Hinsdale Residence – Project Splendiferous

Our client had high expectations to transform their ordinary existing landscape into an extraordinary display of seasonal foliage color. They wanted to be taken aback every time they opened their front door or sitting on their patio. And it wasn’t a matter of keeping up with the neighborhood standards, it was a matter of setting a new level of appearance. Aside from the visual requirement, there were a few functional issues that needed to be addressed as well. One being drainage and the other improving the privacy of the rear yard, all of which needed to be addressed in a visual pleasing manner.

The design process went through many conceptual scenarios to find a good balance of showcasing the home from the street while creating a subtle sense of seclusion.   The key to the solution was to link most of the mature Oak trees with a meandering planting bed that connected both ends of the driveway.  This created a wonderful entrance to the property whether you were a guest or the homeowner entering the service end of the house.  After examining the breadth of the new plantings, it was decided that the entry walk needed to be improved as well. The walk was widened, and the pavers were replaced with bluestone. Two masonry plinths, matching the house stone, were placed on both ends of the new steps which would be used for displaying seasonal colors in large yet simple planters.

The backyard concepts addressed ways of enhancing the privacy plantings by adding flowering crabapples and Hydrangeas. The slope of rear yard was re-graded to provide a flatter surface to allow for a better play area. During the re-grading the existing buried downspout drainage was lengthened to bubble up near the perimeter bed edges. Flat pieces of shale lined the bed edges creating an enhanced drainage swale that flowed into the rain garden. Instead of planting in the holding area of the rain garden the area was filled with fractured bluestone to give the impression of water. The drainage in the front was addressed with a swale that meandered through the mature Oaks. Moisture tolerant such as Aronia, Ilex, and Cornus.

The landscape needed to inspire the owners throughout the seasons. To help them visualize how their dream and our design would be integrated 3D charrettes where created to help them see how the varying heights, colors and textures would be implemented in a flowing and concise design.  Then as the construction began mock-ups of hardscape elements and planting containers were used to verify material and scaling decisions.