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Rosetta Belvedere Turns Hills Into Accessible Pathway

Fieldstone like retaining walls transformed an uneven three-acre lot into an accessible wrap around pathway


Creating an accessible, beautiful space to entertain and enjoy the outdoors was the goal when the Bondy family began transforming their hilly, three-acre lot in 2009.

"I wanted to create an environment that would be enjoyable and inviting for anyone to use. Whether you were young or old, using a cane or riding a bike, my goal was to design a wrap around path incorporating the full three acres that was accessible to all," owner and designer Lizette Bondy explained. The challenge in creating such a landscape was finding a way to level the lot without installing a massive-looking retaining wall.


Lizette Bondy knew she wanted a natural texture and color to help the retaining walls blend into the landscape. Originally, she considered using granite, but the first phase of the project alone included more than 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) of retaining walls (about one-third to half of what the property will eventually include), so the price of natural stone caused Bondy to consider other options-leading her to choose the Rosetta Belvedere Collection for her retaining walls. 

Rosetta is an architectural-grade precast concrete system that combines the textures and colors of natural stone to give projects the look and feel of nature at a much friendlier price point. The Belvedere Collection is crafted to mimic weathered fieldstone and features six block sizes with 64 unique stone textures-plus a custom color. Coordinating Rosetta cap blocks give projects a finished look.

In addition to the Rosetta Belvedere retaining walls and caps, Bondy incorporated several other products in the landscape's design to give the project a layered look. A recycled stone product was used to create coordinating pillars and as a face on the risers of the steps. A brick-like paver was used to create a patio and a staircase, and also to create a walkway across the asphalt driveway.

Bondy said, "One of the interesting nuances in using mixed mediums is the net result is a total natural stone presentation while the project actually called for 80% of the total hardscape to be a manufactured concrete product. This resulted in a huge cost savings without trading in any of the natural appeal. The colors and textures give the landscape a very romantic feeling."

The installation phase of the project was completed over the course of three to four months. The installer explained the retaining wall installation: "This looks like natural stone but has consistent thicknesses, so when you go to the pallet, you automatically have the thickness that you need." Bondy was impressed with how fast the project progressed, saying, "It was like watching them put a puzzle together."


In the end, the Bondys were happy with their choice and plan to install even more Belvedere walls as they continue to renovate the landscape over the next few years.

"We have a large house, but the walls kind of mellow out the size of the house a little and the coloring really softens it. If we had gone with a big gray concrete retaining wall, it just wouldn't look the same at all," Bondy said.


Project Name: The Bondy Residence Block Manufacturer: Rosetta Of Michigan Wall Installer: John Hoffman & Sons Landscaping Project Location: Petoskey, Michigan Year Built: 2009-2010 (With Several More Phases Planned) Case: 4 - Bondy House



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