June 21, 2024

When you are ready to upgrade your landscaping – whether for increased curb appeal and updated aesthetics or to address issues like poor drainage – working with the professionals is the best way to move forward. Implementing a new landscape design, particularly one with drainage solutions or new hardscaping, is a big job.

Even if you’ve been able to care for and maintain your landscaping on your own in the past, when it’s time to design and install an upgrade, Twin Oaks Landscape is there to do the heavy lifting. These Ann Arbor homeowners wanted to upgrade the front of their home, allow better access to the front entrance, and desperately needed to address some drainage issues in parts of their property. When they were ready, they called Twin Oaks Landscape to assist. Photo of a large 2 story brick house with updated lighting.

Project Overview

These Ann Arbor customers were referred to us from another long term client. After an initial meeting and assessment of their property, they contracted us to do the landscape design and build the hardscapes that would be installed to provide clear access to the front entryway as well as address the drainage solutions they needed. Since they wanted to be able to do a portion of the gardening upkeep themselves, we worked hard to make sure that the design fit their needs. As with many properties in Ann Arbor, these homeowners were struggling with heavy clay that was causing drainage issues, especially around the driveway. Twin Oaks Landscape has drainage experts that were able to offer several potential options.

Photo of a new paved walkway with lighting along the path.

The Twin Oaks Solution

This project took place over the course of several months in 2023. Our team focused on several upgrades, including:

  • A newly designed front walkway
  • New front porch
  • New retaining wall
  • New plantings in the garden beds at the front of the house
  • Re-grading of landscape beds and walkway to direct the water flow away from the driveway.

The biggest concern our clients had was the standing water collecting at the front of the house. By re-grading the landscape beds and front walkway during the installation of the new walkway, front porch, and retaining wall, we were able to divert the water from the spots where it had been collecting in the driveway and front landscaping and allow the water that is not being absorbed by the soil to flow away from the property.

Because of the scope of the project, our team worked in two phases. First, the Twin Oaks team addressed the hardscape installations of the new front porch, walkway, and retaining wall, including the regrading to address the drainage issues.

After the hardscape installation was complete, we worked with the clients to find a balance of plantings that would provide the aesthetic appeal they were hoping for while focusing on plantings that would allow the homeowners to handle a portion of the gardening upkeep themselves.

During the process, the homeowners opted to add landscape lighting to the front walkway and retaining wall to greatly improve the overall aesthetic of their property, highlighting the upgraded front entryway and new landscaping. Finally, the homeowners took the opportunity to address issues they had been having with their irrigation system. We replaced the valve box and expanded the current irrigation system to provide irrigation for the new landscaping beds we added.

Materials Used in This Design

For this project, the homeowners decided to upgrade to Unilock pavers for the front entryway hardscaping. Unilock has a classic and upscale look and is favored by homeowners looking for a design that will work well with the architectural design of their home. Unilock is continually innovating to create hardscaping products that allow those with an eye for design to transform their outdoor spaces. Color, texture, and scale are mixed and matched to find a one-of-a-kind design for every client while still allowing for a classic and clean aesthetic. Unilock products are engineered to handle the freezing and thawing temperatures of changing climates, making them perfect for the Ann Arbor area. The flexible joints prevent cracking while still allowing for the subtle movement needed by outdoor pavers.

Twin Oaks Landscape used Unilock Holland 4×8 pavers in beechwood with Unilock Beacon Hill small border stones in charcoal for the front walkway, opting for a classic and clean design. Fendt Hewstone retaining wall blocks were used to build the front porch and retaining wall. Overall, this project used 400 sq ft of pavers for the walkways and 200 face feet of wall block for the front porch and retaining wall. Our team of gardening experts worked with the clients to determine the right plantings that would complement the classic and clean design and allow for a balance of easy maintenance with the gardening upkeep that these clients were looking forward to taking on. The clients worked with our landscaping specialists to find the right landscape lighting products for the job.

The Final Results

Once these homeowners were working with Twin Oaks Landscape, the project went smoothly. The clients are thrilled with the hardscape design and have become year-round Twin Oaks Landscape clients, using our professionals for all their regular landscaping needs. After seeing the success with the hardscapes, they are excited to continue to enhance their garden beds in the front of the house. The clients have said that Twin Oaks Landscape exceeded all their expectations and are excited to share their experience with their friends and neighbors. We love being a part of stunning outdoor transformations like this, and we can help transform your outdoor spaces, too. Contact us to learn more about our landscape design services today!