This home on the lake in Heritage Pointe was a true diamond in the rough when we were called in to help design and implement a new landscape. The existing landscaping didn’t function very well with overgrown shrubs and the backyard bisected by a rough sandstone boulder wall that didn’t retain enough for the lawn to be useful. A dangerous set of rough stairs led down to the beach and dock. We were able to keep the stamped concrete patio under the upper deck, but everything else was changed. Our client’s desire was to maximize the functionality of the space with a modern contemporary feel. Entertaining and family time was the priority, plus taking full advantage of the lakeside location. In the initial planning stages, we explored how to incorporate the spa, develop a firepit area, a putting green, and terrace to improve functionality and level the beach area better. A swimming pool was discussed but initially set aside as we explored how the space could be utilized.
As the design process continued, we began incorporating the swimming pool into the concept, initially a
smaller plunge style pool and then progressing to a sport style pool, 32 feet by 19 feet. Sport pools are
typically 6’ deep at the center and taper up to shallower at the ends. For this project we also included a
walk-in step and a ledge along the lake side of the pool. We also explored the idea of a vanishing edge
pool overlooking the lake but in order to maximize functional pool space we instead used a narrow pool
deck on the lake side for an unimpeded view of the lake that emulates this effect and takes maximum
advantage of the lake side setting. The cover system is a motorized safety cover which can be closed
and locked when the pool is not in use, eliminating the need for a 6’ perimeter fence as well as saving
energy and maintenance costs. The pool deck is stamped concrete blending to pavers for the
surrounding patio space. A custom wood privacy screen frames the end of the pool providing some
privacy to the neighboring home and visually enclosing the upper terrace on the south end.
The pool is the jewel of this backyard, but every square inch was utilized to its best effect. The terracing
is a critical component, and we broke up the spaces into separate living areas while also maintained
good flow from the back door all the way to the lake. The spa is positioned overlooking the pool and
close to the door for winter use. This level utilizes the existing covered patio space to house an outdoor
kitchen area that also opens to the pool deck. Stepping down to the pool level; the spa can also be
accessed from this side as well as the kitchen with bar seating, a place to charge devices, and a
conveniently located fridge for beverages. This terrace also is the sunniest spot for poolside lounging
on the upper patio. A topless glass railing protects this area from some wind while maintaining the view
out over Heritage Lake. Lastly on this level a small lawn area for games and pets. Synthetic turf was
chosen for its low maintenance attributes and looks great all year long. The lush green color
compliments and softens the surrounding pavers and concrete.
Flowing down to the next level is a gas firepit for a relaxing seating space overlooking the lake for year-
round use. The design terraced this area with changes in elevation of two feet or less, to eliminate the
need for handrails that would impede the view of the lake. The patio is constructed of large format slab
pavers which contrasts to the finish used on the stamped concrete and the retaining walls. All the
retaining walls are made of concrete that was then treated with what is called a ‘rag finish’ to give the
textured colored effect. A sealer applied protects the finish and really pops the colors.
What is a lake-front property without a dock and a beach? The lake side of this backyard was developed
with a sand beach for lounging and an area to store the lake toys, like paddle boards and kayaks. The
original dock was upgraded to a new dock and gangway made from composite materials for a fresh low
maintenance look and long lifespan. This area can also be used in the winter when the lake is used for
skating and hockey. A foot-wash was provided at this level as a convenient way for beach goers to leave
the sand on the beach before returning to poolside.
A backyard with a pool must look great but also function well, we needed a space for the pool
equipment and some of the maintenance gear. A small shed was constructed to the side of the house
out of view but made from durable low maintenance materials that compliments the house.
Maximizing the functional spaces in the backyard reduced the garden spaces, but we have just enough
greenery in strategic locations to soften everything and tie the home to the site.
Pool projects tend to have a longer timeline due to all the extra steps involved in pool construction,
especially on a tight access site like this one. In order to have this pool up and running as soon as
possible, we began construction in the fall with the excavation of the pool and a start on the terracing.
We then built a tarp enclosure over the pool area that could be heated, this allowed pool construction
to continue over the winter months. The following spring, we continued with a progression of trades to
complete the project. Due to tight access and the specific requirements of each crew, we had to
carefully time each stage of the project to allow each crew to complete their work unimpeded, but also
stay on our timeline for completion.
Our clients and our team are very proud of how this project turned out. The decision to focus the
backyard on the swimming pool and maximizing the lakeside setting for entertainment was worth all the
effort that went into the landscape design and construction.
CALGARY LANDSCAPING PROJECTS
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