted a backyard design that deftly used nature to soften the look of a considerable amount of hardscape. They chose Koch & Associates because of our extensive experience with high-end projects.
Many plants already on the property were well worth saving. The colorful hydrangeas, for example, were given new life with soil amendments and fertilizer.
Although the backyard was the focus of this landscaping project, the entrance to this lovely home also needed an update.
The landscape designer faced a challenge: Due to the trees in the area, including the twin palms in front, the area received dappled light throughout the day. Great care was taken to select native California plantings that did well in both sun and shade.
The plant choices were a success - the landscape has held up well. We also installed a short wall of timeless stone hardscape which will retain a sense of elegance for years to come.
All plants in front are watered by an efficient drip irrigation system that keep plants lush but uses minimal water.
The lengthy, stone-lined pool and attached spa is the centerpiece of the backyard redesign. The pool serves as much as a relaxing water feature as it does a place for the clients to swim their daily laps.
Pool landscaping was kept simple and unobtrusive. A lush lawn was part of the plan from the very beginning - the owners like the idea of guests leisurely strolling on the grass during a warm California evening.
As with other plantings surrounding the home, the lawn is a drought-tolerant grass variety that requires little water.
The pergola construction features study roman-style columns and a lattice roof. The variety of tree species framing the backyard adds visual interest and conveys a sense of cozy seclusion.
Koch & Associates are custom pool contractors. We enjoy taking a client's ideas and creating pools and spas that reflect their individuality. In this case, the owners wanted arcs of water to crisscross their pool.
The result feels like a work of stylish art. Viewed from the pergola, the effect of the streams, glistening in the sunlight then dropping into the water from a height of several feet, is mesmerizing.
Although the fountains can be manually switched off when guests are in the pool, the owners, to their surprise, discovered most swimmers prefer the fountains remain on.
A timer turns the fountains off at night.
The owners, concerned about the intense California sun, initially preferred a closed roof atop the pergola pictured. Eventually they were happy they chose a latticed roof, which allows enough sun to keep the area a warm and delightful place in which to dine, have a cocktail or simply lounge.
Our talented patio designer overlooked no detail, including making sure the columns were spaced correctly to accommodate the client's beloved hammock. Sleep comes easily as the sun sets and the water feature emanates soothing sounds.
Many clients appreciate the flexibility of big, bold accent pots such as those shown here. They are can be moved around and replanted for a completely different look.
This rear view of the approach to the pergola gives a better sense of the space at one end of the backyard redesign.
Per the client's request, the Koch & Associates patio designer tucked the grill beneath the smaller pergola and away from the main gathering spot. The owners wanted to keep the outdoor kitchen out-of-sight but still convenient to the dining area.
For continuity, the same type of stone used in the front accent wall is used in the back. The owners love the solid impression these walls convey and really enjoy the fact that stone surfaces are maintenance free.