We first met the Larsens in the middle of 2010 when they hired us to transform their bland front yard and backyard into something a growing family could enjoy together – they already had two young boys, with a baby girl on the way. They shared their concerns with us, then encouraged us to run wild with our ideas. (We love that!)
The house has a walkout basement that led to a dark, damp, dingy concrete slab under the deck. They wanted a space outside that wasn’t covered by the deck so they could entertain and actually enjoy the sunshine and beauty of the Hudson Valley in their yard.
Behind the house, there was an issue with a steep slope that wasn’t safe for the boys to play around. It was also tough to access the backyard entirely because of that – it was either take a precarious clamber down the slope or go all the way through the house to get there.
To address the backyard, we used a lot of the soil we had to excavate throughout the property to level things out and create a nice area for the boys to play and the family to entertain. We also added plantings and meandering, natural stone steps with Belgard pavers for easy, scenic access to the backyard.
These beautiful concrete pavers (from Belgard) replaced the dull, cold concrete slab below the deck
Stone steps were installed to ease access to the backyard. Watch your step!
Around the front of the house, there just wasn’t a lot of curb appeal, and the Larsens wanted a front yard they could be proud to call theirs – and something the neighboring homeowners would be happy living near.
To add that much-needed curb appeal, we installed a new porch using Belgard’s BelAir Wall, which has a natural clefting that beautifully mimics natural stone, and added colorful new plantings that fit the house better in size and character, including viburnums, roses, hydrangeas, spirea, boxwood, daylily, Russian sage. All deer resistant, which everyone knows is important in our area.
Our biggest challenge during the project was that slope in the backyard; not only was it unsafe for the Larsens’ young boys, but it also made it difficult to get our equipment and materials back there to fix it.
After the fact, we also realized that those Hudson Valley deer are absolutely insatiable; even after installing almost exclusively deer-resistant plants in the Larsens’ landscape, the deer continue to snack on the plants. Never underestimate the power of a hungry wild animal’s cravings…you can’t control nature!
A few extras to make this landscape even more livable: We installed a full irrigation system to cut down on the time the Larsens would need to spend watering and maintaining all their new plantings, and we added night lighting to accent the front yard and shed more light on the back patio. (Entertaining doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, after all.)
If you love the Larsens’ landscape, call the landscape design professionals at Neave Group Outdoor Solutions — we can help you create an outdoor living space that suits your needs and desires, too. From the Hudson Valley, call (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 our web form 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!