Nothing beats enjoying a day at the sandy beach along the shores of Northern Michigan, especially when that beach is located at your lakefront cottage. However, having to walk to and from the beach through prickly weeds up a steep hill, can take away some of the fun.

The summer months in the Traverse City area offer a reprieve from the long winter months, so just like everyone who resides in Northern Michigan, our clients wanted to be able to spend that time outside. The long gray winter months leave us begging for beautiful color and space to run and play. Learn how we transformed this unique home’s landscaping so that the homeowners can fully enjoy all summer in Northern Michigan has to offer.

Challenges with Lakefront Landscaping Renovation

After purchasing this historic home, our clients had quite a bit of work on their hands. They began restoring the home and its’ landscape to its former glory both inside and out. The landscape in general needed a facelift. Plantings were aging out, the grass was thin and struggling, and the landscape itself just looked tired.

Throughout the renovation, the homeowners wanted an outdoor area that was beautiful and reflected the original era of the home, was easier to physically navigate, and contained more usable space, especially beautiful grass to run and play on.

Solution One: Eliminate and Add Landscape Beds

In order to both refresh current plantings and create more turf area for homeowners to enjoy, we either eliminated or added several landscape beds throughout the property. Landscape beds that were in the middle of a potential large grass area were removed entirely, and landscape beds were added near existing structures like retaining walls and near the home itself.

flowers near entrance of home

We focused our design on providing beautiful snapshots that guests and homeowners could see from the home’s windows and the beach area. Consultations with homeowners were important for the plant selection process. Our clients wanted the plant choices to compliment the ear and style of the house. Plantings were also added to assist in shoreline stabilization, an issue throughout the Northern Michigan area.

pink roses and plantings with grass near lake

Solution Two: Adjust the Grade

The area along the back of the home had a relatively steep and difficult-to-navigate grade. It was not really usable space for homeowners because of the grade and the poor quality of the grass. The grade was adjusted, creating an easy grassy slope that transitioned to existing stairs. Landscape beds were able to be added to the area near the steps as the land was now gently sloping.

flowers in landscape bed near healthy green grass

Solution Three: Tackle Water Drainage Issues and Irrigation Issues

Since the home was built so long ago, proper drainage was not installed. Homeowners were worried about water pooling near the old foundation of the home. Adding beautiful copper downspouts and eves allowed for water to be successfully captured after a storm. Underground drainage was installed that pulled the water further way from the foundation of the home. Several drainage spouts were connected together to dump water back into the lake after a large rainfall.

copper downspouts near home with tree and landscape bed

After consulting with homeowners and inspecting the existing irrigation system, repairs were made so that all the new plantings would get the water they needed. The unique irrigation system at this home pulls water directly from the lake, this presented a few issues, however. Debris from the lake frequently clogged the filters on the irrigation pump and system quickly. We remedied this situation by providing weekly checks and inspections of the system.

Solution Four: Create Usable Space Near the Water

Because of the ever-changing shoreline, the water table between an existing retaining wall near the lake and the lower patio area was incredibly high. This meant the space was squishy and constantly wet, so plants could not survive and homeowners couldn’t use the area. In order to make this spot usable, we brought in aggregate and sand to help stabilize the existing area. We then compacted the aggregate and sand and installed topsoil and sod. The addition of another sodded area assisted in creating more usable space that our clients were craving.

grassy area near lakeshore

Results that Restore and Reinvigorate a Historic Home

Homeowners were absolutely thrilled with the landscape renovation and were able to fully utilize their home throughout the summer months. Our team offered landscape maintenance throughout the property to keep the grass green and thick, plantings healthy and vibrant, and the irrigation system running efficiently. This stunning renovated historic home can now serve as a place for family to gather for years to come.

You deserve to spend your time in Northern Michigan relaxing and spending time with family and friends, not mowing the lawn, weeding landscape beds, and fertilizing. Taking the time to research landscape companies in the area can alleviate your outdoor responsibilities, preserve your property, and get you back to doing whatever it is that you want to do!

Ready for a landscape renovation at your home or cottage 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!

Want tips and tricks for your lawn & landscaping?

Sign Up For Our Free Quarterly Newsletter

We take your personal information very seriously. We will not share any of the information you provide with any 3rd parties. Provided information will be used specifically to contact you in regards to your inquiry.