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started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Posted by dnsource South Florida (My Page) on
Thu, May 19, 11 at 16:41

SO We bought this house October 2010 and did a MAJOR remodeling inside. We have a whole modern feel throughout the house and would like t incorporate it into our landscaping. First things first we are going to remodel to pool and patio in the near future we will be getting rd of the Mexican tile and laying out a Cement like floor like the picture of the pool/deck I posted. OUr backyard was completely bare with no fence.. We put the black chain link so that the back part of the fence can be seen through to the golf course in our backyard.. We dont really want to cover it but the sides we would like some privacy so we previously planted podocarpus shrubs around the air condition, pool pumps, on the right side along fence and are planning to do the same on the left side pretty soon. We also planted three palms 2 on each corner and one big one made up of 6 palms in the middle.. It has given it a nice feel but we still need more help. There is about 3-5 feet behind the palms to plant. We dont want anything that will kill the view of the golf course.

Any other recommendations other than landscaping are welcomed!

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Example of concrete look I want around the pool deck...
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Golf course view and a pool - Great canvas for a landscape designer. The outdoor living possibilities for a place like this are endless - Pergolas, outdoor kitchen, firepit, whatever your heart desires (and luckily you have the room to make it happen. From the patio, I picture a pergola (with curtains for privacy) to the left of the pool. I would recommend extending the pool deck toward the golf course to allow more room for chairs. Since you have extra room on the porch, you may look into the square, mattress style seating close to the pool for people to seat at while relaxing.

Here is a link that might be useful: online landscape design


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Watch out for the glare coming off all that white concrete! You'll go snow blind out there.
Also, from a designer's perspective, concrete tends to look cheap. It absolutely WILL crack and stain and support algae/mold growth. I'd stay with the mexican tiles, and put your money into a nice pergola.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Wowmylandscape, I love the idea but I might be extending that side of the house in the future. I'm going to upload a picture of the other side. Let me know if it's possible.

Ebeth, I agree with you. I can see how the concrete would look cheap but the Mexican tile kills the whole modern look (I'm not a fan) . Any recomendations on a tile? I love that keystone look but it's really expensive.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Speaking as a landscape designer, I would strongly encourage you to keep the tile. You have a lot better places to spend your money than a rip-out and replace.

For starters, you will need a full-time gardener to keep the podocarpus under control. It's a large to huge shrub, depending on which variety you planted. You have them way too close together, and planted in that skinny strip area where they will be constantly overgrowing the walkways.

You will also be spending a lot on AC repairmen to fish the leaves of the podocarpus out of the innards of the AC unit.

Remove the ones by the air conditioner and replace them with a lattice-work screen. Thin out the ones along the fence either now or as they grow together until they are spaced at intervals about 2/3 their mature size.

Saltillo tile and modern goes together very well if you stop thinking that tile has to be accompanied by bright floral fabric, heavily carved furniture, ceramic donkeys, and bad guitar music.

The tile is a nice earth tone, in a very regular pattern. Of itself it is neither Mexican, Tuscan, Cuban, French Provencal or Southern California. Turning it modern is all in the furniture and accessories and paint you choose. The patio area would lend itself nicely to something inspired by Luis Barragan:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/in4ik/2315368317/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/motleyfool/4004701668/

What I don't see are any flowering plants.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Here are a couple other views. I would love to put a pergola somewhere. Is it possible to put it around the side were the bbq is by?

In the future it would be nice to make a gazebo (not sure if I have the right name). Four column type hut with a bbq/bar and tv..

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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

Consider a lanai like your next door neighbors have, starting at the overhang/covered porch. Budget for it and make it as big as possible.

I love the look of the Saltillo tile.

Rosie


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

It is always difficult when someone comes to the forum asking for help to landscape around a design decision that is kind of quirky, misguided, or in overt bad taste. In this case, the trouble is that to probably most people, your existing pool is much more attractive than what you are proposing. So much so that I foresee that if you make the change and then sell the house, the new owners would post here saying HELP how do I soften this harsh and austere pool? Add to that that no one likes to see something beautiful destroyed - and it is beautiful. Not living in pool country a pool just inherently looks wrong to me, and I hardly ever like them, but I do find this one a very attractive combination of shape, colour, and finish. I think that if anything, the contrast to your modern aesthetic may be a good thing - it softens it, and I think the whole house/yard composition might implode under the all square and bare if you removed it. Actually you haven't made it clear whether you're changing the shape of the pool. But even if you don't, you're certainly taking out the warmth by changing the tone.

