The Calm of the Lake
Area of Town: Cotswold, NC
Category: Everything Landscapes
Description of Project: Our client wanted a yard that drew them outside to enjoy the many blooming plants in a natural setting. Though the existing hardscape created a solid backbone for the landscape, the existing formalized plantings were sparse and tired, creating a yard that was not inviting. The project was very large and would require three phases to accomplish. In addition, a wedding was planned for the backyard in just a few months and phase one had to be finished before then. The client also wanted a woodland garden in front of the house with a stream, waterfall and small pond.For the backyard, extensive plantings were added to incorporate the existing pool, patio and fence into the space. A tiered water fountain with a half circle of flowering shrubs provide a focal point in the backyard. This is the setting that was used as a backdrop for the wedding, much to gratification of the client. Stepping stones were installed along either side of the house creating paths through the grass and mulched beds, leading guests to the entertainment areas in the back. New shrubs soften the hard walls of the house and an existing retaining wall along the paths.The existing plant beds at the front door of the house contained overgrown shrubs and tired perennials. The beds were refurbished with plants appropriate for the size and light conditions of the space.Between the front of the house and the street, there existed a raised ‘natural’ area of a few trees, two of which were diseased. To this area had been added some crape myrtles and azaleas. The clients wanted an area with a more natural feel, where they could walk and relax amongst the plants. Now a path wanders through the plants to a small flagstone sitting area. From the sitting area a stream wanders down a slope and over a waterfall into a small pond. After removing the diseased existing trees, native dogwoods and redbuds were planted along with flowering shrubs to create a secluded woodland garden, just steps from the street.The final phase of this project was the corner of the front yard, where the existing bed incorporated the utility box, fire hydrant and street sign. The few scattered plants in this area did nothing to declare your arrival at the home of our clients. By adding groupings of flowering shrubs and perennials, mixed with a backdrop of ornamental grasses, we added a welcoming touch to the front of the property and help to negate the ugliness of the utilities.