Drzewiecki of Ginkgo Leaf Studio credits homeowners Bob and
Chrissy Gruendyke for their perfect selection of a modern
midcentury-influenced patio set that complements his design of a
gray-taupe color surface and a variety of ground cover extending
from the front yard.
paintings, need a frame that complements and completes the work.
So it is for the
reconfigured midcentury-style Bayside home of Bob and Chrissy
Gruendyke. After moving from Shorewood three years ago, the couple
realized the landscaping needed to mirror their house; the structure
was previously expanded from a one-story ranch to 3,500 square feet on
their options and turned to Jim Drzewiecki, owner/designer at
Cedarburg-based Ginkgo Leaf Studio.
designer-recommended fire bowl and Adirondack chairs reproduced
in plastic provide yet another entertainment center surrounded
by Asian-style plantings and stone.
the photos Jim featured, and when we met him, we knew he was the right
choice," Chrissy says. The Gruendykes now enjoy front and back
yards that support their home’s clean lines and earth tones, with
easily maintained, Asian-influenced plantings and hard surfaces that
also reflect and enhance the family’s outdoor lifestyle.
approached the front and back yards with similar objectives, to first
follow the home’s character with long, linear plant beds and then
eventually display plantings in more free form. He said he takes
seriously — and pride in — his architecture degree background to
stay true to any home’s design.
walkway of floating full-range bluestone "piers"
connect the driveway and front entrance. Asian-influenced
foliage, including vinca minor ground cover and carefully
sculpted boxwood, adorns beds of beach pebble and slate chips
designed to add additional texture.
to make the front entrance inviting," Drzewiecki says. He
replaced a conventional curved sidewalk with full-range bluestone
walkways edged with beach pebble and ground cover — bridges or piers
between door and driveway.
including the path lighting, extends to the back yard, which features
a patio, grill and fire pit.
purposely designs so that an entire landscape cannot be captured
in one glance. Here, he uses a foreground of the hardy perennial
Rozanne geranium and a summer wine ninebark shrub to create
separation from a seating area and grill in the background.
low-angle view across the front walkway emphasizes the landscape’s
floral dexterity with a newer Twist–n–Shout variety of
hydrangea added to ground cover and shrubs.
Bluestone steps within a bed of slate chips connect the back and
side yards while another shade-tolerant perennial, rocket
ligularia, tosses a splash of yellow.
throughout was carefully selected for compatible subtle color and
consistency with the desired Asian influence. Summer beauty allium
provides a "flowering onion" of lavender and pink while
Korean reed and skyracer grasses are tall, muted, feathered and
It’s all meant
to be easily enjoyed by non-gardening homeowners, though the Gruendykes
have learned to appreciate minor maintenance.
to extend our living space outdoors," Chrissy says, "and
this design does that."