Steep slopes often require ingenuity in design, especially when they rise from the back of the house to the rear property line. Homeowners Mark Hinton and Rick Robertson initially installed a 10-thousand gallon koi pond halfway up the slope in their Great Falls, Virginia, backyard, but when it began to leak, they decided they needed to try something completely different.
Their three-acre wooded property is nestled in a natural setting, and they wanted a landscape to blend in with it. “The idea was to put the ultimate in our backyard,” says Hinton, “where we could have our vacation come to us.” Their wish list included a pool, hot tub, waterfalls, a patio and a sizeable garden.
Outdoor Impressions principal Craig Gasiorowski, says Hinton, was the only person who understood what they wanted. Gasiorowski removed truckloads of soil to carve out an area large enough to install the pool at ground level. Now, waterfalls cascade over natural boulders into the hot tub and the pool, and an îpe deck stretches across the back of the house with a screened-in gazebo at one end. Natural stone paths meander through the garden filled with shrub roses, perennials and trees that bloom from spring until fall.
DESIGN: Craig Gasiorowski, Outdoor Impressions, Elkridge, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Gwin Hunt, Annapolis, Maryland. FURNITURE AROUND POOL: Apartment Zero, Washington, DC.