Naperville Backyard Design
Project Type: Hardscaping
Location: Naperville, IL
Services: Landscape Design, Hardscaping, Water in the Garden
Rarely as a designer do you get a chance to have full freedom when working on a design for a client, but for this Naperville couple, they didn’t know what exactly they wanted, they just knew they wanted a change. As avid gardeners, they already had a great front yard, and a pretty back yard, but they had an outdated deck that was in disrepair and need to be replaced.
After a few discussions with my clients, they decided that they wanted to downsize their deck, have a place to entertain people for dinner, have a quiet place to read the paper and enjoy a cup of coffee, all in a beautiful landscape setting. This needed to be achieved without disrupting the extensive drainage system that had already installed in their yard, and we must also not disturb the three large River birch trees that surrounded the existing deck.
With the design, I focused on re-purposing their existing flagstone along with mixing some natural materials and natural looking Unilock materials. I chose to mix materials to delineate the different areas of the patio; the eating area was clay brick while the coffee break area was Bluestone looking product. It was all tied together with a soldier course of the brick. A small water feature was strategically placed to separate the patio areas; however, it was also able to be viewed from the kitchen table and from the kitchen sink.
Logistically, the grade of the yard sloped back toward the house, so we had to pay special attention with the design and the installation of the patio. We built a seatwall around the eating area both to provide additional seating and to retain the soil from the back yard to keep the water flowing away from the foundation. Around the coffee break area I kept a natural feel with perennials spilling over outcropping stones that provided a retaining wall along the patio.
The garden in this project was not the focus of the project, but it definitely pulled everything together. As the clients are avid gardeners, it was great to offer them some plants that they didn’t already have in their garden. We planted a lot of Hydrangeas both for screening and for flower color during the summer. I also planted a lot of varying foliage plants in bronze and gold so they will have color throughout the season, even without flower color. The foliage colors are also a great compliment to the colors in the patio and the stonework. I stopped by in the fall and think the garden was prettier then as compared to the spring bloom season! Although this project started out as a “downsize” it definitely added more space and usability to this couple.