Peter White gave his landscape architect free expression in
designing an outdoor living area for his Whitefish Bay home, with a
"No. 1," White says, "I told him I would like it to
be free of 90-degree angles. We live in a grid in Whitefish Bay,"
he says. "Everything is square or rectangle. I wanted the shape
of the project flowing such as to have no squares."
Jeff Hershberger, a senior landscape architect with David J. Frank
Landscaping Co., rose to the challenge. Hershberger admits there is a
lot going on in the landscape design of the White’s yard: a
courtyard, terrace, patio, deck and lawn space, all fenced inside the
city-sized lot. "While it’s a real tight area and even though
it has fence around it, it is still a real comfortable area," he
Hershberger maintained continuity by using some of the same
materials in the hardscape that are on the house, such as the brown
brick and irregular Lannon stone details. "We tried to use the
same materials so we were not introducing a completely different look
to it," he says.
One of the first priorities was to reorient the landscape to direct
visitors to the home’s front entry, which is actually on the side of
Hershberger employed changes in elevation between the deck and
patio to circumvent drainage problems. Radius-cut stone steps tie the
patio in with the circular wooden deck, and the steps morph into a
fire pit area. Subtle indirect lighting and plantings around the fence
soften the area as well.
The project won a 2006 gold award from the Wisconsin Landscape
Contractors Association in residential landscape design and
Hershberger’s design accomplished another of White’s goals: to
create a space that was as livable as possible for most of the year.
When Peter and Ann White first bought the house, they had considered
adding interior living space, but the configuration of the house on
the lot precluded that, White says. Now the yard is truly an extension
of the White family’s living space.
with the flow
The centerpiece of the backyard of Mark Brunner and Sue Merrill is
this stunning 55-foot water feature that consists of three separate
waterfalls and a large koi pond below.
"We had to think of something to do with the slope coming down
from the garage to the lower part of the backyard," Brunner says.
The stone used on the waterfalls is a weathered-edge Lannon stone.
The fieldstone is handpicked from the property and from a subdivision
Brunner, of Brunner Builders, was developing elsewhere in Cedarburg.
Brunner put his 30 years of experience in the masonry field to good
use creating the water feature. He says the best view is from the
dinette inside the house, but great views abound from an outdoor deck
above, from a lower level patio or one of the observation benches near
The koi pond is about 3 feet deep and is home to about 50 koi and
goldfish. A mixture of perennials and hostas frames the water and the
With their house abutting a ravine, Rick and Chris Lane never
thought they would use the backyard of their Bayside home. "Then
we had teenagers," Chris Lane quips.
Collaborating with LaRosa Landscape Co., the Lanes now have usable
space in both their front and backyards. Various projects have been in
the works with LaRosa since 2001, including this front yard blue stone
patio. The sunny patio is a perfect spot for summer entertaining, Lane
says, and the brilliant pink roses create privacy for the Lanes as
well as scenery for the neighbors. Lane says the patio suits the style
of the house, and the picket fence and the roses offer a cottagey feel
to the property.
In the woodsy backyard, there is a fire pit for teen hangouts and a
hot tub. The Lanes made a difficult decision to remove a large silver
maple tree and replace it with an arbor. By doing so they extended the
living space of the adjoining sunroom.
In redoing the landscape at the home of Joe and Nancy Lucas, one of
Peter Kudlata’s goals was to create a privacy screen around the
yard, located in the middle of a Mequon subdivision.
Kudlata, landscape architect and owner of Flagstone Landscaping,
Cedarburg, accomplished this by supplementing the existing plantings
around the perimeter of the yard and choosing plantings around the
newly redesigned patio that provide privacy as well as color
throughout the season. "I think we attained the goal of creating
this private spot," he says.
Flagstone replaced the existing concrete patio with blue stone on
the floor, and surrounded it by a brick wall that doubles as extra
seating when the family entertains. "The arbor gives dimension
and brings in another material and matches the wood on the home,"
Kudlata says. "The blue stone is a great relief to the
brick," he says, "and the muted blue color is calming."
Other features of the backyard patio are a grilling station and a
hot tub with an automatic cover. Of the hot tub, Kudlata says he
wanted to "create a hot tub without looking like a California
spa." The hot tub has a black bottom and a lion’s head on the
wall spurts water into the tub. "It looks more like a water
feature and less like a hot tub," Kudlata says.