Featured Project

Porter Residence

the vision

Tucked on the corner of a new development in Provo Utah, this home had significant elevation challenges that needed to be resolved in the landscape design. The .25 acre property dropped over 15’ from the front of the house to the back of the house. The owners wanted the landscape to soften the vertical height of the house while complementing and enhancing the architectural features of the house.

The first order of business was determing how to elegantly bring someone from the street up the 15’ of elevation gain to the front door without it feeling crammed or strictly functional. We needed to balance function and aesthetics all while retaining various grades. The solution was to use Belgard paver retaining walls to creatively and artistically navigate these grade challenges. We were cognizant of the reality that our clients did not want the retaining walls being in your face and the only thing one focused on as they came to the house.

To solve that concern, we created a series of landings, with a few steps between each of the landings. In strategic pockets, be added a small planter that softened the hardscape and blended with the landscape. This solution was used around the property to create a cohesive, balanced and elegant look. We were able to minimize unneccasary railings by keeping our walls raised so the experience walking to the front of the house felt like coming to a resort.


The owners are empty nesters but wanted to have a place their family could gather, with the primary focus of the backyard being the narrow swimming pool. This client is an elite age group triathlete who has qualified for the Kona world championships on multiple occasions. His main purpose was to have a 50’ lap pool that would support his heavy training volume, but also double as a place for the family and grandkids to recreate. We kept the depth to 4’ and tucked cascading steps onto the interior wall so as not to interfere with the needed length.

To make the smaller space feel bigger, we incorporated 2’x2 porcelain pavers around the pool versus the smaller modular pavers we used other places in the landscape. The neutral tone of the porcelain pavers complements the house and blends with the color of the paver walls.

Strategically placed columnar evergreen in the backyard allow this space to feel landscaped and private without any maintenance needs.

Lighting plays a critical role in this landscape. Low voltage lights are used in the walls to illuminate walkways, lights are placed in the paver stairs to ensure friends and family have adequate lighting in the evening to come to the front door, and spot lights on trees and plants balance out the effect. Our lighting philoshopy is to paint the landscape with light thereby enhancing the aesthetic in the evening hours

Our clients were thrilled with the amount of functional and usable space despite initial concerns they had built a home that would be incredibly difficult to landscape.