The lemons are left in to make lemonade

Sorrell 3.12The vision for this Giest home courtyard was realized almost immediately and encouraged by the generous spirit and admiration of the family. Lot’s of kids and festive entertaining required an expansion of the already roomy concrete pool decking. But the space did not quite speak to the two rear French doors already there. Improving traffic flow was critical as was capturing the integrity of the architecture.

Landscape architect Eric Beard is credited with the design, which was brilliantly penciled on site in less than an hour. He is ridiculously gifted and has the ability to imagine amazing spaces. Lowell at ProCare, Ryan with Vive and Mike Bush are other leading landscape architects in the area that inspire our industry.


A maturing Sunburst Honeylocust anchors the courtyard and creates a dappled shade roof structure in what is now the family’s favorite, updated respite. Matching Trex decks flank each side and seamlessly spill from the formal back doors that now play an intricate role in the design. Simple, but elegant, steps that wrap the entire structure smoothly flow onto the Belgard tumbled paver patio. The muted concrete paver blends intelligently with the existing concrete, saving thousands of dollars by allowing that surface to remain. In fact, the previously tired concrete surround conveniently came to life with the updated pavers, making lemonade out of lemons!

Functioning arched seat walls define the entry and offer a convenient place for enthusiastic kids and flowering pots to rest. The artful stroke of lawn in front of each softens the architectural surfaces and begs for a blanket. Appropriate and colorful flowering landscapes add huge comfort to any space and this is no exception. I can imagine myself there. How about you?

Smart design often allows our industry to strategically enlarge an existing compact or benign space and open it up for inspiring living ideas.


Randy Sorrell is founder and president of SURROUNDINGS by NatureWorks+. He may be reached at 679-2565, or