Many of our landscape designs have involved creating an expansive public space where friends and family could peacefully settle in and enjoy an evening together.
A large patio is ideal for this purpose. It can extend outward into the yard, connecting multiple zones of interest together as it mingles sunlight and shade into a dappled array of relaxing comfort. As people choose their spots around its periphery, they are all united in a singular hardscape that offers a supreme view of the home from every possible vantage point.
One of the most popular landscape design projects that we have constructed to date featured a patio constructed around a swimming pool that ran perpendicular to the home through the middle of the backyard. The patio spread outward from the water’s edge to touch all major elements of the yard. On the end nearest the home, it terminated in a gate just in front of a lighted cast iron arbor that cooled its occupants with a ceiling fan. On the other end, a table and several outdoor chairs looked back across the arbor to the home framed by the vertical impact of the arbor. Additional seating, however, could be placed all around the pool to comfortably accommodate a very large group of guests.
Several things make a landscape design like this feel truly peaceful to guests. To begin with, the expansive sweep of the hardscape in and of itself helps convey a laid back sensibility that invites guests to recline on its surface. While it consolidates the gathering into a central location, things never feel crowded or forced because there is plenty of elbow room to both recline and to walk around. There is also something of a common perspective when every guest, regardless of position, experiences a spectacular view of the home. In most cases, individual landscaping elements lean more toward the traditional than the abstract. While they may not be formal in the strictest definition of the word, structures offer guests the comfort of historical or classical forms, and softscapes feature gardens and other plantings that establish peace of mind through natural beauty.
Generally, this type of landscape design keeps family and friends grouped together. When a large patio functions to define either a garden or a swimming pool area, the centralizing effect works to make everyone feel as though they all belong in the same place together. However, this type of layout accomplishes its purpose without making guests feel forced or confined. The central public space continues outward in several directions, connecting through a variety of transit media to a rich diversity of elements that surround the gathering spot on all sides.
While on a functional level, this type of layout offers each person the opportunity to wander off into their own particular area of interest, the visual impact of the landscape design itself has a completely opposite effect on the mind. When gardens, tree plantings, arbors, and brilliant arrangements of ground cover are all connected to the main gathering spot, the intimacy of these smaller zones of interest directly transfers back to the larger public space, making it feel more comfortable, warm, and inviting in the process.