landscape design and installation case study downtown traverse city mi backyard remodel

The Traverse City real estate market has been booming for well over a year with no sign of slowing down. Many families who want to relocate to Northern Michigan have had to settle for a home that needs some serious work on both the inside and out.

You moved to the Traverse City MI area to enjoy the beautiful landscape and surroundings, so we know you want to enjoy the outdoor space at your own home. Let’s dive in to a recent project we completed in downtown Traverse City to explore how we turned a small unusable backyard into a functional space for family and friends.

Downtown Traverse City MI Property Challenges

Our downtown Traverse City Homeowners had recently purchased their historic home located on a corner lot. The outdoor area was not previously well cared for. Landscape beds had very few plantings and walkways were uneven and broken. There was not a great way to navigate around the home, and the patio was too small to use for entertaining. In short, the space lacked any true functionality for the homeowners.

before and after landscape bed along side of home

The beauty of living in the downtown area is that it is easy to commute to local parks, beaches, and restaurants, however, this benefit can also really impact privacy. Since the home is on a corner lot, sidewalks run directly near the home along the front and side of their property. The sidewalks running parallel to the side of their home gave a full view into the backyard.

before and after front entrance landscaping of home

Our clients specifically requested privacy near the sidewalk that passed by their backyard, plants that bloomed and are able to be cut and brought inside to put in vases, and a patio that was private and usable. They hoped to entertain and relax in their outdoor space.

Solutions for Downtown Traverse City MI

Many of the properties in downtown Traverse City are historic, so it is extremely important that the landscape becomes an extension of the home. Installing products and plantings that clash with a traditional older home can leave the entire property feeling disjointed. Let’s check out how we combatted privacy issues and created a beautiful space for our clients to enjoy.

Privacy Solutions

Privacy is the number one issue we needed to tackle well. In order to physically give our clients some space from people passing by, we moved the patio from the front corner near the sidewalk to the back far corner of the lot. Walkways were added so guests could easily access the backyard without walking through grass or landscape beds.

hydrangea tree walkways sod patio with sitting area and arbor

Next, the issue of the public sidewalk needed to be addressed. We added a green barrier by installing several arborvitaes. These plantings stretched the entire length of the sidewalk and wrapped around near the garage to essentially create a green fence.

before and after street view of landscape remodel

Making the Space More Beautiful

Other than privacy issues, the main request from our client was to create a beautiful and usable space. The homeowners chose two different hardscape materials for the patio and the walkway, which we really loved. The brick pavers were set in a running bond pattern to give that traditional feel to match with the architecture of the home. The Covington concrete pavers with a textured finish were used on the patio to give a modernized feel to the entertaining space while still paying homage to the home’s charm.

walkway and patio pavers in backyard

In addition to the patio hardscape, we added a small boulder wall to create a raised bed along the garage. This landscape bed filled with plantings helps to hide some of the utilities. At the entrance to the garage, we also built an arbor to compliment the space.

plantings in backyard landscape

Sod was installed where the previous patio was located, which immediately transformed the space. We selected traditional plantings that are easy to care for so homeowners could enjoy the blooms, but not spend a ton of time maintaining the landscape beds. The more traditional approach in plant choice complimented the beautiful historic look of the home. Hydrangeas, daisies, roses, ferns, coneflowers, and catmint were installed to bring both color and texture. Our favorite selection by homeowners is the hydrangea tree that serves as a welcome piece if you are entering the back yard from the sidewalk.

plantings in backyard

Results that Help Homeowners Enjoy the Outdoors

Our downtown Traverse City clients were absolutely thrilled with the outcome of their project. The landscaping ended up hiding some eye-sore areas of the property and provided a ton of privacy from the nearby sidewalks and busy downtown streets. Homeowners will have tons of flowers to choose from to clip and bring inside this Spring.

Any home, whether a historic downtown property or a brand-new build, requires a landscape design that complements the architectural features of the residence. Careful design combined with creativity and unique touches that provide exactly what you want for your property can help your outdoor space to come alive. You deserve a usable and beautiful outdoor space to enjoy Northern Michigan.

Ready to get started on your landscaping project in Grand Traverse or Leelanau County, MI? If so, meet with our team of experts, choose a solution to improve your property, and get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

Get started today with a consultation!

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