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Backyard Renovation

Bob and Kathy of Middlesex County, NJ were planning a kitchen renovation that would impact their landscape. “Our outside is just as important as our inside," they explained. Music to my ears! Interior living spaces should harmoniously connect and flow to the outside both in terms function and views.
Their home flowed like a decorating magazine and much of their landscape was lovely too, though some plantings had outgrown their space. Plus, shrubs and trees were sheared into unnatural shapes. It was time for a Rear Yard Renovation.

I created a courtyard between their sunroom and expanded kitchen with a meandering path leading to their patio. Then, lessoned the size of planting beds, adding groundcovers and perennials, to reduce their routine of mulching while naturalizing their landscape. A refurbished seating area in the far corner was designed to complement the octagonal shape of the gazebo. Swaths of shrubs and groundcovers visually enlarged the space while attracting birds, one of Kathy and Bob’s passions. Thankfully, their new and previous plants will be allowed to grow into the graceful forms Mother Nature intended.


Initially the clients planned for their landscaper to install the project, but as the design unfolded, they asked if an associate installer could handle the job. I was delighted as I had the creative talents of Robert Molinet of Sierra Landscape Management in mind to bring the design to life. And bring it to life we did.

 


“Every day we say how much we love the yard now. Thanks again for everything.” Bob & Kathy 

Sandy's

DIY & Installation Combo 

Sandy of Sparta NJ  is an avid and accomplished gardener and she and Brian are tireless Do-it-Yourselfers. They asked for assistance is what to plant to prevent erosion on their challenging slopes while creating a beautiful garden that deer will resist. We designed two rock gardens and secured one of our Associates to help install them.  Sandy worked alongside and proved she could hold a job on any installation crew.  Phew!  What a hard worker! 

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Historic Moravian Home

These homeowners beautifully restored their Hope NJ  historic home and did a marvelous job developing the areas around the home themselves; but needed help in integrating the side of the home that faces the street into the other areas of their outside rooms.  A bluestone patio & walkway bordered in brick blended into the front brick patio offering additional space for entertaining and easy access to the rear of the property. The steep sloped area is shady and a drainage challenge. We designed a woodland garden with meandering informal pathways traversing across the slope which improved drainage and made for a beautiful garden path.

A Park-like setting

DIY & Installation Combo

 Ellen & Ed have a charming home in Basking Ridge NJ with an ordinary rectangular shaped backyard. We designed swaths of gardens using linear bed shapes along the perimeter and tied into Ed’s charming existing vegetable garden to create an extraordinary park-like setting.  Once installed, using our team of associate installers, these DIY-ers enjoy maintaining their gardens. If maintenance ever gets ahead of them, we offer gardening assistance. 


Lake 'Camp' goes full time!

These weekenders recently completed an addition to transition their Fredon NJ get-away to a full time home. Nancy loves to garden but deer run rapid here. In addition, these gracious hosts have a big need for guest parking. Joel thought a rectangular paver driveway was needed to accommodate guests but we wanted to steer clear from the parking lot look.


A circular driveway with a substantial planting island was designed along with an auxiliary parking space away from the house to accommodate guests.

Not only is the space functional, the island featuring stately birches, boulders, grasses and perennials gives a depth perspective and creates an element of surprise when you travel to the home.

Blair Academy stuents along with Bliss, a seeing eye dog in training, learning the site challenges of  Blairstown NJ's  Pocket Park during their Day of Service.

Photograph: William Cohea, Cohea Photography, East Bangor PA

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Weekly columnist in The Press, NJ&PA, 

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Barbara's Garden

A few years ago at Springfest Garden Show I had the privilege of meeting Barbara of Lake Mohawk NJ. I suspect she won’t be pleased that her photo graces my website but I want to share the joy she has brought me and the privilege of working with her.


Her energy and passion for gardening, her kind and loving soul translates into her gardens which I really can not take credit for. Only for a few suggested additions here and there and the help of an associate installer to plant the River Birch to screen her rear neighbor. We’ve dug in the dirt together on some 90 plus degree days and truthfully Barbara’s stamina far surpassed mine!


Poolscape

This Stillwater NJ property had an existing deck with pergola and the backyard was dotted with a play set, playhouse and small pond before the homeowners decided to add a pool.


The design challenge was to incorporate the relevant elements to limit “do-over” yet assure a cohesive and functional end result. We recommended that the pool become the third level of the homeowner’s current two-tier outdoor entertaining space.


A natural stone retaining wall was designed to transition to grade and the existing playhouse remained and now serves as a dressing room and a screen for the pool equipment. A second pergola complimenting the original one on the deck was designed and positioned at the end of the pool offering a cozy, shady spot to relax while enjoying views of the waterfall and pool.


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A contemorary 

Katherine & Ben converted a dated ranch in Essex Fells NJ into a contemporary home of their dreams. Our garden and hardscape design compliments the contemporary style. The unique primary front walkway serves as a drive-up to drop off guests at the front door while stepping stones to the street visually enlarges the front yard spatially. The angled bed lines and simple color theme adds to the drama.