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Modern Prairie Front Landscape - New Berlin, WI

Modern Prairie

2019 Gold Award Residential Design - Association of Professional Landscape Designers

2018 Gold Award for Excellence in Residential Landscape Design and Construction - Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association

The existing landscape around our clients' prairie-style home was dull and dated. It had originally been intended to have the flavor of an Asian garden, but it did not succeed on that point. The Prairie architecture of the home was still conducive to that style, so we were tasked with blending Asian, Prairie and the Mid-Century aesthetic that the husband preferred. His wife had one simple request – keep the flowering perennials simple and minimal.

We focused first on creating a new front walk in a combination of concrete and bluestone. The square of irregular bluestone was placed on axis with the front door while also sitting on the diagonal with the Prairie-style urn which was the only element retained from the existing landscape. A new concrete patio was added to the right of the front porch for informal seating. Full range bluestone square steppers were placed along the edge of the driveway within slate chip mulch, to enhance accessibility for passengers exiting cars on the drive. A simplified palette of flowering perennials, grasses and shrubs fill the planting beds surrounding the new walk and patio. Per our client’s request, there are no red, yellow or orange flowers. Serviceberry trees add a vertical element and privacy around the new front patio and a Firebird crabapple anchors the front bed.

As we were close to completing the design, our client made one last request: could we include a sentinel stone somewhere in the landscape? After doing research on the significance of sentinel stones in Asian gardens, we set about to find the perfect stone. We visited multiple quarries until we found just the right stone, sending our client’s photos from the quarry for their approval. We suggested in turn that the stone might offer the perfect location for house numbers. We chose the house number plaque's shape, finish and font, and presented it to our client and they loved it. Once installed, the stone really was the finishing touch for this revitalized landscape. We were even asked to help choose new paint colors for the home, and the result is shown here.

Modern Prairie Front Landscape - New Berlin