Deck & Patio Solutions: Working Around Landscape Challenges

Whether a tree is threatening your deck plans or you're looking for creative uses for your backyard's large stones, these landscape design ideas can help.

Tree Focal Point

A large tree didn't deter plans for this backyard patio--the homeowners simply designed around it, making it a key element. The low stone wall around the tree doubles as seating. The flagstone floor is set in sand over landscaping fabric that inhibits weeds but lets moisture reach the tree's roots.

Tree Provides Deck Shade

This expansive deck, a popular gathering spot for enjoying coffee or sunset drinks, is built around a large tree that offers generous amounts of shade.

L-Shape Bench

A deck and L-shape bench accommodate an established fir tree. The bench contributes to the structure's clean, angular sensibility.

Back Deck

This path, to a two-level deck with brick-and-stucco planters, gently wraps around a tree that provides dappled shade.

Spa Area

The decking around a hot tub also surrounds a 50-year-old tree, preserving a natural element in the landscape.

Natural-Look Steps

These steps are built between rocks. They are supported by square tubular steel and angle irons welded together and painted black to disappear into the shadows. This technique makes the stairs appear to be supported only by the rocks.

Deck Design

In order to preserve the broad natural shade of a favorite pine tree, the tree was incorporated into the deck's design.

Peaceful Outdoor Area

Floating over a koi pond and surrounded by natural elements, this deck offers a calm place for conversation and dining.

Spiraling Stone Wall

Straight-line brick paths and a curved flagstone wall accommodate a mature tree and colorful plantings. The stone wall spirals into a small water feature (only 18 inches in diameter) and adds seating.

Deck and Pool Area

This deck, adjacent to a pool, was constructed to allow an old tree to sprawl over it, adding shade and character to the outdoor living space.

Stone Feature

Stones jutting from this deck add personality and further a rock garden design found throughout the rest of the space.

Build Around a Tree

Rather than removing an established tree, this terraced deck frames and enhances the space's nature-inspired serenity.

Wheelchair-Accessible Deck

Low, intersecting ramps on this wheelchair-accessible deck provide shallow inclines, resting points, and space to integrate garden foliage and breathtaking trees into the design.

Douglas Fir Tree

Local codes required preserving this mature Douglas fir tree, so the deck builder constructed this one-of-a-kind space that does just that.

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