Stone Stairway and Walls – Maynard, MA

At this charming home in Maynard, MA the front entry way and retaining walls were in disrepair and unsightly.  With an appreciation for stonework, the homeowner desired to replace the wooden stairway with a natural stone stairway and to sure up the existing retaining walls.

Maynard, MA - before

Maynard, MA – before

Maynard, MA - Before

Maynard, MA – Before

After considering the site and deciding on materials, we draw a simple plan so that the homeowner can better visualize how the stairs will be situated.  Granite steps will be used for the stairs, bluestone pavers for the landings, and Pennsylvania Fieldstone for the walls.

Maynard, MA - Landscape Plan

Maynard, MA – Landscape Plan

Next we break ground and excavate for the new stairways.  Any good sized stones are saved to aid in the rebuilding of the walls.

Maynard, MA - Excavated Site

Maynard, MA – Excavated Site

Next the stairs and walls start going in.  We set the step, and then build the walls up to meet the level, and so on.  The stairway walls are mortared with cement but are meant to look like they aren’t.  The side walls and retaining walls are dry laid without the use of mortar.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps

The walls grow higher.  The #3 is salvaged from the original wall and set at eye level in the new stairway.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps and Fieldstone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps and Fieldstone Walls

The stairs and walls reach finish height.  The upper retaining wall is built higher than the original was to help flatten out the steep grade of the gardens.  The side retaining walls are built with the existing stone and supplemented by the larger pieces of the PA wallstone that were purchased for the stairway.  Cobble stones and clay brick make up the bottom landing while bluestone is used for the upper landings and to cap the stairway wall.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps and Stone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps and Stone Walls

After the railings go in the project is complete and some nice fall decorations bring it all together.   Take a look at the before and after.

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before

Maynard, MA - Stone Stairway and Fieldstone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Stairway and Fieldstone Walls

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Maynard, MA – Completed Granite Steps and Stone Walls

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Maynard, MA – Completed Granite Steps and Fieldstone Walls

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Maynard, MA – Completed Stone Stairway with Bluestone Landing

 

 

Bluestone Patio and Landscape Design – JP

At this home in Jamaica Plain, MA the existing concrete paver patio was unsightly and too small for the homeowner’s needs.  There existed a number of nice plantings, but, some were overgrown and others in not so great locations.

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Original Patio

After discussing material options, we proposed a design that maximized the patio area while leaving room for planting beds.  We proposed relocating the nicer of the shrubs and bringing in a small variety of perennials and ground cover for an attractive but low maintenance garden.

The design called for a slightly sunken bluestone patio in a random pattern with cobble stone edging.  Cobble stones were also used to retain the hillside beds.  The corners of the patio are jogged to leave room or the shrubs and the style is mirrored where it connects to the walkway.

Landscape Design Plan - Jamaica Plain, MA

After digging out the old patio and relocating the plantings, the new bluestone patio is dry laid in a bed of stone dust.

Dry Laid Bluestone

Dry Laid Bluestone

After the bluestone patio is installed, we amend the existing soil with compost and bring in a small array of new plantings.  The plantings are picked to be low maintenance perennial plants that create a plush, green, garden.  All larger trees + shrubs were existing.  Take a look at the before and after photos:

Before

Before

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after

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Before

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After

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before

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after

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Cobble Edging, Hostas + Vinca

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Completed Patio – Incorporated Drainage

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Completed Bluestone Patio Project