chairs are strategically placed to capture the vista of the
Broadlands Golf Course.
hidden oasis next to the ninth hole of the Broadlands Golf Course in
North Prairie. Golfers have nicknamed it the Blueberry House in
reference to the exterior color, but the real attractions are the
large water feature and beautiful flowerbeds on the property.
Bob and Sally
Sytsma moved into the home in 2009 and have been working diligently
ever since to beautify their landscape. Both are graduates of
California Polytechnic State University in California, with degrees in
horticulture and landscape design, respectively.
The pond and
several of the garden beds were there when they moved in, but the
couple have spent countless hours adding, replacing and enhancing the
existing landscape. Sally Sytsma has planted close to 2,000 flower
bulbs in the yard.
work has been a labor of love, it has also been an educational
process. "Even though we are well-versed in horticultural, the
biggest learning curve for us was working with a koi pond and pond
science," she says. "Working with fish, plants and water is
very challenging, especially in this climate." They installed a
heater and aerator in the pond so the fish can remain in their habitat
Beyond the water
is the golf course. They planted mature trees and created a berm for
privacy. A few "peak-a-boo" vistas were designed into the
scheme to allow views of the course from their home.
curved pergola completes the sitting area next to the pond. An
ash tree provides shade from the late afternoon sun. A large
brick patio extends from the home to the water’s edge.
are close to 10 different varieties of Irises surrounding the
water feature, including one that Sally Sytsma’s grandmother
hybridized by hand. "I have native and ornamental irises in
the pond," she says.
sounds from the nearby pond provide background "music"
for those gathering at the table.