A Suburban Resort

Botanical Decorators transforms a backyard into a home resort.

A Suburban Resort

These days, ordinary swimming pools are simply off the radarscope. Nobody who’s spending the money for a pool wants the standard rectangle or the boring old kidney shape anymore.So when landscape architect Steve Wlodarczyk of Botanical Decorators got a call from clients in Laytonsville, Maryland, he wasn’t surprised to learn that they wanted “a back yard resort…a beautiful outdoor space that was unique and different.”Wlodarczyk decided to base the design on views from the house. He positioned the deck, the patio, the pool house and the swimming pool at pronounced angles in relationship to the house so that wherever you stand within the landscape, your view has a great deal of depth and perspective. “We wanted to avoid a pool-house structure that monopolized the space,” said Wlodarczyk, “and we wanted a story line or path that indirectly brings you around to the pool.

That story line begins with a walk under wisteria vine gracefully trailing off a custom-milled cedar pergola supported by eight-inch fiberglass columns. The pergola links the deck, patio, pool house and swimming pool together to create a cohesive resort-like outdoor space. Wlodarczyk matched the pool house design to the simple farmhouse style of the main residence. The entire area is wrapped in exuberant plantings of ornamental grasses, Russian sage, tickseed, clematis and hanging baskets full of annuals that deliver big bursts of color throughout the summer.

One unique feature is a pool deck made of a material called Sundeck, which is much cooler to the touch than flagstone and kind to bare feet in the height of summer.

In the front of the house, Wlodarczyk added a country-style open front porch and put in a bluestone and exposed aggregate walkway. Ornamental grasses, heavenly bamboo and spirea complete the picture, with Mohawk viburnums added for intense fragrance in spring.


Botanical Decorators, Inc., Olney, Maryland; Grand Awards, Outdoor Living Area and Front Residential Planting & Entranceway.