hard to believe Daniel and Erica Galligan’s backyard paradise began
with frozen mounds of dirt. The Galligans were moving to a newly built
house in Cedarburg from Fox Point and the property had zero
landscaping. They knew they wanted a pool for their three young boys,
but that was it.
The couple also
knew they didn’t want the norm — what everybody else was doing —
and James Drzewiecki of Ginkgo Leaf Studio, Cedarburg, was happy to
oblige. "My No. 1 focus is to make the landscape reflect the
nature of the home," Drzewiecki says.
Since the house
has a modern Colonial feel, Drzewiecki immediately thought of
Nantucket and an Eastern seaboard look. Erica Galligan wanted
something to cover the area and offer protection from the sun and
rain, so a white painted PVC structure was erected on-site and a black
fence went around the pool. "Jim really helped in figuring out
the functionality," Daniel Galligan says. "With the three
boys, part of the yard needed to be a sports area, so he placed the
pool in what was the dead area of the yard. Now the easily accessible
part of the yard is set up for play."
is incorporated nicely together," Erica Galligan adds. "We
live in a new subdivision — not a lot of mature trees and plants —
so Jim was cognizant of choosing plants that were fast-growing but
also worked with the open prairie. When we’re sitting by the pool or
on the pool deck it feels like we’re sitting in the prairie. We have
a sense of privacy."
To achieve this
seamless look, Drzewiecki used native plants and cultivars of native
plants. These included fountain grass, Allium, black-eyed susans,
purple coneflowers and Rozanne geraniums and boxwoods around the pool.
unfurling the plans in front of them and Erica saying, ‘Oh my gosh,
that’s our backyard?’" Drzewiecki says. "Erica and
Daniel are not gardeners by nature so when they first saw all the
plants they might have been put off. But all the plants are very
hardy. Now they tell me that Daniel enjoys coming home from work and
pulling the occasional — emphasis on occasional — weed."
installed a fire pit and landscape lighting. "Light is an
important component of landscape design in order to use the space day
and night," he says. "The fire pit allows them to enjoy the
seasons in Wisconsin."