Paradise among the Pines

When Southview Design met with these homeowners this landscape already had an invaluable asset: a private forest of pines, spruce, aspen, maple, and oaks. Mature trees are incredibly valuable. Not only do they take a lifetime to grow, but they create a comfortable temperature by providing shade, and help control runoff by absorbing heavy rainfall. While the homeowners loved their trees, they had limited spaces to enjoy their landscape.

This project is a winner of a 2011 MNLA Landscape Design Award

hillside landscape built around established trees

Design Challenges

  • Dozens of mature trees needed to be incorporated into the plan and protected during installation.
  • The big hill to the lake made it difficult to keep water on property. Now, precise grade changes direct water to a natural spot for capture and percolation – protecting the lake from fertilizer runoff.

Before & After

Before: Beautiful Mature Pines and an Aging Timber Retaining Wall

After: Limestone Retaining Walls and Resilient Plantings

Before: At first, this yard's outdoor seating plan was limited to the walkway encircling the home, and a small dining patio.

After: Now, two separate patios are just far enough apart to allow for separate conversations – or a separate kids patio. This circular patio overlooks the expansive yard down to the lakeshore

Outdoor living spaces nestled into the forest

multi-level patios with brick pavers and custom railing

Terraced patios transform a sloping hill into a livable space

Pathway nearby the house leads to plantings and water feature

Brick paver walkway along the side of the house. Limestone foot bridge over the artificial stream.

Lakeshore landscape design patio

A separate dining patio. In the foreground, the bubbling basalt column is the head of the stream.

artificial boulder waterfall landscape design

Waterfall embedded in a boulder retaining wall

Peaceful Private Waterfall

A careful eye, and a combination of skid-steer and manpower came together to create this recirculating waterfall. The recirculating waterfall starts from a sculptural basalt column near the house. A bubbling stream passes under a foot bridge before breaking down the waterfall. Because the design mixes massive boulders, medium stones, and small pebbles the waterfall looks perfectly natural.

Black-eyed Susans attract Monarch friends

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