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Hardscape Solutions: Untapped potential

September 9, 2022 -  By
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Location: Halesite, N.Y. 

Company: Goldberg & Rodler

The previous owners of the property did not maintain or update the existing architecture in nearly 50 years. The landscape featured overgrown vegetation and several large trees, including one that leaned dangerously over the roof and the pool.

“The house and landscape hadn’t been touched since the ’70s,” says Ashley Haugsjaa, design office manager and lead landscape designer at Goldberg & Rodler. “Most of it was unusable. There was a ton of poison ivy and overgrown everything in there.”

Haugsjaa says the build team also found an overgrown dump area at the back of the property littered with tires and debris.

The previous landscape left Goldberg & Rodler with plenty of challenges, including a broken existing patio lifted from the ground by the trees in the backyard. The team salvaged the brick for use in a future project.

The property also had issues with standing water, which the company addressed with the help of traditional drains and dry wells. Goldberg & Rodler also planted several plants that absorb water, including inkberry, iris and liatris.

“The first thing was to make sure the site was graded properly,” Haugsjaa says. “With the walkout basement there, you have to be able to take (the water) away.”

The company also built berms around the periphery in the back of the property to stop water from the neighbor’s sloped yard from entering the client’s backyard.

The project took two years to complete because the house was under construction at the same time.

The project earned Goldberg & Rodler a gold award from the 2021 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

An overhead shot of the remodeled property. The home underwent renovations while Goldberg & Rodler redesigned the landscape.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

One of a few trees left from the original landscape, the Japanese maple, was a focal point of the design by Ashley Haugsjaa, design office manager and lead landscape designer for Goldberg & Rodler.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

Ensuring the client, who has mobility restrictions, could enjoy the yard and all its amenities was crucial. To take care of that requirement, Goldberg & Rodler added a ramped walkway from the house to the yard.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

An after shot of the front of the property shows the home’s new landscape with shrubs and trees planted to provide a buffer from the rest of the neighborhood cul-de-sac.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

A photo of the pool and shed before the renovation shows the previous state of the vegetation in the backyard.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

A view from a bench installed during the renovation. Goldberg & Rodler created the pergola seen in the back with locally sourced locust logs.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

An in-progress photo shows the grade change necessary to make a walk-out, allow for a 10-foot ceiling in the lower level of the home and create a stairless access way to get to the yard.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

The home had no existing drainage system before the redesign began and had several invasive plants that Goldberg & Rodler removed from the site. The existing patio was also small and broken as the trees started lifting the bricks from the ground.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

The existing pool shell and Japanese Maple were virtually the only elements able to be kept in the rear yard.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

The home’s front entry features tropical plants, flowering perennials and evergreen shrubs.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

Goldberg & Rodler configured the lower patio area to withstand 8 inches of rainfall and has permeable paving set on aggregate and gravel infiltration areas.

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

(Photo: Goldberg & Rodler)

A smart system controls the lights around the property in the home. The same system controls the spa, pool equipment and fireplace.

Rob DiFranco

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

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