A Lake Forest Dream Project


We will always refer to this job as the ‘Dream Project’.  Not because this is the third home that the landscape design team has developed for the homeowner, but because of the scale and attention to detail the team and homeowner had during the development of the project.  It started as a clean slate, an empty 5 acre lot that was only accessible by a 12ft wide driveway easement 200 ft. from the public street.  So right away was the first challenge of not only getting house construction materials into the site, but getting tree spades with 12ft evergreen trees into the yard.  The 10 evergreen trees were used to screen views into the yard since the homeowners valued their privacy.  Another element used to create a private space was the 250 ft. stone wall that created the entry point for the property.  Steel posts were anchored to the wall footing and then granite cobbles, matching the house, were individually shaped to create the serpentine wall. The post were faced with wood which then supported the picket fence that matches the millwork on the house.

To give the feel of a country manor estate, the 450 ft driveway was designed to weave through the 2 acres of front yard experiencing both the wide open vistas of the great lawn and the shade of the mature oak trees that help create dramatic views to the house.   The entire driveway is curbed with granite pavers, which helps keep the Merrimac gravel in place.

Over 600 boxwoods were used to wind through the landscape and help unify the front and back landscapes, and in collaboration with the stone garden walls, created gateways from one outdoor space to another.

Bluestone was an ideal material to use for the walks that lead from the driveway courtyard into the dog yard.  However, the design team decided that the dark color of bluestone in the sun would be too hot to use around the pool.  So the design team used 36” square Valders buff limestone pavers, which were laid out using computer-aided-design to make sure all of the joints aligned with the pool corners and to minimize cutting and waste. Lawn rugs furnished with irrigation misters were designed into the pool patio to create a soft, cool spot for hot feet.  The entire site had minimal drainage pitch, but there was just enough to create grand stairs from the pool to the rear yard.  Bluestone steppers cut into the lawn made a wonderful transition from the patio to the yard.