Entrances and Driveways

The first view of a house or commercial building is the driveway entrance. Not only should it be attractive and inviting, but also easy to enter and depart; grading and drainage are essential to a properly working driveway. And once onto the property, parking must be accessible and sensible. Granite block curbs, asphalt, with or without a bluestone top coat, pea gravel, permeable paving are all choices for the owners to consider, based on aesthetics, sustainability and cost. test


Fences can screen the road, neighbors, and even unsightly parts of the property. They can also be used to create exterior "rooms," keep animals out of gardens, and provide safe and legal pool enclosures. When used in conjunction with masonry walls, the divider can be attractive and long-lasting. Garden gates provide that sense of welcoming to a private place.


One of the most magical elements in a garden is the sound of water. Fountains can be free-standing units, small pools in the ground, wall fountains, or large flowing fountains in a formal perennial garden. Providing the electricity, water source, and drainage must be thought out carefully, so that the fountain structure looks effortlessly beautiful.


Gardens can provide the visual punch for any residential and commercial site. The type of garden is unlimited, and maintenance should be carefully considered so that the garden remains beautiful for years after its inception. Some examples of gardens are rose and herb gardens, perennials on the side of grass step treads, spring plantings (bulbs, rhododendrons and azaleas), and pool-side gardens.


Swimming pools are summer gathering places for families and friends. Each year, new and better technology is introduced to make the pools cleaner, easier to use, and more energy efficient. Spas extend the pool season, and solar powered heaters cut down on utility costs. Even existing pools can be updated and renovated to be more attractive and energy efficient. Natural pools, using plants to filter and clean the water, are the next step in creating a totally earth-friendly swimming environment.


Terraces serve many functions: sitting, reading, sunbathing, dining, and cooking. One family even combined a barbecue with an outdoor ping pong table. Often, to fit into the topography, a retaining wall is needed; a fountain can be tucked into a wall to create the sound of water. Eighteen-inch high seat walls are the perfect masonry surround for overflow sitting.


Moving up and down steep or gentle grades can be a thoroughly pleasant experience – there is no need to make the inclines arduous for the outdoor walker. Careful attention to the dimensions of the riser (vertical height) and tread (horizontal surface) is required; then the materials can be chosen. Grass steps with bluestone risers, natural stone, or formal bluestone and brick steps are all some of the material available. When renovating older house, formal balustrades are available to match the original materials.


Whether designing a city garden with trompe d’oeil lattice or installing plant material at a health care center, the needs of the owners are central to the design. Seasonal pots can give a sense of enclosure to a small terrace. Decorative lattice creates a focal point on a tool shed, seen from the house and pool.