View Full Version : Patio renovation with waterfall pics!

07-23-2007, 11:16 PM
Here are a few pictures of a patio renovation project I completed over the winter. the first picture is obviously before. We have since added some more perennials to her landscape to fill in some bare areas. what do you think?

07-24-2007, 12:37 AM
I would do the plant material X 20.

Just to be honest, not a fan of the water feature for two reasons.
1) Its not 'natural' looking at all, I'm not a fan of stacking flat stone and running water over it.
2) Its a mountain of stone in the middle of the flat yard.

Don't take it wrong, constructive critizism.

I suggest: Put some evergreens around the water feature to soften it.

07-24-2007, 02:16 AM
i like it overall but with more plants and in place of the rock water fall i would do a bubbling pot feature

07-24-2007, 04:32 AM
I agree, there are countless hours of experience needed to build a natural looking waterfall. That yard has plenty of room to build a nice sized pond or water feature.

07-24-2007, 06:45 PM
thanks for the criticisim, but she already had a pond and wanted a waterfall. I was just satisfying a customer with a limited budget. She really didn't care if it looked natural or not. she mainly wanted it for the sound to drown out all of the new construction around her.

Waterscapes By Design
07-24-2007, 09:12 PM
Man, I dont care what the other people say here, the actual face of that waterfall looks really good and the flow looks good. The only thing a little bit off in that is the sides of the fall where you are trying to contain it....But the face of the fall itself is pretty damn good....

Waterscapes By Design
07-24-2007, 09:14 PM
.........definately need to place some taller plants around the sides and back of that to at least counter the stack of rocks, make it kind of look like its comeing out from somewhere or somethin

07-25-2007, 01:52 AM
Heres my first pond- still in operation since 1995. Its been upgraded twice, using the Aquascapes Ecosystem. My Koi are 18" long now.

It's amazing how in March- everything is bare, and come summer, it's fully grown.

07-26-2007, 10:05 AM
your feature looks really good. There are some big ornamental grasser behin the fall, they were really young when i planted them. she wanted to add in some perrinnials herself later on. It looks nice now, not so out of place. This was my first patio and waterfall as well. It was for a good friends mother, I do not call mysef a aquascaper at all. I may look at it later, but now I am just mowing, maint and design. I thouhgt about taking some classes on building outdoor kitchens/ fireplaces. what do you think?

07-27-2007, 12:47 AM
Go buy a few books from Greg Wittstock.. the "Pond Guy". I think he's mastered the pond building industry.

07-27-2007, 04:10 AM
Well, I know what it's like to post here and the frustration of then being criticized for something you are so proud of. I understand how frustrating that is, more than you know. I've often posted pictures here on lawnsite hoping to get a ton of praise, only to get more criticism than praise. That's incredibly discouraging and anti-climactic when you are so happy of what you've done.

So at the risk of being one of those discouraging people I'll give you my feedback.

First off, it's 300% better than it used to be. I mean, from a before-after perspective, it's amazing. No doubt about that. That jungle of a mess they had before looked horrible. And this looks nice. So you've done well with probably what budget they gave you.

Now on to the constructive criticism.....sorry......

Yah...I'll have to agree with a lot of the others. The waterfall is okay. But it really should look more natural. Even on a small budget, you can make a little more natural looking waterfall. Here's a small-budget one we did recently;


It's not my most favorite water feature we've done. And I wish they would have had the budget to put even more plantings around it then we did. But the thing is even though it's just a stack of rocks, we hid that fact fairly well with the planting we did around it. Again, I think we could have done even better. But the point is you shouldn't just stack rocks up and call it a water feature. Even on a small budget, making it look as natural as possible is an important goal. You may not quite arrive at that goal totally. But not trying at all is kind of bad.

If you are going to stack rocks to create a waterfall, like Waterscapes By Design said, you should definitely at least put a variety of larger plants and trees behind it to avoid the "Mt. Vesuvius Effect."

On to the flagstone patio...I like the ledgestone border. I always think that's a nice touch to flagstone patios. But what I don't like is the color of the flagstone at that property. We did a flagstone patio job recently using almost the same color of flagstone. But in that case, it matched the rock facade that was on the house and the other rocks that were in the landscape. In your case, those colors really clash with the house in particular. The shape of the patio and walkways is suspect too. But I won't be too hard on you for that. I'll leave that alone for now. It's not too awfully bad.

The other thing that really bugs me is the location and color of the iron Arbor / Trellis. Again, I don't think black helps the overall look of the back yard. I think the yard needs brighter colors. A white one would have complimented the house and brightened up the dark landscape better. But the location kind of bugs me too. These Arbor / Trellis things should really designate a point of entry or a change from one area to another or a final destination. For instance, they are great over gates because they help distinguish the front yard from the back yard. They are also nice as a final destination, in the corner of a landscape, with a bench under them. Or they are good for when you are changing from one kind of hardscape to another. And you'd usually want to incorporate a gate then too.

I also agree with the more planting comment. Although I totally understand having a customer who just doesn't have any more room in their budget. I've done lots of jobs like that where I only WISH I could have planted it like I had wanted to but they just couldn't afford it. Still, it would have been a lot nicer with some more mature plantings.

Not a bad job overall. Just trying to offer some constructive criticism. That's how we all learn. I am still very much learning on every project we do.

PerfiCut L&L
07-27-2007, 08:31 AM
Let me first say that I I think you have done a tremendous job given the before shot. They now have a back yard they can feel good about going outside to. Not to mention, I'm sure the will have a few less creatures living out their.

I think Jim has a hit a few key notes however from those pictures it may be difficult to judge completely. I agree with him, the Arbor/Trellis should designate a key aspect of the landscape. Transitions from one to another are a main focus for Arbors'. I also agree that black is probably not the best color for this instance. With that said, from the pics its difficult to tell, but it does look as it their is a set of steps just to left. So the placement of the arbor where it sits now can act a transition to the patio. Just not by itself. Dress up the landscape around it some. Make it a focus point.

I like the of the flagstone and although it does clash slightly with the siding, it looks like it may tie in with the stone on the bottom of the house. A different angle may shot it better.

The only other suggestion I have, would be to use the excavated soil from the patio to build up the ground around the water fall. This would have helped some in making the fall a little less obtrusive and little more natural.

Otherwise. Like I said. A tremendous change from before.

Waterscapes By Design
07-27-2007, 02:45 PM
I know this is off-topic, but I just noticed you were actually IN Tennessee....

How much does your fieldstone cost you there per pound/tonage?

Down here its like .25 per lb. or .15 per lb when buying over a 1,000.....there are a few other places over here who are actually more expensive than that...

07-30-2007, 11:26 PM
Our fieldstone is close to the same as yours somewhere around .20 per pound. I really didn't like the arbor as well, but she had purchased it and wanted to put it there. The house is actually a doublewide and the underpinning does not match the stone at all. If you look closely ath the first picture, I dug up the majority of the stone from under the weeds as it was already there and she wanted to use it, so I had to match it.
I am trying not to be too defensive, but it is like you said. I am proud of the work I have done and the improvement to the property was huge. We are on schedule to add some more plants this fall, I will try to take some more pictures.

07-30-2007, 11:27 PM
they generally ship our stone in from east TN

08-28-2007, 12:20 AM
i think it is sweet and CHAPION THAT ONE GOES UNSAID.
my eye only decerns the outer edge, looks flush to the ground as if the mulch will just fall out