Bayou Master Plan Completion—New Driveway—Pensacola, FL

Gary Haygood > Bayou Master Plan Completion—New Driveway—Pensacola, FL

bayou master plan completion

Updating the Driveway—Pensacola, FL

This beautiful home sits on a point on several acres of land in a bayou in Pensacola and, in fact, will be the 2019 feature garden for the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs Tour. I had the pleasure of working with the owners on their guest cottage addition when we lived in Tampa. Recently, they contacted me to redesign their driveway.

When we started in 2005, Hurricane Katrina had just come through and wiped out most of the trees on the property. Before we finished, the owner told me he found a great deal on 100 trees and they were being delivered in a couple of weeks! So I located where these trees of various species and sizes were to be planted to work with the master plan for future uses of the property and to provide shade where it was most desirable. A landscape architect’s dream for sure!

When I started working on the guest cottage courtyard, the owners requested that I terminate the views looking from the pool area down the walk toward the cottage along with a courtyard. I included a wall to complement the existing home along with a trellis and a fountain for visual interest and a soothing sound. The homeowners wanted this feature to be large enough to accommodate a small band for outdoor concerts which they host on a regular basis.  When not being used for large groups, it’s a comfortable space to sit and talk and look at the bayou.

The house is spectacular with its charm and historical character but the owners were tired of the asphalt driveway which was in disrepair. Also, the house didn’t really seem to be the focal feature as you enter the parking area because of views of the garage. There was nothing to direct your views to the front of the home. The other problem they had was water draining across the driveway and collecting on one side.

So I presented several designs to them with various paving material options. They chose to go with the cobblestone because of its historical character, color and interest. The driveway needed to be simple to be in keeping with the style of that time and to keep the driveway from becoming the main feature.

The driveway is large so I broke it up into smaller sections with bands of granite and introduced a simple square design in the center for interest. There are large dividers, a 4-piece square cobblestone border and a vertical curb outside of that. I also introduced some small and large columns with gas lamps to visually separate spaces and create a sequence of spaces as you approach the home.

Once the owners decided to go with the cobblestone, I coordinated with Stone Farm Living located in Connecticut and the owner, Steve Singlak, was able to locate cobblestones and granite slabs (historical curbs) from Belgium and the Boston Big Dig.

I had some granite slabs embedded in the driveway as dividers and the owners bought some extra slabs and directed me to find a place to use them. Another landscape architect’s dream! To that end, I used some of the granite curbs on their sides (flat) for stepping stones around a large oak tree in the front yard in addition to the driveway dividers.

One of the main objectives was to buffer views of the existing garage when you approach the home. The drive was carefully aligned to emphasize views to the front of the house and buffer views to the garage by introducing an additional planting island next to the garage. Boy, what a difference that made!

This project goes to show the advantages of planning and executing in stages. It’s best to create a master plan from the beginning so you know exactly how you want to transform your complete property. From there, you can determine which areas to build out first and which you can defer till a later time. Whether you want to build in stages or all at one time, I’m here to help you create your personal dream oasis in your own backyard.

If you are looking for similar cobblestone–or any nice stone–Steve at Stone Farm Living is a great resource and John Loftis of Loftis Marine Division, Inc. is one of our recommended contractors. I’d be happy to introduce you when we start your landscape project.

Visit here for more information on the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs and the 2019 Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast Garden Tour on May 18 & 19, which offers six unique private residential gardens, selected for their creativity, use of native plants, garden features and interesting horticulture specimens.

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