The Wong Residence: Bespoke Hardscaping in Natural Hideaway
Completed in the spring of 2019, this tranquil design incorporates bespoke hardscaping, responsible horticulture, and creative lighting solutions. Located in Ann Arbor, the Wong family was looking to freshen up their outdoor space with a new entry, crafted in a way that reflected the unique style of their home.
It was clear from the very beginning that this project would require more than a simple cut and paste approach. Upon our arrival, we found an incredible plot bursting with potential, and already occupied by several large trees. One of the most striking was a mature Norway Spruce, located between their two entry doors. The sprawling root system would present a number of challenges, not the least of which would be avoiding too much damage to the tree itself as we constructed the client’s new hardscape.
We decided early on that the walkway pavers and the steps would have to be custom-made, as we were unable to source products large enough to fit the design. These were made off-site from hand-poured concrete, then fitted by our Lotus crews to create the illusion of the steps floating in the landscape. The accompanying wall was constructed with U-Cara from Unilock, and designed to retain the grade and add stability to the steps and walkway.
This section of the build took a couple of months to complete, slowed down by the heavy clay soil on-site and the winter weather. We had to take great care not to damage the Norway Spruce’s roots during construction, although we did have to cut several roots during construction. With the assistance of our partners at Greenstreet Tree Care, we were able to keep the tree intact, and it continues to flourish two years later!
Once the hardscaping was in place, we planted a mixture of vibrant allium, beautiful anemones, and delicate blue plumbagos, to lift and enliven the space. At the request of the client, we mounted outdoor lighting in the surrounding trees, so that the area could be lit from above without cumbersome fixtures. At night, this casts a magical glow over the space, which looks fantastic in person and in photographs.
As designers, we are constantly looking at ways to add longevity to our gardenscapes. Your life changes constantly, and we believe that your outdoor space should be flexible enough to accommodate every twist and turn. In the next couple of months, we will return to the Wong residence to install a privacy screen, designed to provide beauty and enhance the atmosphere of their property.
Design: Nicole Lloyd
Install: Lotus Gardenscapes Team