2008 Awards for Landscape Excellence Presented by: Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA)

Residential Hardscape Installation $30,000-$60,000
— Silver Award, McLaine Residence

Inspirational landscape patio ideas in Berks County, PA

The McLaine's gave us a blank canvas to work with and allowed us to put our design abilities to work. They desired to have two nicely proportioned patios where they could easily entertain family and friends. Having four small children, the McLaine's also wanted an area where their kids could safely play under the watchful eye of mom and dad. This entire project had to be an elegant, but practical, showpiece which could easily adapt to changes over the years as their children grew up. Such future changes may include an in-ground pool or spa. The McLaine's are very much pleased with the entire project and it compliments their lifestyle and tastes. They really enjoy watching the plantings bloom and change throughout the seasons. The kids really enjoy their space as well. We achieved each objective the McLaine's wanted, and a few extra as well.

The property is in a development setting where each parcel was carved out of a natural woodland setting. The property has wooded areas along the rear, left and right sides of the property, giving a sense of seclusion. We choose plant material that played off the woodland surroundings and that are sun and shade tolerant.

There was a drainage issue on the existing site, which made the rear of the property very wet after a heavy rainfall. We installed a simple drainage system along the rear of the project to alleviate the build-up of water. This allowed the excess water to make its way to the swales, which were originally created by the developer.

We chose plant material which would compliment the surrounding woodlands. We also utilized plants which have an extended bloom time throughout the seasons along with numerous flowering perennials. The EP Henry Symmetry and Brick Stone pavers along with the Coventry Wall block are of neutral browns, tans and grays which blend well into woodland backdrop as well as complimenting the home's brick and siding colors. Natural PA Bluestone was used as countertops in the cooking area. Large natural boulders and decorative stone, of brown hues, were used throughout the design for another natural element. A cedar wood play set and play house blend naturally into their settings.

The McLaine's really enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in and around their property. We utilized planting material which would help to attract birds and butterflies. A lighted birdbath became the focal point of the bird and butterfly garden. Birdhouse style light fixtures adorn each pillar throughout the project as well as matching light fixtures on the home. A few birdbaths and birdhouses were tucked among the plantings, throughout the landscape.

This was the first large-scale project our company was hired to undertake. We consider it a major benchmark for what our company can and is expected to do. It was a real pleasure to see all the unique aspects of the project to unfold, from the initial design consultation to the last installed plant.