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Hardscape Solutions: The great escape

April 1, 2022 -  By

Location: Zionsville, Ind.
Company: Calvin Landscape

This homeowner reached out to Calvin Landscape because of an existing relationship with an account manager. The client wanted to combine an adjacent two-acre vacant lot into a park-like setting with passive and active recreation spaces for gathering and entertaining.

Daniel Camacho, a landscape architect with Calvin Landscape, says the lack of trees on the empty lot and existing issues from runoff damage were major challenges to the site. To mitigate runoff, crews installed a catch basin between the abandoned lot and the client’s property and an additional one at the top of a hill.

Calvin Landscape added 50 spaded trees, 15 ornamental trees, evergreen and deciduous shrubs and perennials to create the desired park-like setting. Plants added include ‘Jane’ magnolia, ‘Royal Star’ magnolia, swamp white oak, ‘Winter King’ hawthorn, ‘Frontier’ elm, ‘Green Mountain’ sugar maple, Norway spruce, ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae, ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae, double pink weeping cherry, Japanese tree lilac, Eastern redbud, pyramidal hornbeam, river birch, ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple and ‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberry.

Camacho says aside from the desire to create recreation spaces and combine an adjacent lot, the client gave him a blank canvas to execute the design.

“I enjoyed being able to have the freedom of design while still connecting with the client wants,” he says.

The project won Calvin Landscape a Gold Award from the 2021 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

The homeowner wanted to combine an adjacent vacant lot with the existing property to maximize the passive and active recreation space.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

The vacant two-acre lot is visible in this before photo.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Calvin Landscape added 50 spaded trees, 15 ornamental trees, evergreen and deciduous shrubs and perennials together to shade the views from the neighborhood road and to create space for passive and active use throughout the two lots.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

The clients saw potential in the open lot next to their property as a space for more outdoor recreation and entertaining for their growing family as seen in this before photo.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

This bird’s eye view shows the pathway to the project’s fire pit, which overlooks the neighborhood pond.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Crews expand the large paver patio extension and masonry wall to provide the client with more entertaining space on the pool deck.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

This waterfall serves as a backdrop to the client’s pool and also to create some privacy in the backyard. This feature also provides tranquil background noise.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

The setting sun highlights the natural wandering path leading from the patio to the natural gas-burning fire pit. The client says this is the family’s favorite spot to relax on a Friday night.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Large passive grass areas, shaded by trees create a private backyard for the client. Hidden electrical outlets provide the client flexibility in the use of the space.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Perennials, shrubs, and trees offer for year-round flowering and fall color. Low voltage landscape lighting from Kichler adds security and interest to the space.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Matching masonry columns and a natural stone seat wall separate the parking stalls from the landscape bed. The retaining wall redirects the runoff flow to the drainage features that existed with the adjacent property.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

A conversation pit sits along the property’s wood line. This pit features fixed natural benches and other matching elements from throughout the project, such as the pavers from the patio and the black crushed stone from around the paver parking pad. This area was prone to erosion, crews installed a runoff collection pit, boulder terracing walls, and water-loving plants to handle the heavy flow of runoff that this area receives.

 

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

(Photo: Calvin Landscape)

Another outdoor gathering space is the property’s large natural gas fire feature. In the background is the large pondless water feature.

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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