A patio, pergola, pool and beautiful landscaping
makes this Cedarburg backyard a relaxing respite.
When Jim Drzewiecki went to scope out a backyard in
Cedarburg for a landscape design project, he arrived to an unusable
patio and no landscaping at all, with the exception of a single tree
on the lawn.
“It was a pretty uninviting backyard,” says Drzewiecki, landscape
designer and owner of Ginkgo Leaf Studio in Cedarburg.
His clients were eager to transform their yard into a sanctuary that the
whole family, including their three daughters and two small dogs, could
enjoy. Armed with his clients’ inspiration photos and wish list — which
included a pool, a pergola and a fire pit — Drzewiecki designed a lush
outdoor oasis to complement the Colonial-style home and suit the
stone patio off the back of the house offers a spacious area for
entertaining and dining next to the adjoining grill area. A white
pergola forms a canopy over the patio, with hanging plants that bring
pops of color.
Three columns of Lannon stepping stones form a walkway from the pergola
to the pool area, and the grid-like walking paths are a motif throughout
the yard; stones along the side of the house also provide a path from
the front yard, and a small trail of stepping stones behind the pool
connects the yard to a communal neighborhood green space.
Drzewiecki worked as an architect before becoming a landscape designer,
and his architect’s eye is evident in his work.
“I’m really cognizant of the fact that there are certain sight lines or
physical lines from the house that help to dictate where things should
be placed in the landscape,” he says.
rectangular shape of the house and of the pool led to the rest of the
yard’s rectilinear design, with each element carefully placed to create
a cohesive, symmetrical look. The fire pit and an assortment of
perennials, for example, were centered along the long axis of the
swimming pool, and black-eyed Susans and perennials planted on the
opposite side of the pool create a mirror image effect.
By setting the pool away from the patio, the owners were able to
preserve precious green space in the yard, which was doubly important
for the two dogs. When selecting plants, prairie-style shrubs and
flowers are as hardworking as they are beautiful.
to use them to help delineate the space,” Drzewiecki says, citing the
hedge of hydrangeas along the back fence and the upright juniper hedges
along the sides of the yard that reinforce the rectangular shape of the
While strong, clean lines were king in the Cedarburg backyard,
Drzewiecki wasn’t afraid to break the rules of symmetry for the sake of
highlighting the natural beauty of perennials, grasses and small shrubs.
“We’re taught from
kindergarten to never color outside the lines and that everything should
always match,” Drzewiecki adds. “A skilled designer can break those
rules at the right time and do things that maybe aren’t always lined up
or equally spaced.”