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Concrete & Bluestone Patio Design

See how concrete, bluestone, and black pebbles were combined in this backyard's design

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape

When we came on this project, they had a full-sized patio that extended all the way across this entire area, and it was an exposed-aggregate concrete with brick bands similar to other things that we had done in the 80s. There was a little bit of settlement in the concrete and other reasons we decided the best thing to do was to take out the entire patio and start new. With a new palette, we didn't have to work with any of the old brick and exposed-aggregate paving, so we could create our own palette. We decided to go with areas of full-range bluestone, bluestone caps, a sand-washed concrete with a winter beige integral color, and then the southern moss steel-troweled smooth stucco for the walls.

Patio layout
For the layout, we've created these 12-inch-wide bluestone bands that come out perpendicular to the house, leading out to the yard to the parallel walls. We have that lead the eye to the destination. Alternating from these 12-inch-wide bands, we have these narrow 4-inch-wide bands of bluestone that are not in a grid but are offset so we don't have the standard grid. It's more of an offset pattern.

We were playing with the sort of rigid geometry of the patio and a lot of right angles. Around this fountain we wanted to kind of break a little bit from that and have a more organic feel of just dry-laid flagstone with groundcover between it. But then there is an area where we want to cross and get to the pool, and we didn't want to have to walk across these small individual flagstone pieces. So we have this random rectangular pattern of concrete that goes from the pool area to the main patio, and where that random pattern intersects the square of random bluestones, we kept the pattern but we changed the material to the bluestone so you have this interesting overlay of pattern and material combination.

Groundcover irrigation
When you have a situation where you want to have groundcover interspersed with pavers or paving stones, you have two options to irrigate that. You can either do a drip-line with many emitters between or a laser drip or soaker hoses. Or you can just use spray heads to spray over the entire area, and then the water runs off the individual stones and waters the areas between. With this project, we wanted the durability of the spray system so we oversprayed the whole area, and then there is a perimeter drain that slopes away from the center fountain so water wouldn't puddle. It has about a 2% slope to a perimeter drain of perforated pipe and gravel, and then that regular drain rock gravel is overlaid the last 2 inches with this decorative black Mexican pebble.

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