Poolside Paradise: An Independence Landscape Project Showcase

Don and Marie gazed out at the backyard of their newly built Alexandria home and saw a blank canvas: patchy grass, scattered trees and builder-grade landscaping.  With a school-age son, they dreamed of an entertainer’s paradise where they could host large groups of friends in style. 

When they met Independence Landscape co-founder Curt Greene, they were embarking on a major construction project with Town & Country Pools, including a pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and lounge area. To complete the transformation, they wanted standout landscaping: modern, vibrant, clean and comprehensive. 

“I don’t want the traditional Northern Virginia backyard,” Don told Curt and Senior Landscape Designer Connor Simmons.

At Independence, we love turning visions into reality. Just as we did for Amy and Derek in their Alexandria backyard transformation, we were eager to bring Don and Marie’s dream to life. 

Site Prep & Tree Decisions

We knew we had our work cut out for us. As we began, the areas surrounding the newly installed pool were sloped and muddy, with several trees remaining. After careful consideration, Don and Marie chose to remove most of the existing trees to achieve a more modern, symmetrical design, except for one majestic willow oak which we elevated to enhance its beauty. We graded these perimeter areas to correct the slope and prepare the area for landscaping.

Planting New Trees for Privacy

We believe in creating landscapes that are both beautiful and functional. We made the rear bed above the retaining wall perfectly symmetrical and installed a line of cryptomeria and Green Giant arborvitae. These will grow to create a stunning privacy barrier. We also added crape myrtles, dawn redwoods and red maples—a nod to our commitment to incorporating native species to Northern Virginia. 

On the left side, we planted a neat row of European hornbeam, a hardy tree that responds well to pruning and features a smooth, gray bark. We also installed two varieties of Japanese maples, which were strategically placed to add pops of color.

Vibrant Landscaping

Connor’s design arranged more than 400 plants in a dramatic yet tasteful layering of colors and textures, extending the symmetrical design intent from the rear landscape bed. Rows of Knockout roses were set off by Little Lime hydrangeas, boxwoods and catmint. 

Beneath the willow oak, we planted native ferns to fill in behind bright pink hydrangeas. Other plantings included camellia, spirea and black mondo grass. This careful selection ensures visual interest in every season, just as we strive to do in all our projects.

Modern Fence

To ensure long-lasting beauty and security, we installed a modern black aluminum fence. Unlike traditional wood fencing, which can weather and warp over time, or standard PVC options, aluminum fences offer superior durability to withstand the variable conditions we experience here in Northern Virginia.

Moreover, the sophisticated black finish complements the modern lines of the pool and pergola, creating a cohesive look. The stark contrast of the black aluminum against the greenery and flowers adds a striking visual effect. Thoughtful details like these transform a good outdoor space into a great one.

Putting Green

Next to the outdoor kitchen and behind the pool loungers, we installed a three-hole putting green with synthetic turf. This feature adds a fun, interactive element to the space that is perfect for friendly competition or solo practice.

Making It Their Own

As we wrapped up the landscaping elements, Don and Marie went all out on the finishing touches. They added beautiful pool and patio furniture, top-of-the-line umbrellas and dual water features near the diving board. A large-screen outdoor TV under the pergola and a sound system throughout set the perfect mood for entertaining.

Maintaining the Landscape

When investing in a major landscape installation like Don and Marie’s, it’s crucial to choose a company you can trust to maintain it with excellence and design intent. At Independence, we don’t just install beautiful landscapes—we’re here for the long haul. Our years of expertise and creativity help steer you to the best long-term decisions.

From design to installation to ongoing maintenance, we’re committed to preserving the original design intent of your dream landscape. Just as we’ve done for countless satisfied clients across Northern Virginia, we’re here to help you create and maintain a backyard paradise that you’ll enjoy for years to come.