When this new customer called, he had found the landscape firm in an odd way – he saw his own yard in their on line portfolio. So the company answered his call and renovated their 15-year-old landscape design to meet the new needs of this home’s new owners.
As a landscape design, build and maintenance company that has been doing work since 1972, we have a lot of projects out there. It’s not uncommon for customers to move from
house to house and take us with them to facilitate our help with any new landscaping.
In the past, even sons and daughters of customers have called on us for landscape assistance. Yes, we’ve seen a lot and done a lot, but the beauty of the job is the everlasting potential to encounter something new.
We were contacted by a new customer who purchased a home in an older, established neighborhood. This customer needed help renovating his existing landscape, which in and of itself was nothing new. We always like to question our customers while talking over the
phone about what they are trying to do, what they like and how they want to get there. Once we have all those questions answered, we like to end our conversations with one final question: “Where did you get our name or how did you come to contact us?” What this customer told us was something we did not expect.
This man said that he had been surfing the web looking for a landscape company that could help, and his search brought him to us at www.procarelandscapers.com. Once there, he proceeded to view our large photo gallery. He said that while looking through our photos he came across a photo of his own backyard. This photo showed him his family’s pool, their
pool house and their large deck with a built-in spa and bench surround. He went on to say that while he thought what they had was nice, he knew it was older and thought something new and different would be better for them and their lifestyle. That’s when our challenge began. We had to take this 15-year-old landscape designed to meet one client’s needs and
alter it to meet so many new needs.
We had to do all this while still incorporating large parts of the original design, only this time the new homeowners really needed to push things to a new level. This meant removing the existing spa, wood deck and vinyl-liner pool. All this was done while tearing apart parts
of the existing pool house and tripling its original size, and while salvaging and working around the existing mature shade trees, evergreen trees and river birches that became key to the overall look of the new space.
A new 20-by-50-foot gunite swimming pool was turned 90 degrees to the house and was constructed to become the central focus. This pool became anchored on the east by a new elevated cypress deck. This deck was separated from the pool by a masonry wall constructed of natural Pennsylvania sandstone and brick with limestone details and wrought iron fence,
including built-in flower planters and a central fountain.
A new door was added off the first floor master bedroom to allow access to the deck and a new built-in spa area privatized by existing and new Norway spruce and Colorado spruce.
The design of the deck provided controlled access to the new pool and pool pavilion area as well as access to the front of the house, including easy access for guests. The pool house became a covered pavilion, which included a new bathroom, shower and dry sauna. The pool house also included a large countertop and bar with a built-in vented grill, refrigerator,
icemaker, sink and cabinetry.
The pavilion, with its substantial gathering area, anchored the pool to the north and opened up to a large arbor and comfortable fire pit area. To the south across the pool, existing mature clump river birches helped balance out the space that opens to the backyard with broad stamped concrete steps. These steps were anchored on each side with two large masonry limestone-and-brick columns that also acted as four-season planters.
Because access to the job was limited only to the north side, the project had to be completed by working our way out of the yard. This meant that timing and scheduling was critical.
Once the hardscape was complete, we proceeded with an intensive planting scheme. Our goal was to enhance the existing mature trees with additional specimens for a specialized focal interest. These plants included weeping purple beech, ‘Beni Schichihenge’ and ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maples, ‘Spaans’ dwarf pine and ‘Walker’ weeping pea tree.
Sandstone boulders were added throughout the landscape to tie in the sandstone in the walls and create a natural appearance. Multiple vines including trumpet vine, sweet autumn
clematis and honeysuckle were added to grow on the arbors at the pool pavilion and the deck. We also planted a multitude of perennials, broadleaf evergreens and deciduous evergreen shrubs and grasses. All these plants together create a space that exudes warmth and comfort. Because the customer wanted an immediate fullness to the space, dwarf
and slow-growing plants were selected so they would grow together and look good, rather than overgrown.
The space was enhanced even more with landscaping lighting for a 24-hour experience.
With the enhancements to the original landscape, we were able to construct the space our customers wanted for a complete extension of their living space. While the original landscape worked for our previous customers, the new landscape works much better for the new homeowners. In this case, change is not only good, it’s great.
Lowell Rolsky is a landscape designer and owner of ProCare Horticultural Services (www.
procarelandscapers.com), a total service provider in Carmel. His creative approach and
competent team of employees has garnered the company national recognition by Landscape
Management magazine as one of the top 100 landscape companies in America.