Serenity Amidst Splendor

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Discover the stunning transformation of a backyard into a luxurious paradise.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photography by Matt Kocourek

In the picturesque enclave of The Canyons subdivision in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Scott and Barb Eckley found themselves at the threshold of a dream. Two years ago, they acquired a property rich in promise, nestled amidst the verdant landscapes. Barb, with her penchant for envisioning beauty, saw beyond the thickets of backyard trees that enveloped their newfound haven. Her dreams danced with the notion of a secret garden, a sanctuary of tranquility embellished with the allure of a sparkling pool and a variety of communal spaces for family and friends.

Their vision was not merely confined to family leisure; it encompassed the spirit of hospitality that permeated their lives as owners of Apollo Insurance Group.

“This backyard is a great place for gathering with the family and all of our grandkids as well as for company functions,” Barb remarked.

As guests step into this enchanted realm, they’ll find a charming blend of nature’s best and modern comforts, all designed for relaxation and fun. Picture a gentle waterfall flowing into a peaceful pond, adding a touch of rustic charm to the scene. Nearby, a cozy fireplace awaits, perfect for warming up chilly evenings or simply enjoying the crackle of flames with loved ones. And let’s not forget the inviting fire pit, where stories are shared and marshmallows are roasted under the starry sky. Adding to the leisurely vibe, there’s a neat 4-hole putting green, just waiting for a friendly game or some solo practice swings. Tucked seamlessly into the landscape is a convenient golf cart garage and pool house combo, offering both storage space and even a bathroom. With these features – and more – the Eckleys’ backyard becomes a casual yet refined retreat, where every corner invites relaxation and good times. 

But dreams require architects, and in Amanda White, Landscape Architect with Rosehill Gardens, the Eckleys found not only a visionary but a collaborator whose expertise would be instrumental in bringing their aspirations to fruition. Recalling their journey, Barb expressed heartfelt appreciation for White’s guidance, whom they have previously consulted for projects on former homes and who also designed their front yard paradise prior to this project.

“This was a dream come true for us,” Barb reminisced. Further, White’s role in the transformation was pivotal, her design prowess seamlessly weaving functionality with aesthetic charm.

At the heart of the backyard oasis lies a 38’ by 20’ gunite pool, a shimmering expanse of water adorned with cascading waterfalls. Here, relaxation finds its sanctuary amidst the rhythmic murmurs of flowing water, while the sun ledge beckons bathers to bask in the warmth of sun-kissed afternoons. Framing the pool are various gathering alcoves, each meticulously crafted to foster moments of connection and joy.

But the allure of the backyard transcends mere aesthetics; it is a testament to White’s ingenuity in melding form with function. The Eckleys’ desire for privacy found expression in the lush foliage that encircles their sanctuary, while the strategic placement of amenities ensures a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

“This was all designed with keeping in mind what it looks like from the inside of the home, on the main level, looking out to the backyard,” White explained, her commitment to holistic design evident in every detail.

From the ambient glow of café lighting of the outdoor dining space to the rustic charm of a daybed swing,  White’s design narrative unfolds with a tapestry of elegance and comfort. The outdoor kitchen becomes a culinary oasis, while the pergola shelters an inviting fireplace, a great place for the Eckleys’ 10 grandkids to unwind after an afternoon in the water.

Yet, amidst the splendor of the pool and pergola lies a testament to White’s commitment to sustainability. Appointments of synthetic turf dot the spaces and microbial sand for a doggy potty station find their place alongside marble hardscaping, a nod to the delicate balance between opulence and environmental stewardship. The Eckleys’ backyard, with its myriad delights, is a sanctuary not only for their family but for nature itself.

Reflecting on their journey, Barb acknowledged the transformative power of collaboration.

“We are thankful to Amanda and to Rosehill,” she smiled. “Amanda was a good right arm for us throughout this project.”

For White, the project was a canvas upon which dreams were painted and where memories will further be etched in stone.

In the sanctuary of the Eckleys’ backyard, amidst the whispering trees and shimmering waters, lies a statement about the transformative power of design. A mere backyard has been elevated into a haven of serenity and splendor – a refuge for generations to come.

Project by Rosehill Gardens

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