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Hardscapes Solutions: Backyard serenity

July 12, 2021 -  By
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LOCATION: St. Louis, Mo.
COMPANY: Frisella Nursery

The homeowners reached out to Frisella Nursery to conceptualize a backyard alongside their to-be-installed pool. The yard at that time was a blank slate, with hills, objects that needed to be hidden and a woodline along the rear. All in all, the homeowner wanted to create a backyard retreat.

Tony Frisella Jr., vice president of sales, put together a large concept for the pool, a swim-up bar area, an outdoor kitchen and a waterfall.

“I talked about what it could possibly be, and as soon as I left, he told his wife that he didn’t care what it cost, I was going to be the guy doing the job,” Frisella says.

The excavation of the pool itself had left the homeowners with a significant amount of additional earth. Rather than paying to have it disposed of, Frisella Nursery was able to repurpose it in order to create the hillside waterfall.

The company used Green Giant arborvitae and Graham Blandy boxwood to hide air conditioning units and utility stations, as well as Alaskan weeping cedars to provide privacy and a sense of lushness to the poolside. The focus of the yard is a large weeping Norway spruce.

From start to finish, the project took place over about six months. Crew workers graded the area, incorporated 30 to 40 yards of concrete, planted trees, constructed the waterfall and placed the stonework, using Bobcat excavators, skid-steers, dump trucks and concrete mixers.

In addition to creating a serene backyard space, the project brought Frisella and the client closer together.

“That project is a unique one for me from a personal level because the client became one of my mentors,” Frisella says. “It’s creating such an experience for the client that they actually become more like family. He’s on our advisory board at the company after that project, and I go over for dinner about three or four times a year. It’s very rare that you get to have those relationships that come from projects.”

The project won Frisella Nursery Silver Award from the 2020 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

 

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

A before photo of the backyard.

 

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

An after shot of the completed project.

 

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

The excavation of the pool itself had left the homeowners with a significant amount of additional earth. Fortunately, rather than paying to have it disposed of, Frisella Nursery was able to repurpose it in order to create the hillside waterfall.

 

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

Working with a property that features varying grades and elevations is always a challenge. Steep lawns can be hard to maintain, landscape and make use of.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

For the client’s home, creating a gorgeous landscape required infusing nature with a little bit of magic. The homeowners reached out to Frisella Nursery to conceptualize a backyard alongside their soon-to-be-installed pool. The yard at that time was a blank slate, with hills, objects that needed to be hidden, a wood line along the rear and a homeowner looking for a backyard retreat.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The waterfall was an important element of the design, but just as vital were the stone steps that were both functional and completely natural.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

Creating a natural feel for a landscape isn’t just about stonework and waterfalls. The trees and plant material chosen for the home were vital in terms of both atmosphere and functionality.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The steps were paired with the stair-stepped appearance of the waterfall and sunk into existing boulder walls in order to maintain consistency with the natural setting.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The landscape design.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The company used ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae and ‘Graham Blandy’ boxwood to hide air conditioning units and utility stations, as well as Alaskan weeping cedars to provide privacy and a sense of lushness to the poolside.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The outdoor kitchen portion of the design.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The outdoor kitchen portion of the design.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

Notably, a focal point is a large weeping Norway spruce.

 

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

(Photo: Tony Frisella Jr.)

A view of the front landscaping.

 

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

(Photo: Kim Dillon Photography)

The waterfall portion of the pool.

 

(Photo: Brian Collins)

(Photo: Brian Collins)

Frisella Nursery highlighted the home’s architecture and landscaping with outdoor lighting.

 

(Photo: Brian Collins)

(Photo: Brian Collins)

The entire project was a custom landscape design/build.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor. She can be reached at swebb@northcoastmedia.net.

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