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Cabin John, MD Residence – Swimming Pool, Custom Stonework, & Landscape Plantings

Project Description

Our clients in Cabin John wanted a landscape design to complement their new home so they could entertain the husband’s law firm’s partners and clients, but not so over the top as to put off their neighbors and friends. They are simple people at heart and didn’t want anything too showy.

When we began the project, the one door was adjacent to the bay window with little room to work. The AC units were placed outside the door. The yard was a big flat box with no character to speak of and views that were far from desirable.

Despite these challenges, combined with a number of landscape drainage issues, our designers were able to create an award-winning landscape filled with all the landscape elements our client wanted.

Having a similar issue? Contact us if you want new landscape elements for your Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC home.

Landscape Elements

Our Cabin John clients came to us with some pretty specific ideas on the landscape elements they wanted incorporated into the design. On top of their wish list was a pool as large as possible with an automatic cover and a screened-in porch to fit in the space left of the bay window. Other landscape elements they wanted in the design included:

  • An outdoor fireplace
  • A grilling station
  • A dining patio
  • A shaded area adjacent to the swimming pool
  • A lawn area for the dogs
  • And plenty of gardens & landscape plants.

Looking for new landscape elements like the screened-in porch design our Cabin John clients wanted? Call us today to discuss adding similar landscape elements to your property, if you live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC!

Custom Pool Design

The decision to go with a 45 degree orientation to the landscape design opened up the space to almost every design challenge. This angle allowed the swimming pool to be 36 ft. long and 18 ft. wide with room at the end for a lounge area. It also made it so the pool could be set to the rear of the property to create some sense of yard.

The triangular space behind the custom pool created the perfect spot for the arbor covered sitting area and outdoor fireplace. This structure obscured the view of the old church building behind their home.

Screened-In Porch Design & Other Landscape Elements

By placing the pool area where we did, the screened-in porch design is able to fit both dining and sitting areas. The grilling station is at an angle, but that allowed us to tuck the AC unit behind it. The outdoor grill was placed to one end of the custom pool design to allow for a large serving counter adjacent to the oversized dining patio. The lawn sweeps across the property with a large radius curve that accents the landscape plantings.

Then we had to consider landscape design details:

  • Stone walls
  • Paving patterns
  • Aggregate inlays with stone boarders
  • 2 in. thick stone treads
  • Coping and caps to the walls and pillars
  • Custom fencing
  • Arbors
  • Screened in porch design including trim and finishes.

This was truly a design turned on edge. Have a unique landscape design idea of your own? Contact us today for a custom design with all the landscape elements you could want!

Project Challenges

Landscape Drainage

Landscape drainage was our biggest challenge here. The builder had miscalculated the set elevations, and the county had approved a grading plan that had the property sitting 18 in. above the adjacent property. This obstructed the flow of water through the landscape, creating an 18 by 24 ft. pond 16 in. deep that would not drain for up to a week and was killing the trees on the neighboring property.

The natural presumption would be to cut a swale through the landscape, but this would have ruined the property for future development. By working with the county and the neighbors, we engineered the collection of water into an 18 by 18 in. drain box on the neighboring property that was then piped across our landscape in an 8 in. drain pipe.

The water is now discharged through a series of dry wells and bubble up boxes on the downhill side of the yard. We also have water draining into the property from the rear. By raising the pool area, we were able to redirect this water around the property to the natural topography. These landscape drainage solutions allowed us to fully develop the property into what you see today.

Have landscape drainage issues in your property? We can help! Call us at 301-948-6625301-948-6625 for a new landscape design and improved landscape drainage!

Choosing Botanical Decorators for Landscape Designs in MD, VA, or DC

Our landscape designers transformed this Cabin John property from a boxy backyard with landscape drainage issues to an elegant but simple outdoor retreat filled with all the landscape elements our clients wanted. Whether you’re looking for a custom pool design, a screened-in porch design, or another type of design altogether, we can seamlessly integrate the landscape elements you want into your overall landscape.

Contact us to transform your property with the landscape elements you love!


The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.

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Botanical Decorators
5011 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Ste B, Olney, MD 20832