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Deep green and dark gray, this backyard design merges functional outdoor living spaces with a simple, naturalistic setting. Southview's landscape architect took great care to cultivate a simple atmosphere by blending the new features into the existing yard. This project won an award for Excellence in Landscape Design in 2017 from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.
From above, you can see how the organic shapes of the fire circle and pond feel natural and balanced.
Underneath the deck, is a sheltered paver patio with a ceiling fan and more seating.
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With a sloping backyard in one direction and a large, heavily-wooded hill dropping in from another, there was little room to entertain or level area for the kids to play. Erosion was a serious issue, creating deep gullies in the yard and filling the underdeck area with sand.
Furthermore, the space under the deck was used for wood storage. People generally use this space for storage so no surprise – except the stacked wood, covered in tarps, was an eyesore on view through the sliding glass doors of this walkout.
The design concept was to emulate nature as much as possible. The waterfall and stream should look like they had been there forever. So, native plants and fish were added to the mix. Mr. Homeowner chose crappie and perch for the pond. (The fish come through winter just fine.)
Aquatic plants grace the surface of this stony backyard fish pond
The designer chose a combination of garden schemes from Roy Diblik. Hailing from Wisconsin, Roy has created perennial gardens for all conditions. Right plants, right conditions, right spot – garden maintenance would be a snap for these homeowners. And in time, as the plants grow together, there would be no need for irrigation (not counting the lawn in the area outside the renovated landscape space).
After clearing some of the hillside, a test showed sandy soil was contributing to the ongoing erosion problem. To solve this issue, the designer worked with the grade of the large hill instead of reshaping it into level spaces.
The stream started higher up on the hillside so it would appear to emanate from deep within the hill. The steepness of the hill created the waterfall effect with the stream curving along the base of the hill – completing the illusion. The larger Gitchee Gumee boulders formed the sides of the stream. It was important the boulders be locally-sourced. Boulder placement was key in eliminating the erosion problem.
Minneapolis backyard landscaping includes a dining area, water feature, sunning patio, night lighting, and edible garden without feeling cramped.
When the Builders Association of the Twin Cities and KARE 11 partnered to renovate the KARE 11 Backyard, Southview Design answered the call.