My recent visit to Portland included revisiting this eye candy project and some speaking with the new owners who were delighted to know all the ins and outs of the construction of this place.
I have featured this project in other posts but I have recently unearthed a new little trove of pictures taken as we were leaving. These pictures were taken on the day we actually finished the project. It’s hard to believe a month or two earlier the area was all mud, complete with the broken and sawed up tree parts and underbrush which comprised the entire area prior to our excavations and then landscaping. Interestingly, the water clarity in these pictures, although it gives a really pleasing mirror-like reflective finish, is still a bit dirty, proving the “unfinished” nature of it all. Later, it was crystal clear.
There were numerous and very intimidating challenges to it all. For one thing, the deck seen hovering over the water was always designed to stay just an inch above the waterline. Naturally, installing the deck preceded almost all the landscaping work save for the excavation. In typical fashion, therefore, it became our typical logistical nightmare.
Having said that, once a “level” is decided upon, at least we have something solid to base the rest of the construction on. The impracticalities all come home to roost right around then.
This project was pretty gnarly to make. The liner itself was something like 80′ by 60′, meaning it took 7 of us just to spread it out, much less to adjust it all. EPDM Liners are heavy as heck. Just getting it into the back yard required a machine. Nor was this the only liner on the project. We also had a creek to construct because we wanted at least some water recirculating and oxygenating instead of becoming an algae-infested mess. Yes, it is pretty much shady back there, but it still got enough sunshine to make algae an issue.
So we made a good sized creek, with a fairly good rate of flow. Making it look natural was pretty easy, frankly, owing to the density of plantings and the availability of plants we had relocated, ready for planting, upon the commencement of the project:
(click images to enlarge)
The look from the patio:
The project was complicated by the desire of the owners for a small island. Man, anything but that!
This is not easy when designing with liners. The little mound where the island goes has to be made just right, at the proper height and width, nor can it eventually sink. So it got compacted to a large degree but not so it would become impossible to plant.
Hey – hand me that piano, OK?
When all was said and done, we had ourselves a real winner, I think. We found abundant forest material to insert into the edges of the water, making it appear far older than – ahem – one day old.
The Springtime effects look gorgeous in many of these shots – there were blooms galore and bright shiny new leaves everywhere.
The project remains a rather epic achievement for yours truly, shared by many, of course. These sorts of projects can be frustrating and challenging but they seem more than worth the effort with a little ‘remove’.