2009 Awards for Landscape Excellence Presented by: Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA)

Residential Hardscape Installation $30,000-$60,000
— Bronze Award, Bentz Residence

Professional landscape design with flagstone in Allentown, PA

The Bentz's and our designer worked together to create a more inviting entrance to their home. This newly redesigned area would also serve as the main outdoor entertaining place. The existing concrete porch was cracked and separating from the home and the small concrete walkway was uninviting. Extending from the porch and walkway, the Bentz's had an extensive landscaped area, which also included some areas of turf. They wanted to remove the turf, expand upon their existing plantings and create a more useable space for casual seating as well as support large family gatherings. The Bentz's wanted to incorporate some natural stone elements along with the formality of man-made walls and pavers. They also desired a water feature. The Bentz's wished to have a new variety of plant material which was different from the existing plants on their property. They wanted extended color through the seasons and for the larger plant material to serve as a wind screen and provide some shade as they matured.

The Bentz property is located on a naturally wooded hillside which opens up to a small seven-acre farm of horse pastures and extensive landscape planting beds. The area we were hired to re-landscape was located along the front side of the home. It sloped from right to left and was defined by a paved driveway on the front, left and rear sides. Since the property is on an open hillside, strong winds and blazing summer sun are some of the environmental concerns we had to design around.

Some challenges we faced were safely removing the concrete porch without damaging the home. Also, maintaining proper soil and base stone compaction along the foundation of the home, which would insure proper installation of the raised patio. We utilized the slope and grade changes to our advantage by creating several levels for entertaining while maintaining flow and functionality. Eliminating turf from this area was also a request because the homeowners wished to eliminate push mowing on their property.

We constructed the patios using EP Henry Devonstone Tennyson pavers (a manmade replica of PA Bluestone) along with Coventry Wall block of neutral grays and light browns, which blended well with the colors of the natural stone garden paths, steps, boulders and decorative stone. Using various sizes of natural stone boulders, a pond-less waterfall feature was integrated into the raised patio and sitting wall. This brought the soothing sound of water without the maintenance of a typical fish pond. A natural stone garden path with a small seating area was constructed on the lower level of the project. The garden path meanders through the landscape and by the pond-less waterfall. Heavy natural stone steps provided the transition from the garden path to the main patio above. Low voltage lighting was integrated into the patio steps to provide a soft casual light as well as for safety. We chose plant material which would compliment the surrounding plantings as well as bring new textures to the landscape. We also utilized plants which have an extended bloom time throughout the seasons along with numerous flowering perennials.

Each project our company undertakes has its own unique features. Blending the man made pavers and natural stone elements together create a tasteful and inviting landscape. It was a real pleasure to see all the unique aspects of the project unfold, from the initial design consultation to the last installed plant, not to mention surpassing our client's expectations.