Chris and Becky Kenney love the hot springs of the Rocky Mountains, and they want a romantic outdoor spot for their home
where they can gaze at the stars. Landscape designer Gary Gragg builds an in-ground stone hot springs that's surrounded by mountain wi
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Male: Chris and Becky have designed a perfect family compound, a casual and contemporary interior, a welcoming fun yard and a side yard for play. But their backyard is an underutilized eyesore. They want to relax in outdoor space suitable for entertaining friends as well as hanging out with the family.
Becky: The kid area with the play structure and the sandbox is off to the side of the house. But along the back of the house, we haven’t really done much
Male: But these parents are hoping for an adult playground.
Chris: We designed it for kids. So we kind of forget about the adults a little bit in the whole process. We’ve got the trampoline, the play area but Becky and I kind of are left to our rocking chairs up front.
We have this hilly area that goes next to the creek and really doesn’t—it’s difficult to landscape and we’ve always thought of putting something interesting there but we never quite figured it out.
Male: Now, it’s a beautiful hot spring wood land retreat drawing visitors down on meandering path to a waterway of relaxation and tranquility. The hot tub area was filled with piles of dirt and leaves and had no definition or function. Now it’s the focal point of the yard with a sunken tub big enough for eight and adjacent patio for hanging out. To top if off, a boulder perched on the edge of the tub provides a waterfall cascading into the pool below mimicking the natural wonders of a hot spring.
Becky: I’m overwhelmed seriously. It is so much bigger and grander and more beautiful than I had ever imagined. I’m thrilled.
Chris: It’s definitely the favorite part in our yard. It was beyond our dream as a family to have this completed.
Male: The dry creek bed continues the theme of a natural woodland setting and is framed with meadow grasses. It trails away from the hot tub and connects into the natural creek below creating a feeling of a perpetual waterway overflowing from the hot tub. And the overall backyard is filled with mounds of lush plants such as ferns, grasses, shrubs and redwoods. The curves of the path, patio and mounds mimic the natural landscape of a woodland wonderland.
Gary: The biggest challenge on this project is how to weave a manmade garden into a natural setting and make it look like it’s always been there.
Chris wanted a place that will remind him of his grandfather’s farm and hanging out by the natural hot springs there. Becky wanted a retreat where she could go at the end of the day and relax. I think they’ll spend a lot of time out there both by themselves and with their friends and family.
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