How can you improve on a setting that’s already darned good? In the case of the Stewart residence, which boasted an existing slate terrace in a cozy back yard, Huettl Landscape Architecture answers that question beautifully! That terrace, already in place among native oaks, was retrofitted with an element that’s a great crowd-pleaser: water. Between large, generously proportioned square stepping stones, the water ponds and flows surrounded by “waterfalls” of native grasses that flow gently in the breeze alongside the shimmering surface. From a terraced wall (concrete that looks like stone!), a gentle cascade spills down, providing a soothing, relaxing backdrop for the patio’s lounging and entertaining areas — and the color palette is as tranquil as the water itself, drawing on purple, blue, and gentle pastel yellow.
Banked by unobtrusive retaining walls, this inviting space is secluded by lush greenery and rock structures that add visual interest as well as a practical accent for the sloping terrain. At various points on the patio, concrete benches repeat the intriguing stone-like pattern of the hand-layered concrete basin, and the water trickles gracefully over two levels with a cooling ambience that can’t be beat. But there’s no sense making an irresistible water feature if people can’t dip a toe in once in a while…which means the water needs to be kept clean enough for wading when the temperature rises. That problem is solved by a filtration system and UV sterilizer; that way, those darling little girls don’t have to hang back from the best part of water — the fun of a good splash!