Project Spotlight: “The Boulder Beauty”

This project took us out to a beautiful home in Princeton, NJ where we reshaped an entire backyard. The yard was originally filled with boulders and steeply slopes down– this space took some serious creativity from Judd Mandell and his Landscape and Design team. 

The project was started in November of 2021 and began with our team building a waterfall that was embedded into the downward slope of the yard. We used boulders that were sourced from the land and repurposed them to design and shape a beautiful, tranquil space that the homeowner could enjoy.  

This project features a unique waterfall that travels under boulder bridges with various landings for benches also shaped from the natural stone. A drainage stream was also incorporated making it feel as if it naturally existed on the property.

The pond itself is a showstopper.  Outlined with smaller boulders and red brick, it is truly the focal point of this backyard. A flagstone patio surrounds the pond and larger boulders define the space in the yard while doubling as a possible seating area for the homeowner and his guests to enjoy.  This homeowner houses about 40 koi of various sizes in this pond. Some like to hide under the koi castle beneath the water when the weather is cooler.

Boulders were also used to outline naturally manufactured steps that flank either side of the waterfall. Both staircases lead to either side of the house from the pond, creating access points from multiple portions of the home. 

This project also incorporated retaining walls with various landings which add a layered effect to the yard.  An enclosed floating pavilion is situated on a landing to offer the homeowner a social space with a stunning view of their pond. 

Lights are embedded throughout the property and we even have a few hanging from the surrounding trees to illuminate the entire space at night. In addition, we also built a custom herb garden as well as a full planting garden near the pool. Astro turf was incorporated to provide some greenery onto the landing spaces. 


Mulch and plants were laid surrounding the pond and throughout the yard to add pops of color to add texture to the yard. A skylands oriental spruce with red tips that come out in the fall was planted near the pavilion and sergeant juniper and blue chip juniper filled in spaces around the pond. Low growing grasses like irises, junipers and phlox were also incorporated in the space. Near the top of the waterfall a focal plum Japanese maple tree, blue dark knight, and evergreen winterberry hollies.

This project is breathtaking and can be viewed from the entire backside of the house. No matter which level guests are on, they have access to this featured backyard pond. This pond take natural beauty to another level by utilizing the natural resources of the land and integrating them with a unique design to provide the homeowner with a space of their dreams.

Interested in a project like this? Click Here to inquire today!