This property in Thorold, Ontario is located along the Niagara escarpment, which presented unique challenges to the homeowners. The severe slope in the side yard made cutting the lawn almost impossible and as a result was considered unusable and subsequently was turned into a “doggie relief” area. These homeowners contacted the right company to turn this small wasted space into an entertaining gem. Our challenge was to add a seating and entertaining area, with no grass but still maintain a soft area for the dogs. The clients loved the idea of sitting around a fire in the evenings with friends and family and our designer sought to make effective use of the natural slope and incorporate a water feature.

In this design drainage was a major concern. Because of the large amount of retaining that needed to occur around the existing deck and new patio space, proper care was taken to install drainage in every area. Large wooden timbers were used to retain the footings around the existing deck. Armour stone was used to retain along the fence and natural stone was used as gradual steps down to a paver patio area. A fire pit was installed low to the ground, as per the client’s request. Before the final installation, our team consulted with the homeowners to determine the ideal height for their fire pit. They grabbed their lawn chairs and proceeded to start placing their feet on the edge at various heights to make their final decision. It was decided that 7.5 inches off the ground was the perfect height for resting their feet comfortably. Beside the fire pit, nestled in the corner and again making perfect use of the natural slope, a gorgeous pondless waterfall was added. Lighting was added to the water feature for added enjoyment in the evening hours. Several small planting areas were incorporated to provide softness and a special area was even created for a new “doggie relief” space.

As a surprise for the homeowners our construction team used a piece of natural flagstone to hide a cooler in the rock wall, can you spot it? Can you find the hidden cooler in the rock wall? (Under picture of rock wall). What once was a completely unusable side yard, is now a wonderful entertaining space with both a warm, relaxing Fire Pit and a soothing, bubbling Water Feature. The homeowners tell us they love to sit down on the patio and enjoy their coffee beside the Pondless Waterfall almost every morning.

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