Have you ever looked out your window and been less than impressed with the view? Thought the yard needed a little work – or a lot of work – and weren’t looking forward to the task?
If you’ve ever lamented your sagging fence, cracked sidewalk or haphazard flowerbeds (among myriad other outdoor ailments) then you know how it feels to long for something more. Even if you’re not yet “dreaming big” you still want the outside of your home to be attractive and to be a space that you can enjoy rather than one that only reminds you of unfinished chores and long to-do lists.
Here at GROUNDS KEEPER we want to help you create that perfect outdoor living space. One you can enjoy and spend time in just as much as you do your living room. A space that truly reflects your style, even if you’re not completely sure what that is yet!
This is the story of how your back yard can be far more than merely “attractive”, perhaps even more than you dreamed of, and something you love. This is Paige’s story, and we were delighted to hear her say that the transformation “Makes my day, every day.”
We spoke with her recently about her backyard aspirations and whether or not she had finally reached them.
“It’s Been Something We Wanted To Do.”
If you’ve lived in your home for a while or moved into an older home, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking, “We really need to paint that… boy could we use some fresh flowers by the walkway… that old deck has to go!” Or any manner of home-improvement thoughts.
That’s exactly where Paige found herself as she scanned her family’s back yard. It needed work, and she was ready for a change.
We’ve lived in the house for a long time and it’s been something we wanted to do. The deck was on the house when we bought it over 20 years ago and repainting it wasn’t going to work, so we explored the possibility of doing a project we’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
Sounds like a dream ready for a plan! What could possibly go wrong…?
We started working with another landscape architect and he drew plans for us. They were very beautiful but way over our budget and they weren’t flexible enough to accommodate the budget we had in mind.”
The dream started to sound a bit frustrating. Especially with such a big project, it can be overwhelming to find, vet, hire, trust and let go of the reigns to someone else. So does this story have a happy ending? Or did Paige pull the curtains and opt to repaint the old deck after all?
“When Someone Is A Pro I Trust Them.”
After a disappointing experience with an inflexible budget, Paige knew she needed a Plan B. So she sought the advice of several additional landscaping companies and GROUNDS KEEPER was one of them.
We went to Jay with our plan and told him it needed to be implemented with cost in mind. The original architect wanted to rip everything out and start over but Jay took the time to understand what we wanted. He told us, ‘You have lovely things, let’s work with what you have.’ I appreciated that very much.”
But what tipped the scale? All of the landscape architects were professionals, trustworthy, and knew their craft. Why select GROUNDS KEEPER over the others?
When we interviewed Jay we felt like he really heard us. He understood us.”
Hearing that made our day. Yes, being a “pro” matters. But people matter more.
“We Ended Up Doing More Than I Expected.”
With drawings from another architect priced well over budget, you might be skeptical about the outcome of Paige’s project. You might wonder if she realized her outdoor dreams or if we ended up hemmed in by limitations.
Take a guess…
We ended up doing more than I expected,” Paige told us, pleased. “Jay implemented our plans but he also changed them and made them better. He completely redid the entire backyard, removed the deck and put in a new one, added brickwork and added a water feature and a fire feature.”
The end result?
The space is more suited to who we are. We don’t live in a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood so it’s much more “us.” Instead of structured and formal it’s soothing and relaxing, very naturalistic. Jay made our yard a natural extension of the woods behind us. The rocks and stones he added along the driveway look like they’re holding in the land.”
So a happy ending means everything went smoothly… right?
“I Fought The Water Feature.”
One of the things we love to do is work with our clients to expand their vision of what their space can be. And sometimes even when our clients aren’t completely sure what they want, they’re pretty certain about things they don’t want. Ponds, fish, fountains, certain plantings or décor…
Paige was certain that she did not want a water feature. But if you know Jay, you’re familiar with his ability to encourage the imagination of clients and get them dreaming of the unexpected.
I fought the water feature part of it,” Paige confessed. “It felt frivolous and unnecessary. But now it makes my day every day. I open the door in the morning just so I can hear it. I go downstairs in the morning and get my coffee and just listen.”
At last, the happy ending everyone wanted! And the yard? How did the result hold up against Paige’s vision?
When I used to go outside I used to think, ‘Oh God, this is overgrown, and this is falling apart.’ But now when you’re out there you think, ‘Wow, this is a great place.’ The continuity and flow is wonderful. It has little sights of color that pop up and no matter where you sit, whether you’re facing left right or back, you get a different view. Morning and evening it’s become another place to have a meal and hang out.”
Few things are as rewarding as hearing the story of a client who is thoroughly enjoying her outdoor space. But Paige left us with this little tidbit, the cherry on the sundae:
You don’t normally go through these things and still be happy to refer the person you worked with. After a big project like this you just want them to get out of the house. But we’re happy to refer Jay and GROUNDS KEEPER to anyone. My husband and I are both thrilled.”
And we’re thrilled to have been part of the journey!
Did Paige’s story inspire you? Would you like to know how you can take your space from “falling apart” to a place you can enjoy day and night, all year long? Let’s talk!