An example of extraordinary residential landscaping is found in the backyard of a home in St. Augustine, Florida. Facing the golf course at St. John’s Golf and Country Club, the outdoor space was perfect for a project that would extend the natural splendor of the golf course setting onto the homeowner’s private property and be a place for relaxation or entertaining family and friends.
The job called for 1,130 square feet of pavers, and 13 pallets of blocks for the retaining wall, seating wall, kitchen and fire pit. The majority of the project was built using Keystone’s Stonegate Country Manor wall system, including the outdoor kitchen design. Stonegate is a weathered, smooth-faced concrete wall system with a look reminiscent of the walls found throughout the European countryside. Units are finished on three sides and have two different face dimensions, maximizing design potential and creating the visual appeal of random patterns.
All hardscape products were made by Tremron, a Keystone-licensed paver and retaining wall manufacturer with plants and design centers in Florida and Georgia.
The Pratt Guys, a Jacksonville landscape contractor that is owned and operated by three brothers, first met with their client in 2014. The initial part of the process involved locating any underground utilities. Then they began the excavation process, digging a continuous 12-inch by 12-inch trench around the perimeter for the retaining wall.
When the trench was dug and compacted, the Pratt brothers installed crushed crete (recycled concrete) to form the base leveling pad. For the retaining wall, the Pratts used Stonegate blocks, in a color called “sierra.” Commercial filter cloth was installed behind the wall to prevent erosion from backfill seeping through the crevices of the wall.
The next step involved 8-inch by 8-inch posts for the pergola installed in the ground. The patio area was backfilled with paver fines (paver base). The Pratt Guys properly graded and compacted the patio area with a one-inch slope per ten feet for good drainage. Prior to the graded paver fines, the electrical contractor pre-ran the underground conduit.
After the ground was graded to perfection, the Pratt Guys created the outdoor kitchen with Stonegate blocks. “Our kitchens are built out of the best products,” Adam Pratt explained. “They are all concrete construction, to give our clients many years of outdoor entertainment value.”
When the kitchen was completed, the pavers were installed for the entire patio area. The Pratt Guys used a Tremron paver called "Mega Olde Towne,” also in a sierra color. Stonegate was used for the seating wall, and Munich blocks, in a color called “oak run,” were used for the 30-inch fire pit. The rest of the pergola, made of pressure-treated pine, and low voltage lighting fixtures from Volt Landscape Lighting were then installed.
“When we think about creating the ideal backyard oasis, no hardscape product does it better than Stonegate Country Manor,” Jason Pratt said. “This innovative system will transform a backyard into the ultimate space for entertaining and relaxing.”
Installer: Pratt Guys, Jacksonville, Florida
Hardscape product designer: Keystone Retaining Wall Systems, LLC
Hardscape manufacturer: Tremron
Retaining wall, seating wall and kitchen blocks: Keystone Stonegate Country Manor (color: sierra)
Pavers: Mega Olde Towne (color: sierra)
Fire pit: Munich (color: oak run)
Lighting system: Volt Landscape Lighting