Details Landscape Art was referred to this split-level project in northeast Santa Rosa, which badly needed landscaping help. The upper level of the backyard consisted of wall-to-wall grass, and an ugly concrete paver patio and steps.The lower level was a weed-infested yard with dozens of huge boulders, which had been dumped there by the developer when the subdivision was built. But the bones of a garden were there, and we recognized the potential.
We brought in heavy equipment – tractors, backhoe, and excavators. The entire yard was bulldozed, and all the boulders were excavated and separated.We cleverly arranged the boulders on the lower level to form a retaining wall separating the two levels. We were actually able to increase the size of the upper level by about twenty feet, and this additional space was backfilled with the excavated dirt. While we had the tractors, we carefully demolished the old paver porch and steps, and sold the material on Craigslist.
Once the extensive demolition was complete, we began the new garden by installing a gorgeous curvilinear stamped concrete patio in a coffee color with gray accent highlights. Three semi-circular steps at the back door threshold accounted for the drop in elevation down to the patio. The steps were ‘bull nosed’, by adding a strip of foam inside the step forms, leaving a space on the lower part of each step.
The homeowner opted to have us seal the finished stamped concrete, which gives it a nice shiny look. We always caution clients that although the sealer does enhance the beauty of the patio, it may become somewhat slippery in the rainy season. And we leave them the choice to seal or leave it dry.