TenderCare Lawn & Landscape in Derby, KS, recently transformed a residential customer’s backyard into a backyard paradise, complete with a pool, berms and other relaxation elements. “In today’s highly stressed, always-on-the-go environment we live in, this backyard oasis really helps define the new term staycation,” says TenderCare owner Kevin Payne.
Upselling “something special.” The project actually started with the client simply inquiring about a 20’x40’ swimming pool. When Payne arrived at the customer’s home, he was told that the customer had already spoken to a few pool contractors and knew exactly what he wanted. “My first thought was that this property had the potential to be something special,” Payne relates. “While the customer was pretty convinced that he wanted a fairly basic backyard, we began a process of discussing what he really envisioned as a way to de-stress and relax with his family.”
Having worked on numerous projects for other busy customers with similar interests, Payne and his design team began the process of creating an idea—and planting the seed in the customer’s mind—to actually look into the future and see what could really be done to create a backyard paradise. It was also important to make sure that the customer’s family also started to dream about the possibilities, as well.
Now the client was beginning to get a bit excited about the possibilities, but was still wanting to try and get the project done quickly. “We finally convinced him to allow us to come back in a week with a detailed plan of what we envisioned: a setting with benefits that went beyond just the ability to swim and plant trees and shrubbery,” Payne tells.
Unique, intimate, and never boring. The finished design included a large freeform swimming pool that mimicked the shape of the pond behind the home, as opposed to the 20’x40’ rectangle pool originally discussed. The pool now grew to roughly 30’x60’ with stone coping and jump rocks, and deck fountains that were positioned to give a unique view as the water squirted into the pool. Colored concrete added to the overall scheme.
“While the property was large and had tremendous views, it also was very flat and somewhat boring,” Payne points out. “The use of contoured berms helped create the start of a more intimate setting. That also allowed the use of stone seat walls that not only created additional seating, but helped pull the property back in to give separation from the pool area and the lawn.”
Bringing the family together. Now with the pool layout, seat walls and berms in place, creating small conversation areas for family and guests to relax became the next piece of the puzzle. “While kids may be in the pool splashing and having fun, mom and dad would need a place to talk and relax, but still be able to watch the kids,” Payne says.
A firepit was installed on the backside of the pool. Plenty of additional decking allows for a place to pull up a chair, warm up by the fire and roast some marshmallows, or just relax and watch the fire as it dances and relaxes the mind.
Still, creating yet another conversation area seemed important as large gatherings often times have smaller group conversations in close proximity. “The use of a pondless water feature helped create this area—with people having the ability to sit around the feature and enjoy the tranquility of water as it bubbles over and splashes below,” Payne says.
In addition, both conversation areas were positioned for optimum views from the deck above and from the view of inside guests of the home.
Finally, tying the setting together by adding landscaping and grass, through the use of plantings to help with shade and seasonal color to complement the surroundings, has really set off this backyard vacation retreat.