Miniature Northwoods Resort

These homeowners are lucky enough to have a pine forest in their backyard. However, their suburban lawn suffered from chronic drainage issues. That’s where Southview came in to transform this backyard into a low maintenance space with the amenites of a resort – a plunge pool, terraced patios, a fire table, water feature, and a outdoor great room.

Before: A plain, suburban lawn.

After: Beautiful, no-mow north woods backyard.

Move the slider to see this astonishing transformation.

Between the hardy plantings, balanced hardscapes, dry creek bed, and artificial turf there is no yard left to mow!

Dry creek bed for drainage in inver grove heights mn

Dealing with drainage

Finding a solution for a swampy and mushy backyard

Because of the sloping terrain the backyard was always swampy and mushy. Improving the site to enable water to flow through the yard and infiltrate into the ground was a top priority. Now, during heavy rains, water is channeled through the yard and away from the home’s foundation. The drainage issues were put to rest by building a creek bed from real river rocks. Bonus – when the stream bed is dry it adds a Zen element to this already tranquil backyard.

natural look manufactured paver patio with wood-look inlaid rug

Outdoor Great Room Design

Unique manufactured paver patio

Step down from the kitchen to this patio designed for entertaining. Built with manufactured pavers that look like natural stone, this patio has a little something extra. Simulating an area rug, wood-look pavers perfectly frame the dining set. These next generation pavers from Techo-Bloc combine the beauty of natural materials with the affordability and durability of concrete.

Outdoor bar with arching pergola and bauble lights

No backyard for entertaining would be complete without an outdoor bar! Featuring a unique mini-pergola draped with pendant lights and festive baubles.

What our customers are saying

Throughout the Twin Cities, Southview Design clients are enthusiastic about recommending us to friends, neighbors, and family!

Inver grove heights backyard plunge pool

Resort Style Amenities at Home

Plunge Pool, Patio, and Plants

No yard is too small for a pool. This “plunge pool,” is fed by a waterfall and is perfect for lounging, staying cool, and listening to the sounds of the woods to relax.

A plunge pool is a small, shallow pool built for the purpose of lounging, wading, and cooling off instead of for swimming and exercising. Some homeowners prefer them because of their lower costs to build, smaller sizes, easier maintenance, and reduced water requirements.

Low maintenance northwoods backyard landscape design

The best part of a resort is not having to do anything! In this backyard upkeep has been reduced to as close to zero as possible. A stacked limestone retaining wall and a variety of low-maintenance perennials and annuals compliment the pine forest backdrop. The “grass” surrounding the plunge pool is actually artificial turf which means it never needs to be weeded or mowed.

Bluestone patio and propane fire table

This intimate Bluestone patio offers an escape from the city, from work, even from home (in a pinch). The fire table has a wide concrete surface for mugs and plates, as well as a protective glass fence to keep silverware and little fingers out of the flames.

From problematic to perfect

Going above and beyond

With this project we were able to put our northern landscaping expertise into action for our clients, and we couldn't be more proud of the final result. Not only did we resolve all the issues, we did so in a beautiful way. If you want do to more than simply solve your problems, our designers and landscaping crews are ready to transform your "issues" into the backyard of your dreams.


We'd love to share our knowledge with you!

Outdoor Living

Design Inspiration • Before and After • Gardening Guidance • Seasonal Reminders • Sustainable Landscaping Facts • Entertaining Ideas


Landscaping expertise delivered right to your inbox!

Like What You're Seeing?

Meet with a Landscape Designer or Architect

Your perfect outdoor living space begins with a simple conversation. Let’s talk about your landscaping project!


Schedule a Meeting

Keep Browsing

Related Projects


Petite and Shady Pool

This shady backyard in the forest has it all: a pool and patio, colorful flowers, a fire pit, and a bubbling water feature.

Learn More

Big Impact - Small Space

Designers overcame several unique challenges to squeeze a deck, pool, and patio with fireplace onto this compact lot in Excelsior, MN.

Learn More

Janet & Paul's Award Winner

Recognized for excellence in design and construction. A steep hill became a casual Northwoods living space.

Learn More