Project Type: LandscapingIt's always exciting when a house needs a full facelift, a true landscape renovation, when you can make a real difference in the true aesthetic of the house. When I pulled up to this house all of the shrubs and trees were truly 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 the 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
Getting to work, this house was definitely overwhelmed by three large trees in the front yard. The house had Northern exposure, which made it shady, and then the large trees were not helping, so I definitely wanted to take them out. All of the other plants up near the foundation were overgrown, due to old age, so those had to go as well. The other 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 back yard and use some of 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. I put a small sitting area in the walkway to act as a focal point in the front yard as well. 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 we took out the block retaining wall, I brought the grade back towards the house to make the yard area larger. I used natural flagstone for a tight, formal wall up 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 back yard, we used a lot of flowering plants and perennials in the front garden to accentuate the hardscape. Now that we had taken out the larger 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. I pulled it on the opposite side of the walk though to ensure that it would not get too big and encroach on the entry. The only tree that I put back into the landscape was a Paperbark Maple, which is a beautiful ornamental tree. This will truly stand out now because it is the only tree in the front landscape. We filled the remainder of the landscape with masses of perennials from perennial Geraniums to ornamental grasses to provide us with color and interest throughout the remainder of the spring, summer and fall months.
To finish off the project, landscape lighting was added to the project. Lighting is a great way to finish off any project because it really does enable 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. This was nice because it added dimension being able to light so many different components of the landscape. The results were amazing; it is truly beautiful at night.