Coastal Groove Living: Poolscape Renovation in MamaroneckPosted on November 12, 2018
Sometimes you walk onto a property and wonder how it possibly came to be designed, built and maintained to its current state. That was the case at this property in Mamaroneck, which had a picket fence encircling the small pool area, disrupting sight views from the house and all other areas of the backyard. Instead of seeing the calming, serene pool, your eye was immediately drawn to the pickets! The space felt unnecessarily small and contained, and circulation from the covered pavilion area to the pool area was completely disrupted. Not to mention, every corner of the yard was flanked by a shed. Why so many sheds?!
We were hired by the new homeowners for a complete Landscape Master Plan and installation. The inspiration for the design concept was a modern, coastal aesthetic, reflected in a plant pallet heavy on ornamental grasses and summer-blooming perennials. Other existing challenges included two antiquated wells, an unsightly swing and dated light pole fixtures, all to be demo’d, carted, and capped with cement.
Salem Fence installed a lovely fence and gate to enclose the backyard entirely, improving sight and circulation immensely. There were still some awkward areas, however, particularly around the driveway, whose corners jutted awkwardly into circulation areas. Our mason, Aztaln, removed two corners of asphalt and Belgium Block and rounded the new edges to create a more comfortable walking area.
In the North corner of the backyard, we demo’d a shed (photo above) and planted a ten-foot White Pine to fill the gap and blend with the existing rear row of White Pines (photo below). The driveway on the South side, engulfing a mature Red Maple in its asphalt moat, created an awkward, unusuable space between the maple’s roots and the concrete grilling area just beyond the driveway. Given the close proximity to the neighbor’s house, we opted to plant a 10-12’ Red Maple in a large container. The end result successfully screened the neighbhor’s garage, and filled an empty void with an ecologically beneficial choice.
The narrow west side of the property received a demolition and drainage face lift (minus one decrepit well and moldy walkway, plus one cultek and stormwater management system). We planted the area with native shade ground covers and ferns, a planting pallet that continues into the front west side. A new square bluestone pathway links back to front from the front entry walk.
On the East side of the property, an existing narrow planting bed screamed for color and year-round foliage interest. We planted the front half on the driveway with native shrubs (deciduous and evergreen), and the back half of the driveway with summer blooming perennials. This pop of color directly compliments the Summer garden just opposite, at the far end of the pool.
The finishing touches were a revamped curbside bed, an enlarged hosta/shade garden, and the substitution of old, dusty foundation Yews with Annabelle Hydrangea. Along the way we learned the 100-year-old water main from the street to the house had to be replaced (oh the joys of homeownership). One new water main, relocated mailbox, and reseeded lawn later…and the front yard is open for business! A modest glimpse of what’s to find in the back…but that’s the way we like it :-).