show me your pics of nice transitions from high decks to yard?

ffreidlMay 25, 2010

Looking for ideas on connecting significantly above-grade decks (i.e. 8 ft ) to the landscape/yard below. Does anyone have any nice examples for this type of situation - especially for a cottage/shack/smaller-type house?


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Interesting dilema that I share, as I have a walkout basement with an 1st floor deck and stairs to the backyard. My deck and stairs are just typical contractor stick-built deck... nothing fancy.

Are you looking for a simple functional stairs or ramp or a Gone With the Wind Rhet Butler type of stairs?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 7:14AM
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How about a fire-man's pole or a zip-line? Maybe for the more daring and with higher home ownwers liability insurance.

You can be connected to the landscape below by designing views from your deck to focal points in the yard or having garden beds with massess of plants intended to be enjoyed from a distance (one's and two's from a distance are not so pleasant or easy to make out). Also from above the overall shape and layout of the landscape design is can be seen in it's whole, so take that into consideration.

Alternatively, some of the landscape can be brought up to the deck with taller planting nearer the deck.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:09AM
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Isabella - I'm looking for functional/basic - I'd say even rustic - but interesting. And not just thinking of the stairs, but also how landscaping/style might connect up to down. I have the same situation as you: walkout basement with deck above.

Rhodium - yes, those are the kinds of things I'm wondering about, but also other ways of bringing the landscape closer - - raising part of the yard? multilevel decks?

Photos photos photos!!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:06PM
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If you're looking for up to down, then I would suggest some taller plants. I put in knotweed to grow up to the deck to screen the sides and force a view to the area beyond it.

Also I put in a few planter boxes with similar annual that I have in the garden below to tie in everything. The height difference of the deck to the surrounding garden does offer a great way to see the big-picture of the garden, so the overall balance and how the different forms work together becomes more apparent or noticeable if they don't! In my instance, from the deck the shape of my lawn and playset surround and gazebo just didn't work. From the ground view, it worked but from above it was an awkward collection. Once those shapes were re-worked the view from the deck looked really great, and the view helped to integrate the deck into the landscape.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:49PM
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After some more thought on this issue... maybe what is really a concern is the usefulness of a raised deck. My BBQ is in my gazebo (open-top), so I have to go up and down stairs to access the kitchen/supplies. In this regards having a walkout basement makes relating the interior house functions to exterior one more of a chore. My raised deck is more of a stairwell landing as far as being a usefull outside amenity, except for those times I just sit there and look out and take in the plants and nature. So maybe with that thought making egress downstairs easy and quick and to be headed someplace you want to be going to would be the goal of the stairs. My stairs take me to a cross roads that is one easy turn to the gazebo bbq or to a path to the sideyard and other gardens and playset.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 7:05AM
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This is not the same situation, but it is an idea. You may vary the plant selection, as these do look a bit industrial.

I have a walk-out basement downhill from my main floor deck. My deck stairs come out at a 45 degree angle. I will need a path of some sort from the walkout up to the deck stairs. It is a future project though. I've daydreamed about climbing roses on the short side of the deck and an evergreen / rock garden down the slope. It is currently an overlook for my vegetable garden and rain barrel :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 4:40PM
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