New Construction in SE Pennsylvania

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
Jim you are so right! Down south they DO use that color a lot!! It has been awhile since I have been that far down. Up here we are mostly brick or wood.
 

BlueKoolAide

Member
Oct 17, 2018
24
SE Pennsylvania
I haven't posted in a while, but due to landscaper delays in May I ended up cancelling their contract and doing my retaining walls myself. My patio guy should be coming out next week. Since I saved so much on my walls I decided to do stamped concrete instead of the Kool Deck. Here is a picture of the main retaining wall I did. I'm going to fill it with river rock and some plants in the end.

 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
Looking good! I will admit though, that I'm surprised that you are going with rocks/plants on the far side of the pool. It's a nice look, no problems with materials, but it would be so convenient to have concrete all the away around the pool. We've had ours since 2013 and I'm embarrassed to tell you the amount of time I spend wandering around the pool for amusement, maintenance, etc. Plenty of opportunity for planting below the wall with taller material that provides a nice backdrop. I see you will have nice upper deck space, but the hard surface all the way around is hard to beat.

Our pool is about the same size, with concrete on the far side and sloping landscaped ground, so the similarity caught my eye.
 

BlueKoolAide

Member
Oct 17, 2018
24
SE Pennsylvania
Looking good! I will admit though, that I'm surprised that you are going with rocks/plants on the far side of the pool. It's a nice look, no problems with materials, but it would be so convenient to have concrete all the away around the pool. We've had ours since 2013 and I'm embarrassed to tell you the amount of time I spend wandering around the pool for amusement, maintenance, etc. Plenty of opportunity for planting below the wall with taller material that provides a nice backdrop. I see you will have nice upper deck space, but the hard surface all the way around is hard to beat.

Our pool is about the same size, with concrete on the far side and sloping landscaped ground, so the similarity caught my eye.
If I could wrap the pool deck around, I would have, but I have a hard limit on the amount of patio I can build per township limits for impervious surface coverage. If I exceed it I would have to get approval and build a storm water management system which would have been upwards of $5k. I already had to shell out $5k unexpectedly for bedrock breaking, on top of building these walls (which the PB did not inform me would be required during design & contract), so I'm doing what I can to stay within some sort of budget. Definitely agree with you, though, I would have liked a wrap around pool deck for sure!
 
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RuralTexas

Active member
Mar 3, 2019
44
Houston area
I haven't posted in a while, but due to landscaper delays in May I ended up cancelling their contract and doing my retaining walls myself. My patio guy should be coming out next week. Since I saved so much on my walls I decided to do stamped concrete instead of the Kool Deck. Here is a picture of the main retaining wall I did. I'm going to fill it with river rock and some plants in the end.

I like your retaining wall, our designer tried to talk us into this sort of far side of the pool garden area. The depictions were really nice. The far side of mine will just be coping with deck on only 3 sides.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
39,024
Tallahassee, FL
Lets think about non living things and see what you think!

First off you will put TWO layers of roofing felt on the dirt cut to fit then using lawn pens to hold it down (they look like a Upside down U and are fairly thin). The felt will keep anything from growing.

Then you will find the rock you like..............river rock in browns and grays=natural and pretty, white marble rock=bright and pretty, gravel=cute and pretty.

-potted plants in pretty pots on top
-statues of all types just pick a theme or go random. Concrete or resin would work.

OR fill most of it with Mondo grass with some taller flowering plants. Knock out roses are very pretty and easy to care for.

Now tell us what you thought reading over this and we can go from there.

Kim:kim:
 

Gladius Nova

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2016
69
Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Do pavers count towards that hard space rule? Or pretty rocks??

Kim:kim:
Pavers indeed do. Rocks don't, generally any landscaping stuff should be fine. I'm open to ideas of what to plant/fill the wall with (except grass or mulch :oops:)!
How about landscaping "stuff" with pavers in between? It's a shame (as someone else stated) you can't have walking access around that side of the pool. For maintenance and/or convenience.
 

BlueKoolAide

Member
Oct 17, 2018
24
SE Pennsylvania
How about landscaping "stuff" with pavers in between? It's a shame (as someone else stated) you can't have walking access around that side of the pool. For maintenance and/or convenience.
I'm sure I could put some stone "steps" of some sort in there without issue (especially once the township is done inspecting) - I just cant have it be a literal paver patio with the crushed stone, sand and pavers. Is that what you mean?

edit:
something along these lines is what I mean

 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
877
Morris Cnty NJ
you could fill the area with clean gravel and use permeable pavers and blend them into the deck. you could also just get final inspection and then add it later thats what many people do.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,189
NE/Pa
I know I have said this a lot on these boards with regards to flowers especially with living in pa. I’m just north of you.

I feel for ease and bullet proof ability that white little lime or bobo hydrangea work so well. You can pretty much not kill them and don’t have to worry about prefect time to prune them cause they bloom in old and new wood. Daylilies. Man if you kill one you have no right taking care of any kinda plant. You cAn grow them in sidewalk cracks. There are so many different kinds out there now even double daylilies which are awesome it’s a bloom that goes inside a bloom. If you want a bit of spring color frothegilia are great. The mini version cause it only gets 4 feet tall. Personally I do all dwarf varieties anymore cause they are easier to control and care for. My other 2 go to flowers are deer resistant summer phlox and any kinda coneflower. That’s why whole yard anymore. I do zero evergreen. Just not a fan.

Behind my pool I’m like you. But no wall I slope off gently. I’m doing a row of white lime lights that will follow the flow of my pool and wrap around to my pool house and then side of my house to meet up with my front yard wall of little lines and bobo’s Then a row of daylilies which will do the same. So my whole yard is pretty much white. I got rid of all colored daylilies last year and have all white ones to match the little limes and my froth. I have my double day lilies at my driveway with the only other color in my yard leftcwhich are my wine and roses. There’s another great plant. Purple wine leaves and they bloom like mad when u trim them the right time of the year.
 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
I like a lot of jimim's plants as well (big coneflower fan). A few "evergreen" plants I used were a semi-circular ring of Winter Gem boxwood (very cold hardy) and the old as the hills yucca filamentosa with it't 6' tall flower spikes. Oh, and Becky Shasta Daisy. For an ornamental grass I like Shenandoah switch grass.
 
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jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,189
NE/Pa
Same with bmoreawim! He has a more well rounded approach with mixing variety. I’m more of a bullet proof and use it all over kinda guy since I have had kids. It’s hard to spend the time out there when I had a ton of different variety.

Regarding coneflowers. My favorite are the hybrids that look like the thing you got for badminton. They get that nice poof on top with the petals pushed downward. They come in like 30 different colors and sizes. Just don’t let them seed cause you end up with purple magnus. Ask me now I know. Not that the original coneflower is bad. It’s just that the others are expensive and then the parent plant will get choked off from magnus.

Russian sage is nice also. It gets woody over the years but smells awesome.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
bmoreawim stepped up with some wonderful ideas as well!!! NICE! Now you have so many to pick from! I can't wait to see what you come up with!!!
 

BlueKoolAide

Member
Oct 17, 2018
24
SE Pennsylvania
Thanks everyone! I'm going to take these ideas and plants to one of my neighbors who does landscape design and see what he can come up with for me (for the whole backyard, not just in this wall garden). I'm looking to put some trees along my fence too for some privacy.

I'll hopefully be posting an update next week when the patio is complete.
 
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