LOCATION: Weston, Conn.
COMPANY: Hoffman Landscapes
An existing client approached the team at Hoffman Landscapes to transform his backyard pool and in-ground hot tub into a resort-style island oasis. The client wanted to host a Fourth of July party to christen the new space.
“We did a lot of tropical plantings,” says Matt Biron, landscape architect with Hoffman Landscapes.
Setting the 14-foot-wide, 10-inch-thick capstone above the pool’s grotto was a challenge, says Biron. Hoffman Landscapes combined the pool and the hot tub to create the grotto. Biron designed a large retaining wall to separate the wetland area behind the backyard.
“We turned it into this weird shape pool and made it more of a lagoon with this stone grotto with a big waterfall (and) big cascade stone on top of the waterfall. We incorporated a fiberglass dolphin slide and nestled it in with all of that rock work that we actually harvested from some local property,”
Biron says lighting plays a huge role in this design. Hoffman Landscapes added Coastal Source tiki lights, which feature LED downlights and a flamed torch to create the island feel.
“When you turn the landscape light on it, you still get the effect of the light, but then you also get the flame from the tiki,” he says.
Other details include an outdoor kitchen, fire bowls, Coastal Source wired-in speakers and lights tucked in around tropical plants that run through an app on the client’s phone.
For this project, Hoffman Landscapes won a Silver Award from the 2022 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.
This returning client wanted Hoffman Landscapes to transform the backyard into a resort-style island oasis. Design details included tropical plant materials, fire elements and natural stone to achieve the desired atmosphere.
Two large Heptacodium miconioides ‘Seven Son’ flowers and privacy hedges flank the walkway to the pool environment to create the illusion of entering an exclusive private resort.
The whimsy of a waterslide was important to this client. The slide itself is commercial-grade and includes 3-inch diameter piping for water flow. Hoffman Landscape encourages moss to grow on the stone structure to give it a natural appearance.
This before photo shows the existing pool, hot and pool house.
The Hoffman Landscape team transformed the space into a private retreat.
Hoffman Landscape cut open the existing spa portion of the old gunite pool and transformed it into a hidden grotto. Behind the curtain of cascading water is seating.
Crews replaced the existing paver patio with larger slabs of ash granite to give a resort-style feel. Along with tropical plants, Hoffman Landscape selected an assortment of native plant materials including Agastache, Coreopsis, hydrangea and a flowing lavender border to provide rotating seasonal color.
The steps, patio areas and interior of the grotto are well-lit with Coastal Source lighting. Various uplighting fixtures highlight design features like plant materials and stonework. Hoffman Landscapes included tiki lights to emphasize the tropical island theme.
A series of flat-topped boulders sits above the grotto. These seating boulders provide a unique vantage point of the pool house and the patio below.
Hoffman Landscape sourced a large flat slab to sit at the top of the grotto’s water feature. This slab cleverly hides the plumbing equipment that makes the waterfall possible. Installing this piece was a challenge for crews that needed to maneuver it into place without disrupting the pool house and wetlands on either side.
A bird’s-eye view of the tropical paradise. The retaining wall protects the bordering wetlands.