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Hardscape Solutions: Tiering up

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(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

LOCATION: Banks, Ore.

COMPANY: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping

The client reached out to Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping to update a 35-year-old property on the outskirts of Portland, Ore. Project goals were to create a modern outdoor living space for the entire family and improve access to the property’s existing vineyard. The 22-acre property suffered from severe drainage issues, which the team at Dennis’ 7 Dees needed to address.

As crews began work in the pool installation, Kenna Hartman, landscape designer for Dennis’ 7 Dees, says they found a drain field in the planned pool location. After consulting with a geotechnical engineer, Hartman said he incorporated drainage throughout the project — behind walls, in front of walls, under the swimming pool, along the pool deck and the outdoor living space. This drainage filtered through a retention area before exiting into an on-site pond.

“The drainage isn’t really hidden,” he says. “It’s all right there on the surface. It’s just in all that decorative rock. So, it really looks like part of the project.”

Hartman says another challenge this property presented was how to achieve the design objectives of a cohesive outdoor space with access to the property’s vineyard.

“How do we make the elevations work with a slope?” he says. “How do we get from the concrete deck all the way to the vineyard and how many steps is it going to take? Where are the steps going to be located?”

Hartman says other details include an outdoor terrace and kitchen, bocce court, tiered walls, a cast-iron fire cauldron and a water feature.

The property originally had a flared brick entry that didn’t match the modern look of the outdoor space and home, he says. Crews cut the brick to remove the flare and the homeowner painted the new entryway.

“We squared it off and took the flare away, and then we added our own columns to terminate and hide those, the cut,” he says, “It was a strategic way to turn something that wasn’t flowing with the whole project into something that matches and is cohesive with everything.”

Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping won a Silver Award from the 2022 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program for this project.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

View from the front porch to the surrounding forest property and pond.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

Isolated morning coffee patio with refection water feature.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This before photo of the house shows the surrounding landscape.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This after photo of the updated house shows a morning coffee patio in the foreground.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

View from the morning coffee patio looks west across the driveway to the house.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

View from the east side of the house looks across the landscape to the pond and surrounding forest.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

Raised beds and a custom cast iron fire cauldron highlight the east side of the house.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This informal fire pit area features a custom cast iron fire cauldron.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This after photo shows an existing Blue Atlas cedar surrounded by new tiered walls, steps and a water feature.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This during photo shows the wall and pool excavation.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

Another design element includes a bocce ball court in the center tiered wall.

(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)
(Photo courtesy of Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping)

This covered outdoor living area looks out to the property’s tiered walls and vineyard.

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