Project Type: LandscapingIt is always exciting when a house needs a full facelift. A landscape renovation can make a real difference in the aesthetic of the house. When I pulled up to this house, the number of shrubs and trees was overwhelming, even in the winter. The customer said that everything could go, even the 50 foot evergreen in the front yard that had been there since their house was built. He said he was open to anything and that I had a blank canvas- how exciting!
Location: Wheaton, IL
Services: Landscape Design
As we started work on this house, we immediately noticed it was overwhelmed by three large trees in the front yard. The house had Northern exposure, which made it shady, and the large trees were not helping, so I wanted to take them out. All the other plants near the foundation were overgrown, due to old age, so those had to go as well. The additional areas to address were the “builder’s special” front walk and the dated landscape blocks in the front yard.
I had done some work for this client before in their back yard, and they have a beautiful, natural back yard with a small pond and a Bluestone patio. I wanted to take some of the ideas and feelings from that natural look from the backyard and use the same material to make it appropriate for the front yard. So, I decided to design a new enlarged Bluestone front walk that brought your view down, away from the house and into the landscape. In addition, I put a small sitting area in the walkway to act as a focal point in the front yard. Clay Pavers were used in the walk as an accent to take the color and material of the house and bring it down into the walk. After taking out the block retaining wall, we brought the grade back towards the house to make the yard area larger. I used natural flagstone for a tight, formal wall near the walk and then broke it out into natural outcropping stones towards the side of the house.
To continue the natural feeling from the backyard, we used a lot of flowering plants and perennials in the front garden to accentuate the hardscape. After we took out the big trees, we had a lot more sunlight in the front yard, and I could use many more varieties than were possible before. I used a lot of Hydrangea varieties to ensure a long bloom time throughout the summer and fall. The focal point was a small Hydrangea tree near the front door. On the opposite side of the walk, we pulled a small plant so it would not grow too big and encroach the entryway. The only tree that I put back into the landscape was a Paperbark Maple, a beautiful ornamental tree. This truly will stand out now because it is the only tree in the front landscape. We filled the remainder of the landscape with masses of perennials. We used perennial Geraniums and ornamental grasses to provide color and interest throughout the spring, summer, and fall months.
We finished off this project by adding landscape lighting. Lighting is a great way to finish any project because it allows you to enjoy your landscape both day and night. We lit the house, the plants, landscape walls and added some path lights on the new walk. Adding lighting was perfect because it added dimension to so many different components of the landscape. The result was amazing and was truly beautiful at night.