That said, it's your house and your pool, and you didn't ask for input on the pool change. You didn't really ask for anything specific in fact. So I guess I'm curious as to what, in general terms, you envision by "modern" in landscape design? And what sort of advice you were hoping to get?

KarinL
PS: Wow my Landscape, enough with the links already. It's against the terms of use to promote your business here, even to that extent. No one is stopping you form giving input to people, as other professionals here do for various reasons, ranging from the goodness of their hearts to venting spleen :-) You're not unwelcome, only your links are!


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

That is nice tile, I would save it. It's going be demoed and put in a landfill, kind of a waste. We have a lot of concrete here in San Jose and it generally doesn't really look good.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, May 22, 11 at 1:28

Keystone paving would look cool and "Floridian" as a new pool coping, and if you have your heart set on new concrete, a rock-salt finish with some integral color pigment to tone down the glare can come close to replicating the look of Keystone. Large 2 or 4 foot square travertine tile pavers could also look quite elegant around the pool. The points made about glare off a lighter surface are valid, and something you should consider carefully as there is no shade over the pool deck.

I wonder if the straight and rigid rows of single file Podocarpus are really the look you want, or whether you might prefer to loosen it up with a less architectural layout of shrubs or more trees over a wider border to soften the look. They probably are way over-planted, I usually would plant these as minimum 3 to 4 foot on center spacing for a hedge. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about the expressed concerns of Podocarpus being a messy choice; they actually hold on to their foliage better than most evergreen shrubs, but will require regular trimming if you intend them as a hedge.

I'd be tempted to add some landscape interest by way of some low walls mixed with plantings to back the pool, and give a bit of privacy from golfers, and the street view in the direction of the air conditioner looks like it could use more layers of planting to make the pool less on view from the street.

Maybe the open and uncluttered sight lines with the palms and the new border plantings of hedges is exactly what you prefer, but it looks rigid and sterile to me. I might suggest you look into some of the books published on the work of Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles to see what high end south Florida landscaping around pools can achieve, there are two books on his body of work in my own personal library, and I really enjoy his sense of style and design principles in a Florida setting.

Given all that hot sun in Florida, I'd probably also look into incorporating some sort of open shade pergola/arbor at one side or other of the pool, with some flowering vines to soften it. My landscape vision for your setting would continue the palms theme with more tropical foliage and flowers such as Heliconias, some flowering trees such as Tabebuias argentea, Xanthostemon chrysanthus or Delonix regia or similar, and masses of flowering shrubs with lots of flower or foliage color, bromeliads such as Aechmea blanchetiana, Neoregelias, Hohenbergias or Portea petropoliteana planted in mass with contrasting ground covers such as Setcreasea pallida or Euphorbia milli. On the other hand, water use is also a concern in Florida, and you may want to concentrate on converting your existing landscape to one that uses more drought tolerant plantings and Florida native plants, rather than more water loving tropicals.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

If money is no object (or, it's an object at some point but might be a really high budget) then I can see you making over the entire space to a new aesthetic, but then I think I'd hear you are hiring a professional to do it all.
So one question is , is the pool as a decorative view something that you feel you must change to your idea of the modern, so when you look out the window it "looks" like your inspiration photo--the pool as art, so to speak-- or are you interested in getting the whole of your property to a more functional and pleasing state? I think that is why you are hearing, let the tiles go, because there are a lot of other aspects that, if you did put some $$ and design planning into, would seem to me to improve the functionality of the Florida pool home. The concrete photo appearance would also change once you add the other stuff anyway so part of the point is, the tiles become less of an issue if you deal with them as a neutral and use other clean lines or modern aesthetic in new construction , furnishings, accessories.

Shade! for one thing--unless you have a fleet of dermatologists on retainer with industrial tanks of liquid nitrogen. Does not have to be tree shade, but maybe more retreats from sun as in the lanai or pergola ideas. The lanai of course is a must if you are running from skeeters, which I presume you are. So the point is, how much time will people spend sitting at a table in the full sun with skeeters? So usually there is the problem of, looks inviting but adults run for cover.

Plus I would "feel" better if the pool did have some sense of enclosure though would not need to block all of your long views to the golf course--note I said "feel" because very simple low boundaries--might be walls, planters-- can give that feel without having some kind of privacy wall.


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RE: started backyard and clueless...help needed!

I'm so jealous....the palms, the pool, the tile...your space is just beautiful. I agree with those who mentioned a gazebo or pergola or something... but oh MAN I would definitely not replace the tile. In fact, I'd extend it out onto the sidewalk....


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