Bluestone Patio Begs for Backyard Entertaining

Transforming Landscape Challenges into Functional Solutions

There is an art as well as a science to seeing a challenging space and transforming it into an inviting space that serves practical drainage functions as well as serving as a fun gathering place for outdoor entertaining. As landscape designers, we have to take into account topography, drainage, aesthetics, and the desires of the customer and have them all come together to create the look, feel and functionality needed in excellent landscape design. The space behind this home posed many interesting challenges that we enjoyed setting the very talented Carpenter & Costin Design Team loose on.

Carpenter & Costin BEFORE

This backyard needed a patio and pergola for relaxing and entertaining.

First it was a very long and narrow space at 25-30 feet wide and 80 feet long. Second, there was a drainage swale that ran right through the middle of it. This was dry most times but during heavy rain periods it is critical that it serves its purpose of channeling excess roof and overland runoff away from the house and out of the yard.

Wish List:

Next came the wish list of the client: They wanted a large patio for dining and gathering, something to provide some shade on hot sunny days, fencing to delineate driveway from garden space, a vegetable garden, and terraces for planting with walls that appeared as though they’d been there forever.

Split rail fence, trellis, pergola, patio, bluestone, stonework, stone walls, drainage swale,drainage, water prooblems

Patio and pergola lead to trellis and split rail fence delineating driveway and creating useful space where there was only water runoff previously.

Carpenter & Costin Patio Solutions:

  1. An 18×26 natural cleft full color bluestone patio perfect for dining and gatherings.
  2. A custom built pergola fitting of its surrounds.
  3. Accentuate the swale with a dry stream bed to capture water in high flow periods doubling as an accent to the sitting space in dry periods.
  4. Utilize native, on-site stone to create the terrace walls. There is no better match than existing material.
  5. Raised planters created with the same building material as the pergola, laid out in a liner fashion to work in harmony with the narrow space.
patio, pergola, planters, stone walls, mulch, gardens, storm water diversion

Patio, pergola and planters with natural swale solved challenging water diversion problem while creating defined sitting area with beautiful scenery!


In a space that was previously nothing more than “the back of the house,” this home now has an attractively defined, shaded and colorful area for entertaining with friends, and a peaceful place for relaxing with family. The additon of the pergola and the patio added landscape design elements that are work with the home, are clean and look fantastic!

Stay Tuned:

Next we’ll be tackling the front of this house, so stay tuned for more landscape challenges transformed into solutions!


Raised vegetable gardens, natural stone work, bluestone patio, pergola, landscape design by Carpenter & Costin

Raised beds make excellent vegetable gardens. These were installed in a long narrow space to make the best use of the space and divide the driveway from the gardens with a split rail fence



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