In 2004 I started helping a client with her lake house. I’d already designed her Raleigh property and she wanted to transform her lake house as well. The house is gorgeous, a farmhouse style with a red barn-like garage, but the landscape was lacking. The property sloped steeply to the lake and while the two gracious back porches offered great views, the lawn was nearly unusable.
At the time, I worked for Greenscape, a design-build company in Holly Springs, NC. The lake house was about two hours away so I wasn’t sure Greenscape would do the installation after I completed the design. It would certainly be more costly for the client with hotel and meals for the crew to be covered.
Lake house after 2004 installation
The plan I did then concentrated on the plantings, which were minimal compared to the Raleigh property, and some stone hardscaping. I really wanted to terrace the steep back yard, but the clients weren’t ready for that very major work and didn’t want to lose the expanse of lawn.
Greenscape did do the stone work but the planting was done by a local landscaper. The property was nice, but in my mind, still not complete.
Fast forward to fall of 2009. My client injured her knee and realized how very hard it could be to get to the boathouse at the lake. The sloping lawn even made the trip hazardous. She was ready for a solution.
New walls in progress
I was finally able to work on my terracing idea. I proposed creating two lower walls running parallel to the house. The visual impact of the walls from above would be minimal and the terraces would be resodded so there would still be a great expanse of lawn. From the lake, the house would be grounded (it appears a bit top heavy) by the stone walls. Four sets of stone steps would ease movement down to the pier.
Well, Greenscape is back on site and the new walls are going in. Yesterday I made a site visit to check the progress. The steps are in and the lower wall is complete. The upper wall is about one-fourth of the way along. You can already see the impact the walls have on the home. Once the walls are done, soil will brought in, the site graded and new sod will go down.
I sent some pictures the owner and she’s very excited, saying the walls are the “final gem” for the property. I am so excited to see this project complete. My next visit will be Wednesday and I’ll post more pics then.