Due to this patio being next to the water’s edge, we installed a permeable paver patio for the picnic table area. Permeable pavers allow water to filter through the pavers and reduce runoff into the lake.
What was before just a picnic table on the lakeside of the home is now a beautiful entertainment area.
- Project Information
- Customer Testimonial
This yard area was used as a place to set the boat….that’s it. No curb appeal or other functionality. Our goal was to create a garden out of the entire space that had the “wow” factor. Our customers requested that there be no grass involved, and that the shed be removed. So, the things we thought about when coming up with the idea for this garden were the following: 1) How to fill up the entire space and give it a function 2) How to make it private from the street 3) What kinds of plants to use in the limited sun available.
The fence as a border was essential to the design. It served as the privacy barrier from the street, and also gave the whole garden that enclosed “courtyard” feel. In the fence, there is a gate near the far end. This gate provided a great reason to have a path meander throughout the entire space, therefore giving it some great design elements of ‘movement’ and ‘interest’. The path was created out of fabric and blue hard-pack in order to keep the cost down (over what pavers would cost), and it also gave a natural feel to the look. Part way down the path, a little area was created off the path to set a bench. This is another element of interest as well as function. It is a focal point in the entire design. In order for the bench to feel “nestled in” to something, the next design feature was created. The low fieldstone wall/edge. There wasn’t a lot of exposed foundation available in which to create a wall for a raised bed, so we worked with what was available, and the fieldstone wall is approximately 16” high. We filled it with soil to create the raised planting bed, and put a nice arc, curving inward, in the center of the raised bed where the bench would have its spot in which to look like it “belongs”. Without the path and the raised bed, this whole courtyard garden wouldn’t have the structure, or “bones” to the design that it needed, considering it was a large space. These elements broke up the space enough to give it visual interest, and the path and bench gave it function.
The plants used in this garden needed to tolerate quite a bit of shade except for that one corner that gets sun. In that sunniest spot, we put a weeping Cherry tree, by request of the customer. Otherwise, we used Yew, Astilbe, Hosta, Viburnum, a small Rhododendron, and a few other shade loving plants. The plant that you see in the ‘After’ photo that was used in lieu of grass is Vinca. It is a shade loving ground cover. It will grow to make a solid mat. Some boulders were placed in between the Vinca and other perennials to help keep the vinca from eventually crowding them out.
One last detail was a last minute add-on. In the foreground, there is a rock configuration called a “Cairn”. In this spot is the septic cover, and even though it was covered in mulch, it just looked like we missed a spot in planting Vinca, so we took some left over fieldstone and stacked them to make a Cairn. Cairns are typically used along hiking trails as trail markers, and we thought it would be fitting to use it at the head of this “trail”. They will be easily removed whenever anyone needs to get to the cover.
The final result of this courtyard garden gives this home massive curb appeal. There is color now where there used to be none, and the customers feel great about how their yard looks.
Roz and Art
Several years ago we remodeled our home in preparation for retirement. We did an addition and updating, and the equipment made a mess of our yard. Additionally, our 30 year old steps to the lake were severely deteriorated.
We interviewed several landscapers for ideas and prices, and selected Landscapes by Tom. Tom and Martha were very thoughtful, listened to our ideas, and brainstormed alternative ideas so we could decide on a plan. They provided a way to do a "stagged" project so that the financial hit didn't occur in one year, but we decided to "just do it". So, we land scaped the street side of the house, and put in new steps and landscaping on the lake side of the house.
Their work crews were very friendly and diligent. They worked in the sun, the wind and the rain (a lot of the latter). Tom was present several times a day to supervise and the project went extremely well. We certainly touched bases at the beginning and end of each day. We liked all of the plantings instqlled except one set of 5 plants, and Tom made us very happy with a new selection.
Now, we use Tom for the spring clean up, and they make sure our landscaping is in good shape. They even coordinate with the sprinkler company so that when we return for the summer everything is beautiful and "in automatic". Our project was designed to be maintenance free after the cleanup, no lawn to mow, etc.
We were extremely pleased with the the design and work provided by Tom, and we continue to count Landscapes by Tom as a friend and as one of our best contractor experiences ever. we can't heap enough praise upon them!
The old wood steps on the lake-side of this home were getting decayed and dangerous. There was no real place for entertaining either. So, we came up with a plan of incorporating granite steps and a permeable paver patio. There is a granite step right off the edge of the patio now onto the beach. The area has been embellished with beautiful plantings too. In order to access this area, we had to construct a ramp, which still remains and is handy for getting in and out of this side of the property. Now, it is beautiful and functional. What a difference!