Broken Top Xeriscape and Natural Fire Pit Patio

Broken Top Xeriscape and Natural Fire Pit Patio

This design was inspired by the homeowner’s beautiful paintings and their very thoughtful concern towards the landscape that once was.  One of the homeowners is a very talented painter, and is inspired by landscapes of chaos. This lead to the concept behind the design: order versus chaos, or man versus nature.

Throughout the design there is a subtle underlying meaning within every detail that follows the design’s concept.  Within the design there are special areas (or “relics”) that reflect what once was. For example, the fire feature’s hearth is in the exact spot where a former water feature’s pond used to be, and the new dry riverbed reflects the old water feature’s stream that once was. This design is inlaid with so many meanings that reflect the homeowners thoughtfulness towards their beautiful outdoor.


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Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.45.52 A view of the traditional patio, the natural patio, the fire pit, the path, and the outdoor kitchen. Please note the patio ramp leading from formal man to informal nature. Anyone can travel to the upper or lower patio with ease.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.47.27 A view of the dry riverbed “relic.”  Imagine that there used to be a water feature in that spot.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.47.39 A view from the current traditional patio out into the more “chaotic” patio, reflecting the concept design of order versus chaos.  As you journey further away from the house formalities start to disappear, and disorderly, unpredictable nature takes over.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.47.52 A view of the sunken gas fire feature. The fire feature is meant to be a “relic” of what once was, in that the fire feature itself is located in the spot where a water feature used to be. What once was the natural element of water is now the natural element of fire.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.48.19 Top view of the fire feature and the dry riverbed leading to it. The fire feature and the dry riverbed are located where the former water feature’s stream and pond used to be.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.48.31 View of nature leading back to man.  As one moves toward the home a more formal, traditional sense of space occurs.  Notice the new outdoor kitchen to the left of the upper level living room.

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The patio, path, and the new outdoor kitchen. There used to be a broken spa where the outdoor kitchen is now located, and now the homeowners use that space to host outdoor gatherings.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.49.06 A view of the fire pit and the deconstructed pavers. The pavers dissipate or deconstruct as they move away from the formal patio. In a few years wooly thyme will creep through the pavers and will soften the patio around the fire pit (note the wooly thyme is on the other side of the larger rocks to keep it separated from the fire).

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A view of the flagstone path leading to the patio. The path connects to the patio and then starts to “deconstruct” as it moves away from the patio, leading to the natural chaos of nature.

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The path leads to a woodland path that connects the front of the yard to the back. The woodland path is a transitional space in the yard where one moves from a shady enclosed environment to a sunny, open space retreat.

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The updated front entry. We turned another water feature into a dry riverbed. The homeowner loves Japanese maples, and the maple is placed where the water feature’s pond used to be.

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A view of the lawn, the house entry, and the path that travels through the woodland planting area, and leads the homeowners to the beautiful back yard. Note that the path even “deconstructs” within the lawn to give you a taste of what is to come.

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A close up of a Blanket Flower, one of the choices for the xeriscape planting scheme. The homeowner is an amazing painter and the design’s color scheme is inspired by the colors within his pantings.