Project Spotlight: “The Natural”: A Backyard Oasis

For this backyard oasis our team showcases hardscape and stonework to bring in nature’s elements to this backyard pond. Our team was chard with not only building a koi pond and beautifying its surroundings, but also constructing a pergola that would highlight a unique fire bowl. The project set out to bring the natural, earthly elements of the environment into a pond scape.  Judd Mandell, landscape designer and manager, worked to design a landscape that created a cohesiveness between the pre-existing landscape and the new construction by innovatively using flagstones, cobblestones and river stones throughout the project.


From the existing patio, to the new patio that surrounds the koi pond, a path was created using large two inch thick flagstones that were dug into the lawn with a gravel foundation. To connect the spaces, the new patio included carefully arranged flagstones and the gaps were filled with riverstone locked with polymeric sand.

The koi pond featured a dual waterfall that was carefully integrated with the pre-existing slope of the landscape. By integrating the waterfall into the existing slope, and using boulders as sitting walls, multiple outdoor living spaces were naturally created. In order to lead from the patio up to the decorative gravel overlook and allow access up to the pond bridge stones, free form large natural stone slab steps with spaced out gravel landings were incorporated. Finally, a decorative natural rock edging was utilized to enhance a separation between the patio and pond. The different ways our team was able to incorporate stonework into this project make it unique.

The true highlight of this project lies within the construction and design of the pergola, the flagstone patio underneath, and the sitting wall that encloses the area. Our team designed and constructed a 12×16 foot custom built live edge wood pergola. We then installed the structure with four concrete footers and braces on top of the flagstone patio. The patio in this area was assembled using more tightly compacted flagstones with custom half inch joints. We were able to capture an aesthetic that would highlight the natural elements of this space by including additional boulders behind the back portion of the fire pit. These boulders also created a retaining wall that would also double as a sitting wall. This is one of the many ways hardscaping and stonework can enhance the functionality of the yard.

In order to highlight the entire area, a Belgium block border set in a concrete footer was used to outline the perimeter of the entire patio allowing it to stand out in the lawn.

This project was polished off with additional plantings, landscaping, and lighting that matched the aesthetic of the pergola and fire pit. Top soil, fertilizer, hardwood mulch, and pine straw were used to ground the landscape in its natural environment, while Joe Pye Weed and Cardinal Flower were used to add pops of color to the landscape. The planting bed was enlarged and the plantings along the property line were upgraded. This included two tall arborvitae trees to provide additional privacy for the homeowner. Thirteen low voltage LED lights were embedded throughout the space, highlighting the pergola and illuminating the steps and plants surrounding the pond. The specific lights used matched the aesthetic of bot the pergola and the fire pit bringing this oasis to its completion.

This project is a true showcase of our natural stonework. It displays what feels like and looks like to bring nature into our customers’ backyard creating and inviting and functional social space.

To get started on the process for your own Natural Backyard Oasis contact us today!