Bull Mountain – January 2014

This was a continuation of a project that we have been working on in phases (See Bull Mountain September 2013).  This phase was particularly challenging due to an extremely steep hillside that made access to the project area difficult.  In typical John Darby fashion, we challenged the hillside right back, and transformed an inaccessible nightmare into a stylish yet durable usable space.

Some highlights of this phase include:

  • A Custom Cedar Trash Enclosure –  The steep hillside made it impossible to hide trash and recycling receptacles out of sight, so we improvised and built a custom enclosure that extends out over the hillside and provides an enclosed, level place to store these unsightly necessities.  The hidden bonus?  The enclosure platform also provides safe and level access to the utility meters and irrigation controller.
  • Stairs, Stairs, Stairs – One particular feature that really stands out on this project is the generous helping of stairs.  As mentioned before, the hillside on this project was a real challenge, and made safe access to the lower yard a major challenge.  Through a combination of quarried basalt and boxed steps, we transformed the hillside from a hazard to a work of art.  Boxed steps are a rugged yet economical alternative to stone stairs, and can also serve as the base for a number of different tread materials.  In this instance, we used compacted gravel for the tread surface.
  • Irrigation – We continued the irrigation system using quality Rain Bird parts.
  • More Tall Fescue Sod – We really love this stuff, and used it again in the lower yard.
  • More Boulder Accents – We used a lot of boulders in this phase to define and complement the landscape.


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