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The basketball court fits snugly into the backyard landscape

The Greenberg family hired Neave Group back in fall 2010 to create an outdoor space for everyone to enjoy. We called this the Greenberg Project.

The Greenberg Project goal: Build a livable backyard that included a grilling area, a hot tub, and a basketball court.

The Greenberg Project challenge – okay, challenges, plural. There were a couple.

The first was the fact that we had only 3,000 square feet to work with; the Greenbergs’ home is fairly close to New York City in Scarsdale, New York, and the closer you get, the smaller the lots are. (That giant stone in the middle of the grass? Actually not that big of a deal.)

The backyard before the landscaping makeover

Not only did the yard’s size make including all those elements a fun little game of Tetris, but it also limited our equipment’s access to the backyard…to the point where we had to pump cement for the basketball court straight over the house. I’m sure the neighbors loved that!

The second Greenberg Project challenge: Scarsdale, New York has a lot of strict regulations, so we had to get an engineer involved to make sure everything was doable and up to code, and apply for a lot of permits before we could even get started.

Even without those regulations to worry about, we were skeptical at first that we could make it work at all. But once our landscape designer got to drawing and thought it all out, there was plenty of room for all the required features.

The backyard pergola adjacent to the basketball court

This Greenberg project was a study in how important it is to plan everything carefully before you begin. It wasn’t just placing the basketball court, grill and hot tub in the right places, of course; it was also creating pathways between them and adding comfortable living space among them.

We used a Unilock’s Brussels Dimensional System for the walls and Stonehenge pavers. Around that glorious Weber grill that Mr. Greenberg loves so much, we used Owings Corning cultured stone topped with slate tile.

The new built-in grill and countertop for the Greenbergs

Plantings were the final touch. Mrs. Greenberg wanted a lot of color throughout the year to offset the beautiful border of evergreen trees already in place on their property, so we used a variety of perennials and deciduous shrubs to keep things interesting in every season. And by her hot tub, we installed climbing plants that will eventually cover the pergola and create a lovely “secret garden” feel.

We’re very happy to have been able to create something for every member of the family to enjoy…with room to walk among them and a little breathing room to spare.

Another view of the backyard basketball court
Another view of the backyard basketball court

And the family’s thrilled, too. The boys loved their surprise basketball court from Grandma and are outside playing as often as they can; Mom loves relaxing in her hot tub – especially now that those climbing plants have started to create a beautiful canopy over the pergola we installed; and everyone benefits from Dad’s new grill…what’s better after a fun day outdoors than a meal cooked over the coals?

Well, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything. Talk about fun for the whole family.

Let’s talk about your next big landscaping project! From the Hudson Valley, call the professionals at Neave Group Outdoor Solutions at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, dial (914) 271-7996, and if you’re in Connecticut, call us at (203) 212-4800. You can also fill out the web form on this page to have us get in touch with you.

And if you want more insight as you plan your landscape, download our free Landscape Planning Guide!


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I just want to let you know how happy we are with our lawn renovation. Even though we had been using a commercial lawn care company to fertilize and control weeds, our lawn had been steadily deteriorating. The grass would respond following a fertilization, but it never really thrived. We called Neave last September, they sent Mario to analyze the problems we were having, and he made several suggestions. In addition to a weed preventative and slow acting fertilizer, he highly recommended aerat… Read more
Mr. & Mrs. H. - PattersonNew York

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