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The Big One: A modern homestead

May 9, 2022 -  By
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COMPANY: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting
LOCATION: Mequon, Wis.

Located on a busy road, this property, consisting of four stylistically different homes, was a unique challenge for David J. Frank Landscape Contracting.  

The company has maintained the property for seven years, providing year-round service for the homeowner. An avid gardener, the client has high standards that require care from multiple crews.

The property owner wanted each home to have unique colors and “lots of plant material,” according to Zach Lieven, associate landscape architect.

The property presented a few challenges, including heavy clay soil and several shaded areas where it was difficult to maintain the turf to the client’s standards. A Hydrawise irrigation control system helps address these
challenges. 

“(The property owner) is all about it being pristine, clean, colorful and very healthy looking at all times,” Lieven says. “And that’s a lot of work. It’s everything from spraying all of the crab apples to keeping the leaves from getting various fungal diseases and other bugs, to treating the roses so that Japanese beetles aren’t eating them.”

According to Lieven, the client pays upwards of $35,000 a year in maintenance costs.

In addition to weekly mowing, the lawn is core aerated annually and is on a custom fertilization program. David J. Frank trims the spruce and birch trees on the property monthly to maintain their health.

“It’s a seasonal business in Wisconsin, but we do work there year-round,” Lieven says. “It’s cool how you can be a seasonal business but still touch a property year-round and have an impact for (the property owner’s) family.”

David J. Frank provides multiseason service for the property, handling snow removal and holiday decoration. Crews hand shovel the property’s walkways and decks with plastic shovels during the winter to avoid leaving marks on the pavement.

The property earned David J. Frank a gold award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence Program.

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Located next to a busy road, passers-by often slow down to take pictures of the manicured lawns and unique flower beds on the property.

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

To prevent slug damage to the leaves, the company treats and waters Hosta gardens to keep the property looking its best.

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

The classic Victorian-style home, surrounded by several hand pruned gardens, is known by locals as the “Pink House.”

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

David J. Frank maintains roses on the property to ensure healthy and clean leaves and robust flowers.

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Each bed, with its mix of mature and newer plants, requires regular watering and scouting for pests. 

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

David J. Frank redefines garden bed edges and installs fresh hemlock mulch every spring. 

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

As a part of the lawn care routine, crew members edge and mow the property weekly.

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

Crews also clean patio areas and walkways weekly to maintain a manicured and tidy appearance.

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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