3 Unique Settings

Tulsa Firm Creates A Country Oasis

The challenge to create an open prairie vista from a once wooded landscape destroyed by fire.

[dropcap]When[/dropcap] professional landscape architect Derek McCall first saw the 26-acre property near Mannford, it still bore traces of a devastating fire that swept through this area in August 2012, taking out homes and destroying natural vegetation.

What McCall encountered on that initial visit was heavily charred Post Oak and Blackjack Oak trees. Arborists decided to remove many of those damaged trees, changing the once wooded landscape to an open prairie vista. Fortunately, the fire hopscotched over the owners’ two-story home.

McCall’s first visit confirmed the design challenge facing him. The homeowners hired McCall’s firm, DRM Design Group, to create an extensive master plan. That included adding a pool with an infinity edge, spa, multilevel deck overhanging the pond, a covered outdoor patio, outdoor kitchen, bars, pavilion, rustic fire pit and entry gate.

“A spring-fed stream passes through the property on its way to Keystone Lake,” McCall explains. “A section of the stream was dammed to create a large pond as a natural firebreak and provide family recreational opportunities.”

A bridge over the stream was a major requirement of the homeowners. With a large family, they wanted the bridge for photo-ops and access to future walking trails through the prairie.

“The infinity edge pool created the illusion of the pool disappearing into the pond,” McCall says. Large sandstone boulders, once circling the pond, are now accents near the pool and spa.

Since family events include more than 30 guests, multiple gathering areas were created around the property. The family dines on the upper deck overlooking the pond or relaxes on the lower level by the pool with a waterfall to their backs.

“The deck cantilevers over the pond, brimming with perch, bass and catfish,” McCall says. “The lower deck also was designed for fishing and boarding paddleboats, which their grandchildren love.”

This project gave McCall an opportunity to use his multiple design talents.

“Creating a new environment that fits into the surrounding site and designing spaces for family entertaining needs was a satisfying challenge for me and our staff,” he says.