March 8, 2022

Sometimes a project requires a big investment from both the homeowner and the landscaper, and this project is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with the right team. This client was a referral from a neighbor a few doors down in Three Arch Bay area of Ann Arbor, and in 2019 they contacted Twin Oaks Landscape to handle a drainage issue and create some hardscaping. However, throughout the following two years, the project grew into something much more than that.

Overlooking the large back yard and stone walkway.

What the Client Needed

When the property was built, the builder of this new construction home left an unfavorable grade, which caused water to pool throughout the property. In the backyard, there were not only grading issues leading water to pool around the patio areas, but also issues regarding a small lake. Many unwanted woody plants made the area unusable. Twin Oaks handled these issues with regrading the entire back yard, and installing engineered drainage solutions throughout the property, including a strategically placed grate drain and catch basin.

Once those drainage needs were addressed, the homeowner was ready to finish the property with a new lawn, a seawall, a retaining wall, a hardscape design, back patio, front porch, landscape lighting, an irrigation system, and stepping stones. This project was extensive and needed to be handled in two phases.

Two patios connected by a stone walkway overlooking a water feature.

Design Process

The design process focused on installing all the hardscapes to work with the drainage solutions already in place from the first stage of the project. As the client added additional concepts to the project, they worked directly with the lead foreman for every adjustment. Changes were made throughout the project as the client reconsidered a cement sidewalk and chose a paver path instead, enlarged the back patio to extend toward the lake, providing safe and easy access to the water, and performed the tree work necessary to allow a view of the water from inside the home.

Once the hardscaping was installed, the landscape plan included large plant beds that will be enjoyed throughout the year. Variety, color, and balance with the hardscapes were addressed in the plan, and the landscape designers worked closely with the homeowners.

Complete design plan with plant specifications for landscape design.

Final Project Completion

During the second stage of the project, the backyard drainage solutions were finalized along with the hardscape design. Fendt New Holland series pavers were used for the front porch, the back patio and circle patio, and at the water. FX Lighting products including half lights, up lights, and tree lights were installed, complete with LED lights and a WiFi controller. A Hunter Industries irrigation system was installed with shrub and drip zones for the planting beds and rotor zones for the lawn. The irrigation system can also be WiFi controlled. For the seawall, we used Rosetta Dakota and Rosetta Outcroppings and a boulder retaining wall was built with Michigan boulders.

Front paver path to the front door.

Once the final project was completed, the client hired Twin Oaks Landscape to manage and care for their entire landscape, including regular lawn maintenance, plant care, irrigation, and overall property management. Our skilled team is a valuable resource for horticulture advice and we take pride in working hard for our clients. The investments they’ve made in maintaining their property is important to us. We can help you design and create a beautiful outdoor space. Contact Twin Oaks Landscape to learn more.

Luxury home at night.