Many sources of inspiration exist in a given situation.  Besides the owner's initial goals, a design is also informed by the site itself, nearby architecture, the nieghborhood, local codes, trees, climate, children, security issues, and thematic tie-ins that may exist. Most owners want something they can enjoy now, but will also be appealing to future owners.

The Italian Patio

This courtyard has several notable features: low-maintenance, wheelchair accessibility, privacy, and cultural familiarity for the senior Italian residents. Stained concrete flooring, stucco with ‘cultured stone’ walls, tile, stained glass, customized lighting, and a water wall with Christian iconography add charm to this classical outdoor space.


Included are photos of the front entry, and a unique gate that we created for the sideyard.

~ Continued ~ Front entry and gate


I was lucky to have a metal worker on the job, and she built the gate and the lighting shown here.

Peter's Place

This space features natural stone ‘outcroppings’ that connect the cultured and natural stone walls to the cobblestone paver patio. Natural slabs of sandstone cap the walls for sitting, workspace, or potted plants. The hand-crafted cedar trellis/gateway provides shade, adornment, and visual relief from neighbors.

Pamster's Fireplace

Cowgirl Pam wanted her fireplace to be the centerpiece of her rustic cabin. Hand selected rounded boulders of various color finished with a hearth of thick tumbled 'chocolate' sandstone slabs create a rich warm ambience.

Bill and Judy

A lot packed into a small space, this patio garden was installed to connect the newly remodeled garage studio and the house. The patio ‘floor’ is made of gorgeous multi-colored Montana slate slabs, and the boulders are hand picked (well, crane picked) from local quarries which provide a sense of stability and scale to this stimulating environment.  Features include a natural stone ‘stage’ for musicians and a gurgling stream running through the middle of the space.

Gary’s Patio

RR ties were replaced by masonry terraces, to improve this SW Portland patio. A waterfall adds ambiance and hides undesirable traffic noise.

The Gate

This magnificent Dunthorpe gateway was designed and built in 1998 for a London based travel magnate who collaborated on the old-world design of the project. The stone is hand-crafted basalt from Columbia River quarries. The pillars are massive; 34’‘ x 34” x 7‘ tall, double capped, and topped with majestic lanterns. The small pillars on the ends are topped with concrete finials antiqued to match the stone, and help give an aged look to the project, which is usually a goal in my hardscape projects.  (E.g., I always add color to exposed concrete).


The entire project includes a 4,000 sq. ft. circular paver driveway, more antiqued statuary, brick/concrete (colored and exposed aggregate), and of course the wrought iron gate design. The gate operates automatically when leaving, using three underground sensors, and has an intercom system for visitors. The pedestrian entrance (not shown) was added later,  using similar motifs and scale.


To see this gate, take Greenwood Rd, off Hwy 43, and take 1st left onto Edgefeild Rd, go about 1/4+ mile, on left.

Japanese Terrace

This ranch style house was transformed by the large boulders, and blue sandstone patio using Asian motifs.  This project incorporates copper gutters and a chain drain (far left) that drains water into a custom stone drain. Rain makes it a water feature.

A large whale emerged in the patio design.


Mr. Oregonian

Rock lovers paradise! This elegant back yard backs up to a private wall of basalt columns and native trees. A deck separates two sandstone patios, with walkways that allow visitors to fully engage the awesome natural stone outcroppings. Custom lighting and fencing finish the job, and give elegant touches to this unique space.

Pat's Patio

In order for the upper deck to fit gracefully into the design of the lower

patio rebuild, previous architectural plans were scrapped to allow for this

asymetrical plan.  Matching the brick to the house was important, too.


As usual, the concrete is colored and lightly textured with brick accents,

embedded lighting, custom concrete caps on the pillars and walls,

and of course the upper deck which is supported by steel in the concrete

pillars.  There is a beveled top edge of the concrete where the brick starts;

a small detail worth noting.

Wildlife Sanctuary

My complex of landscapes and housing; the first photo shows

basalt coumns and stone steps.  The next photos show a bridge

over a water feature with stone patio/porch.

Blessings' Iron Mountain Project

Another collaborative effort that includes 'Autumn' colored cobblestone pavers,

stone pillars and walls, wrought iron, custom-stained concrete finials, custom concrete curbing, large drainage system, and lighting provisions.







 Stephen  Pettengill

Horicultural Therapist

Landscape Designer
Portland, Oregon


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