The contour of your land provides more opportunities than challenges. From a slight grade of your backyard in Northwest Woods to a waterfront view of the Southampton dunes with the Atlantic in the background; your property is telling you something. Listen carefully because the message is that your land wants to be used to its full potential. Each landscape has its own individual personality. When you enter a backyard that is in need of work, it helps to see a blank canvas; a world of possibilities.
Waterscapes have become very popular for many reasons. Invariably, the client will say, “We don’t want the Bellagio…but…” The words that come after “but” are always very interesting. Infinity edge pools, ponds, waterfalls, and stacked-stone water features have grown in popularity from Southold to Sagaponack. Finding the most practical and perfect scenic setting is a collaborative effort.
When done properly, there are only benefits to waterfalls. The drop from the height of the waterfall can vary from just a few inches to several feet. The stonework on the descent can be as stunning as any of the stonework in your yard; often the simpler the better.
The three benefits of water features include:
1. Sound: The splashing water creates a steady pattern of rhythm. The calming influence is not to be underestimated. So many meditate or practice yoga in the area of the cascading water.
2. Vision: Viewing a waterfall has some similarities to breaking waves in the ocean. While not on such a grand scale, the waterfall is ever-changing, yet constant. It is one of the most peaceful and serene sights in the landscapes we create. There are few things as beautiful as flowing, cascading water. The water can drizzle off the rocks or come crashing down into a catch basin that re-circulates the water.
3. Practicality: The rhythmic pattern, that can often be adjusted, is frequently used to overcome road noise, or the sounds from a neighbor’s yard. On a larger scale, it can also create privacy from other parts of the estate. The design element is a piece of the much larger puzzle and often ties everything together; acting as a bridge between pool and spa, or patio and yard.
The infinity, or negative edge pool, happens to be a particular favorite of so many in the Hamptons and the North Fork. This growing trend is most welcome. Listen to your yard and see if it’s calling out for more.