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Hardscape Solutions: Living great by the lake

April 29, 2022 -  By
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Location: Elkhart Lake, Wis. 

Company: Landmark Landscapes

The client approached Landmark Landscapes to transform a rundown cottage on Elkhart Lake into a timeless summer home. The client set an ambitious timeline of Labor Day to Memorial Day the next year for completion. Crews needed to get most of the materials staged on the site before winter.

Landmark Landscapes needed to navigate Elkhart Lake village’s ordinances, says Patrick Hughes, marketing manager for Landmark Landscapes. Elkhart Lake monitored the project’s surfaces to limit the amount of impervious surface area of a project. When Landmark Landscapes opted for Unilock Thornbury permeable pavers, this allowed the client to expand the original footprint of the home.

Landmark Landscapes installed a large parking area that would occasionally stage tents for large parties. Other details of note include the installation of rain gardens that connect to the permeable pavers to reclaim all rainwater that falls on the property. Hughes says it was very important to the client to protect Elkhart Lake and keep the project’s impact to a minimum.

“Elkhart Lake and the natural environment were really the driver of this project from the beginning, along with making a great space for the family to relax and entertain,” he says.

Landmark Landscapes won a gold award from the 2021 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The client desired a natural and inviting place for the family to gather, relax and make memories.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Perennials and hydrangea contrast the limestone walls on the lake-facing side of the home.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

This photo, taken before the restoration of the cottage and landscape, provides perspective on the dramatic changes to this property.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The client purchased an old cottage to convert to a summer home to share with a large family.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Limestone quarried 20 miles from the project site serves as a hillside structure. Limestone in the planting beds provides repetition and rhythm. A drainage system in the walls transports collected water to rain gardens. Patios and walkways feature permeable pavers.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Natural stone walls create a nook that functions as an outdoor room.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The personality of this garden is warm and inviting, much like the family that spends summers in this home.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

This view highlights the concept lines of the design that brings the landscape and gardens to life.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

This driveway and parking area feature Unilock Thornbury permeable pavers. Landmark Landscaping worked with the Village of Elkhart Lake to utilize permeable pavers to expand the footprint of the home. The parking area serves as an occasional staging ground for tents for large parties.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The Village of Elkhart allowed the client to expand the property’s footprint with a three-stall garage and an addition to the home thanks to the use of permeable pavers on the driveway. The pavers collect rainwater to water the property’s plants.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The back of the property looks out onto Elkhart Lake. Beachfront storage holds the family’s flotation devices and safety vests.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

This nook in the limestone retaining wall provides additional lakeside seating.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

The natural limestone walls and steps blend seamlessly from the home to the landscape to create an organic transition.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Landmark Landscapes designed the natural stone pillars, steps and patio to create a natural carefree scene.

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Photo: Landmark Landscapes

Outfall pipes connect to the property’s retaining walls to deposit stormwater into rain gardens for filtration and prevent runoff directly into the lake. The reclaimed water recharges the aquifers below ground.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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