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Hardscape Solutions: Old meets new

October 7, 2021 -  By

Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Company: Lotus Gardenscapes

This project is a new build on a historic site overlooking the Huron River. Designers Traven Pelletier and Nicole Lloyd of Lotus Gardenscapes created a landscape with clean lines that incorporates existing fieldstone retaining walls on the property. Other details include Michigan natural stone, guillotined limestone walls and steps and custom Corten steel retaining walls.

Lloyd says the large 3.5-by-3.5-foot Rosetta Miros concrete pavers at the back of the house create an amazing visual, but installing them was challenging.

“Everything panned out perfectly, but it took a lot of planning,” Lloyd says.

The site was the location of one of the first homes in Ann Arbor’s Barton Hills neighborhood. The owner wanted a minimalist, modern landscape.

Lotus Gardenscapes added prairie dropseed and boxwood plantings, a custom Canadian limestone fire pit and Corten steel planters. Lotus Gardenscapes’ staff welder fabricated the Corten planters and walls. Challenges included incorporating the existing fieldstone into a modern design and designing a way to diffuse the weight of the stair-step design over the home’s septic line. A Bobcat E45 compact excavator, Kubota KX040-4 mini-excavator and more equipment helped execute the project.

Lotus Gardenscapes won a Silver Award in the 2020 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The clean and contemporary design of the backyard incorporates elements of both the modern home and the site’s original, historic fieldstone retaining walls.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

For the front of the home, the client wanted a minimalist approach to plantings.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The home was a historical site with exiting fieldstone retaining walls. Designers incorporated the modern style of the home with the formal design of the retaining wall.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The upper seating area.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

Lotus Gardenscapes incorporated the home’s existing foundation wall in the design.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

An aerial view from the Huron River, looking toward the backyard.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The tiered patio provides breathtaking views of the Huron River from every area of the backyard.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

At the start of the project, the front yard was a blank canvas.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

Boxwoods accent the clean lines of the home in this overhead view.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

Lotus Gardenscapes’ custom Canadian limestone fire pit serves as a social space in the heart of the patio.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

Large High Format concrete pavers and Michigan natural stone create a modern feel to the outdoor space.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The upper seating area.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

The client wanted minimalist plantings as seen in this upper seating area.

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

(Photo: Lotus Gardenscapes)

Clean lines are evident from this overhead view.

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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