A Four-Time Award-Winner

People usually work close to where they live. For some, like our clients, their careers take them out of town or the country for weeks at a time. Is it any wonder they wished for a place to relax? While some of us head to the lake or beach on weekends or vacations, our clients wanted a quiet, peaceful, and private backyard to kick back with family and friends – at home. You might say a space for the entire family is what topped their wish list. Discussions started in 2016. Work began in fall 2017, and the landscape project was finished in 2018.

Before & After

Originally, their dream was a backyard swimming pool. But as concepts were drawn and passed through revisions, a pool house, outdoor sound system, putting green, outdoor kitchen, hot tub, lighting, lower-level fire pit, and a fire table were added to the list. All this fit into a backyard that dropped 12’ from the house to the back fence!

Backyard retaining wall project in process.

A tricky boulder retaining wall

First challenge: Because the back portion of the yard is an alternate septic site, the boulder retaining wall would have to be built from above to keep the site clear. Additionally, because this property is up against a wetland, erosion control had to be maintained at the edge of the yard throughout the project. Fortunately, this kind of complicated project is where Southview excels.

Glacial boulder retaining wall with shrubs and trees. In the foreground, a rustic campfire circle.

With tiered retaining walls, 560 cubic yards of soil were brought in to create a level space for the pool and pool house. The entire area settled for 5 months, through winter and early spring. In the spring 2018, frost footings and framing for the pool house and outdoor kitchen went in before the pool could be dug.

Southview Design's construction crew installing the natural stone patio.

This project was a referral from a local builder who had renovated the interior of the home. Working together, that builder designed and built the pool house while concrete, masonry, and pool subcontractor parts of the landscape project were completed.

Pool house, hot tub, and natural stone patio and pool deck.

A backyard landscape with all the amenities

The hot tub is set in concrete rather than dropping a stand-alone tub into the space. It also has an auto-cover and Laurel stone coping to match the pool’s coping.

Poolside putting green and outdoor game space.

Rather than put down sod, hardwood mulch, or landscape rock between the pool and boulder retaining walls, it made more sense to install the putting green and additional artificial turf space for games. The game space added another dimension to the backyard fun, giving the family more usable space.

Fire table, hot tub, and swimming pool at dusk.

A few weeks after the project was complete, Mrs. Homeowner admitted that when no one is home, she will turn on her favorite baseball team’s game, crank up the sound system, and float in the pool while watching the game on the TV inside the pool house. There’s no place like home.

Improve Your Life Outdoors

Meet with A Landscape Designer or Architect

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

Schedule a Meeting

Explore More MN Landscape Design & Architecture

Related Landscape Projects

Lakeside Award-Winner

Minnesota backyard resort with swimming pool, pond, putting green, pergola, outdoor kitchen, and fire pit.

Swimming Pool Overhaul

This Wayzata landscape renovation is the winner of awards from NARI, MNLA, NALP and PLANET and includes a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, fireplace, cabana, renovated basketball court, and more.

Gem Lake Jewel

Working through uncooperative weather and into December, our designer and installation crews went the extra mile (or ten) to create this suburban luxury landscape.