Project Description

The homeowners of this beautiful 1889 landmark Victorian house, situated a block from Lake Michigan, had spent several years renovating it to make it their own. It was time to turn their attention to the neglected backyard.

Several architectural additions had reduced its size. An asphalt driveway taking up most of the space and a patio of both poured concrete and pavers created an unsightly combination. Cracked and worn, it had become unsafe.

A 4-foot tall chain-link fence had been built 18 inches inside their property line and did not screen the neighbor’s activities or housekeeping. An abandoned dog run remained. Situated in shade, the remaining area was covered in weeds and rogue trees.

The family wanted an area in which to dine and relax, room for an outdoor shower when returning from the beach nearby, a smaller driveway and a conveniently located trash can enclosure.

Natural materials dominate the new hardscape. Ashlar Pattern Bluestone connects the rear steps with the future adjacent outdoor shower, an elliptical dining area with limestone seatwall and the new concrete paver driveway. A red clay brick border unifies the hardscaping and adds warmth. Across the driveway, a new cedar enclosure screens trash cans.

Green Giant Arborvitae screen the dining area from the driveway. Lush shade plantings like Weeping Green Japanese Maple, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Northern Sea Oats and a mixture of perennials bring seasonal interest and texture. The new cedar fence adds privacy and beauty, completing the backyard renovation.