Hardscape Solutions: Making the Most of a Small Space

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Site: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.

Company: LandCrafters

This project started out as a front yard and entrance for a duplex and then expanded into an outdoor living space on the south side of the house. LandCrafters are also expected to work on the property’s small backyard, located in a historic suburb of Milwaukee next year.

Project challenges included navigating a small staging area and working with city building officials to get the plans approved. David Guthery, Landscaper for LandCrafters, explains that when the team started working on the new driveway, LandCrafters had to update the footings of the masonry porch to a depth of 4 feet using a mini-excavator. Bobcat. The company also used New Holland skid steers to complete the project.

What really sets the project apart, says Guthery, is how the south side of the house works out on such a small footprint with a Tudor-style pergola that matches the look of the house. LandCrafters designed a small space for the client’s mother who lived on the first floor.

Other notable elements of the project include the masonry that reflects the appearance of the older house and a permeable courtyard. Guthery added a European Fastigiata charm with tall branches to soften and shade the area.

“How do you get a tree to succeed in a 3ft by 3ft pit that won’t really limit the tree?” Said Guthery. “The solution was to open it up so that it was permeable so that its roots had access to water and oxygen and could spread into more distant planting areas over time.”

LandCrafters won a Gold Award for this project in the 2020 Excellence Award Program from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

The entertainment area on the south side of the property connects to a small patio for the guests of the first floor resident.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

In June, Summer Cascade wisteria and lilac flowers hang above the pergola. The vine adds color, fragrance and extra shade to the patio.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

The LED lighting features of the FX fixture include downlights in the pergola, under-rim lights in the new masonry pillars and well lights that light up the charm.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

Previously, the southern part of the property was the only area suitable for the installation of an entertainment space due to its large size. The region was austere and also extremely hot in the summer.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

A retaining wall of cut Eden stone supports an upper mixed border. The main entrance is now visible and easily accessible via a new concrete walkway and stairs.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

LED lighting illuminates the front entrance with the address plaque on a new masonry pillar.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

Before, the original porch and balustrade were too small for the guests.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

The masonry of the entrance to the first floor provides a platform for the guests. The plantations on the north side level and separate visitors from the neighbor’s driveway.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

LandCrafters planted a “Leonard Messel” magnolia tree near the driveway to serve as the inverted focal point of the front porch and protect the small seating area for the first floor resident, the customer’s mother.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

Transplanted “Green Mountain” boxwood shrubs now serve as a formal pruned hedge under the first floor windows.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

Plantations on the north side of the house separate the property from the neighbor’s driveway.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

A hedge of mixed peonies anchors the top of the wall of the small sitting area.

(Photo: Landcrafters)

(Photo: Landcrafters)

A European “Fastigiata” charm anchors the patio grill, shading the house and the patio. The blue stone patio is permeable to allow healthy development of the trees.

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