Project Details

Photos: Daniel Nystedt

Low Water Landscape

For several years prior to renovating this landscape, we had maintained the grounds for this family in Newton. Our insight into the particular needs and challenges of this site combined with the trusting relationship we built with the client laid the foundation for a seamless transition from maintenance to installation, and finally to follow-up management.

This client appreciated the benefits of a low-water landscape. Not only do low-water landscapes save time and money by reducing the need to water, they’re also drought-tolerant. Where there had been lawn in front of the home, we planted mostly native perennials like summersweet, St. John’s wort, and an American dogwood. Grasses, flowering shrubs, and ornamentals with colorful foliage create visual interest and consistency throughout the year.

By installing a dry-stacked, round New England Fieldstone retaining wall in front, we both offset the new plantings from passersby and prevented runoff to the street below. Not only functional, the natural stone color palette of the wall nicely complements the variety of native ornamentals it supports.

One of the major challenges of this property was the steeply sloped, unusable backyard. To convert this slope into terraced, fertile grounds for planting, we installed a series of two retaining walls. Surrounding the existing hot tub with plantings, we both integrated it with the landscape and created some privacy from the neighbors. Now the family can spend quality time in a backyard surrounded by their own mini forest of lush foliage.

As we continue to organically maintain this landscape post-installation, we have been able to monitor its growth and evolution.