"Make it a Focal Point" ~ Turn obstacles into opportunities and champion challenges in your landscape design

Have you ever found yourself standing in the middle of your yard or garden saying something like, "I know what I want but I don't know how to put it all together and what do I do with THAT!" All yards or landscapes have what can be perceived as difficulties, obstacles or challenges. When you embrace and look to enhance these challenges, that is when a landscape design become incredibly special.
The glass is always half full and filling for a landscape designer when visiting a potential site for the first time. Take for example the project in the accompanying images. The original grade for the backyard was one big slope that made the desired use a bit challenging. The natural stone retaining wall was extended out nearly 30 feet from the home and included the stone steps to create two level garden areas. The cedar arbor added at the top of the steps extenuated the transition between the upper vegetable garden and the lower flower garden. The lower garden then became host for the paver patio and outdoor dinning area. The large retaining wall allowed for the grading to be more level and conducive for each activity.
Don't be afraid to bring in a professional landscape designer to help work through difficulties in your landscape. They can bring fresh eyes and have years of experience in dealing with challenging sites. But, remember this is their career and have dedicated their life honing their skills. Make sure to duly compensate them for their 'ideas' and knowledge. Taking difficult obstacles and turning them into beautiful landscapes and gardens is always a rewarding journey.
Turning a challenging aspect of a landscape into a focal point of a design is often time very rewarding. The end result often times looks like it was meant to be, we love when that happens.
The cedar arbor at the top of the steps creates a beautiful frame of the lower flower garden.
The natural stone step are functional... but with the arbor and gate they become a beautiful focal point of this backyard garden paradise. Make sure there is enough room at the top and bottom of the steps to linger and enjoy.
Through out the seasons a focal point can make a wonderful statement. As fall approaches the arbor can become even more important as a visual element.
With the natural stone retaining wall extended further into the yard the lower flower garden hosts a beautiful paver patio. The space easily flow from one to another.
Steps can act as built in seating... The natural stone steps under the arbor are a perfect place to take a quick break from gardening and survey your accomplishments. Strawberries where planted at the top of the wall for a neat treat.
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