5 patios in the round

Get inspired by beautiful small-space retreats from around the West, and see how to make one of your own

Desert terrace

Steve Gunther

Desert terrace

Circular patios can easily fit into gardens of any style, and they can be constructed of various materials. (For do-it-yourselfers, a circle is also the easiest shape to draw accurately. Follow our step-by-step instructions to build an elegant slate patio.)

Desert terrace
A circular patio of tinted concrete aggregate is edged with rose flagstone. The naturalistic spa backing, tough plantings, and the paving’s rosy tones visually connect the patio to the surrounding desert.

Info: Mary Rose Duffield, Duffield Ratliff Landscape Design, Tucson, AZ (520/577-1241); Rosalee Gage, formerly of Santa Rita Landscaping, Tucson, AZ (520/623-0421)

Circular patio waterfall and moat

Thomas J. Story

Waterfall and moat

Suspended over a koi pond, a circular redwood deck in Gardnerville, NV, is both a viewing platform and shade structure for fish.

The nine piers of steel-reinforced concrete that support it were poured in place as an integral part of the pond bottom, as were the steps that appear to float across the water’s surface. Both the steps and piers were finished below the waterline with rough-textured black plaster.

Info: James Rowley, Naturally Beautiful Gardens, Minden, NV (775/267-5234)

Rectangular chunks of tumbled Connecticut bluestone form a dining patio

Rob D. Brodman

Cobbles and rock

Rectangular chunks of tumbled Connecticut bluestone, set on a bed of decomposed granite and sand, form a 12-foot-diameter dining patio in a wooded Berkeley backyard.

Info: Vanessa Kuemmerle, Vee Horticulture, Berkeley, CA (510/653-7667); BlueJay Feldman, Blue Ridge Landscape Co., Orinda, CA (925/258-9233)

Aluminum letters give this 8-foot-wide patio a contemporary flavor

Thomas J. Story

Recycled materials

Large and small aluminum letters, set between irregular chunks of black slate, gives this 8-foot-wide patio in Alameda, California, contemporary flavor.

Info: Shirley Alexandra Watts, Alameda, CA (510/521-5223)

Colored stones, surrounded by pavers of stained concrete, create the illusion of a stream

Photo by Saxon Holt

Inspiring patio designs

A patio of squares and rounds

Colored stones, surrounded by pavers of stained concrete, create the illusion of a stream bubbling through the center of this 12-foot patio in Berkeley.

Design: Keeyla Meadows, Keeyla Meadows Gardens & Art, Albany, CA (510/559-1026)

More: How to plant a living wall

How to build a circular patio

Linda Lamb Peters

How to build your own circular patio

Download this planting plan

Shopping tip Look for 1- to 2-in.-thick stone (it’s easier to cut) in 1- to 3-ft.-long pieces, and choose as many straight-sided pieces as possible. Buy 30 percent more than you think you’ll need. The quantities below are for our 8-ft.-diameter patio.

Tools and materials
Hard rake
Two 1-ft. stakes with pointed tips
String
Garden hose
Flat-headed shovel
Electrical tape
1- to 2-ft.-long level
One 8½-ft.-long 2-by-4
1 yard rough sand
Hand tamper (from a rental yard)
¾ ton slate pieces
3-in. chisel and mallet
Goggles and gloves

Step 1: Define patio area

Rob D. Brodman

Step 1: Define patio area

Choose a level site, then rake soil smooth. Place a stake in soil to mark the patio’s center.

Cut a piece of string about 6 ft. long; tie to the bottom of the center stake, measure out 4 ft., and tie free end to the second stake. With that free stake, pull the string taut and trace the patio’s outline in the soil as you walk around the center stake. Remove stakes, then mark the circle with a hose.

Prepare the site and place stones

Rob D. Brodman

Prepare the site and place stones

Prepare the site
Using shovel, remove 3 in. depth of soil from the entire circle. Tape the level to the narrow side of the 2-by-4; use the board to level the surface.

Fill circle with 2 to 3 in. of sand, rake smooth, then recheck the overall level.

Moisten sand with water, then tamp it firmly. Level again.

Place the stones
Starting at the outer edge, position the large stones to sit slightly above the surrounding soil surface.

Arrange as carefully as possible for fit; place as many large pieces as possible, then fill in with smaller pieces.

Check the level of the patio regularly.

Cut stones

Rob D. Brodman

Cut stones

Use a chisel and mallet to break stones into smaller pieces (wear goggles).

Place a stone atop a board, scrape a line on stone where you want to make cut, gently strike the chisel there to make a ⅛-in.-deep depression, then pound the stone hard until it breaks.

Fill cracks and finish

Rob D. Brodman

Fill cracks and finish

Remove hose.

Shovel sand over patio and sweep it into cracks; spray with water to settle.

Apply more sand; sweep again.

How to build a circular patio

Linda Lamb Peters

Add your favorite plants and accessories

Surround your new patio with your favorite plants, or use our planting plan.

Add chairs and a table for your wine or coffee, and enjoy your new outdoor room.

Find the right plants for your area

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/garden/circular-patios-00400000038448/