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 this Naperville couple didn’t specifically know what 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 As avid gardeners, they already had a great front yard and a pretty back yard, but they had an outdated deck that was in disrepair and needed replacing.
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 beautifully landscaped setting. We had to achieve this without disrupting the extensive drainage system installed in their yard while also not disturbing the three large River birch trees that surrounded the existing deck.
For the design, we focused on re-purposing their existing flagstone by mixing natural 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. We strategically place a small water feature to separate the patio areas. However, it was also able to be viewed from the kitchen table and the kitchen sink.
Logistically, the yard sloped back toward the house, so we had to pay special attention to the design and the installation of the patio. We built a seat wall around the eating area to provide additional seating and 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 side of the patio.
The garden in this project was not the focus of the project, but it 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 variety of foliage plants in bronze and gold so the homeowners 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 the garden was even prettier than the spring bloom season! Although this project started as a “downsize” it added more space and usability for this couple.