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Featured Projects

This beautiful property is located on Lake Winnipesaukee and the customers were fantastic!  They had some specific ideas of what they wanted to do with this yard.  They even had a diagram drawn up of features they desired.  We love it when people do this, because it really helps to develop the plan in a streamlined fashion to get them as much as we can.  The constraints, of course, were imposed by the NH DES (Department of Environmental Services) for permitting purposes.  After speaking with the permitting company and the owners, the plan that we did took into consideration all of the limitations and gave them a really beautiful landscape.  

Here’s what the process looked like:

When Tom and the Landscape Designer first met with these folks, the property was raw and the finish grade was not done.  The house was new construction.  The only existing features were an existing perched beach and further down the shoreline there was an existing dock.  There was also an existing retaining wall on the lake-side of the home that was concrete and needed to be veneered.  

We took the owners ‘wish list diagram’ and went to the permitting company to see how much we could implement.  There were some lakeshore setbacks and square foot limitations, so we made sure to take those into consideration.  

A plan began to unfold.

The plan took a few turns and changes, but here’s a “walk-through” on what was accomplished:

The septic system is on the street-side of the house, so we did a planting bed around all of that to disguise and beautify that as much as possible.  We also incorporated some grass in this area as much as possible.  

There is a paver walk that goes from the new driveway, up to the main entrance (new granite stairs here too) and continues around the far side of the house, going down some new granite stairs to the lower patio on the lake side of the home.  

This lower patio abuts the veneered concrete retaining wall and has features of a gas fire pit, a lot of seating area and an overhead pergola. This patio was done in permeable pavers (as are all of the paver areas on this property).  This patio also had a DES limitation of needing to be beyond a certain setback from the shore, so that was done. 

From this lower patio, there is a paver walk that goes to the perched beach.  One of the DES limitations was with this paver walk.  Even though all pavers were done in a permeable application, the walk could only go so far before we were required to transition to a sand walk (lined with fieldstone) to go to the dock area further down the shoreline.  

Then, from that lower patio, there are some granite stairs going around the veneered concrete retaining wall up to an upper deck.  

There are lots of beautiful planting beds and all new sod lawn areas.  Everything was irrigated, of course, pumping from the lake.  There’s nice landscape lighting incorporated too.  

There was even a detail of a separate gravel drive going to a dumpster and vehicle access was also maintained towards the lake as needed for the dock.  

One final touch was requested… a flagpole for Old Glory!  DONE! 

This is our “2020 Featured Project of the Year”.  (see photo #1). This home sits on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. When we first met these folks, the site had a few existing features. The front walk, the retaining wall and the 2 blacktop driveways already existed. The front yard was bare soil with no existing grass. We developed a plan together with the customers input (see plan). 

The following is a recap of the things we accomplished on this project for these amazing customers.

The front entry (see photo #2) had an existing paver walk already in place. We planned the planting areas at the front foundation which included a granite lamp post. At the far end of the walk, there’s a planting bed which needed to encompass a large area around a bunch of utility-type features. We had to plant the bed around 2 septic tank covers, the septic vent and a guy wire from a pole. The front yard had sod installed.  

At the edge of the existing blacktop driveway, the customers requested a border of rock. (see photo #3) We put in a timber edging then fabric and stone. The reason we chose to do a timber edging is to keep the rock well separated from the grass for mowing purposes.  

On the other end of the house there is an existing lower blacktop driveway. There was also an existing boulder type retaining wall. We installed a granite cobble ‘apron’ in the blacktop near the street. Above and below the retaining wall are more planting bed areas. The bed above the wall is another view of that area that goes around the septic features and the guy wire. (see photo #4)

Photo #5 shows another view of the bed surrounding the septic features and the utility poles guy wire. There is a gorgeous Japanese Maple which stands out against the house beautifully. There is also a very colorful mix of shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses.

Photo #6 is a close up view of the Japanese Maple with the surrounding colorful plants.

At the street, there was an old mailbox on a metal post, a very large tree and a very large existing outcropping of ledge. This area now has a bed that goes around all of these things. There was also a new granite mailbox post installed which goes perfectly with the granite lamp post near the front entry walk. We put in a really nice specimen plant here which is called a ‘Little King River Birch’. In the photo you’ll notice an ‘uplight’ into this tree. (see photo #7 and photo #8)

On the lake-side of the home, there was some existing lawn along with some disturbed lawn areas. On this side of the home, we did not install sod but instead opted for seeding any disturbed lawn areas. There was a low area that is prone to being wet near the property line. This area has some existing trees. We pruned up a lot of the existing growth and the new bed includes moisture loving plants such as River Birch, Winterberry Ilex and Clethra. (see photo #9)

Also on the lake-side of the home, there was an old well that we did a small planting bed around (see photo #10). In the distance in this photo, you will see a flag pole. We installed this new flag pole for them and put a planting bed at the base of it.  

Lastly, these folks have a dog and needed a dog run. We worked with a fence company and had a nice fence installed to contain the dog. (see photo #11)  All in all, this was a wonderful project with many features. They got all of the concerns addressed and now have a colorful, practical landscape!!!

This backyard patio has such great appeal!!!  Invite the family and friends on over for a fun evening!

The patio has a great layout which includes an interesting pattern in the pavers, an outdoor kitchen, and a gas firepit as well as a sitting wall, a fence, and some nice plantings.  

Look at the plan to see how it is laid out.  We were presented with an area at the rear of a house which was bordered by a driveway, a generator, a big propane tank, and a shed.  There was also a large piece of granite ledge that was in the middle of the space.  So, looking at the plan, you can see that the patio connects to a set of stairs, the head of the driveway, a place where you walk between 2 buildings, and a place where you walk to access the shed.  With all of the foot traffic patterns, the patio needed to be laid out so that everything functioned nicely without having to ‘walk around’ things like the table or fire pit just to walk to where you’re going.  So, in other words, foot traffic patterns were one of the driving influences on the final layout of the patio.  

This was the basic ‘wish list’:  The homeowner wanted a place for a good-sized table and chair set, an outdoor kitchen, a gas-operated fire pit, and a possible water feature.  In addition to this, we discussed some other things to consider.  A ‘sitting-height’ wall could be used as an entrance feature from the driveway and accommodate extra guests near the fire pit.  The propane tank and generator could be screened from view by using a fence which would also double as a nice backdrop to the planting area.  

We used ‘Techo Bloc’ products on this project.  The patio has a great theme of a ‘carpet’ where the table will go.  The inside rectangle area of this ‘carpet’ is 9’ x 12’ – big enough to put a good sized table and chair arrangement.  The sitting wall and retaining wall are also from Techo Bloc and the cap blocks on these walls match the countertop on the outdoor kitchen.  The fire pit blocks match the walls, and so many of these products were chosen to coordinate beautifully with each other.  For instance, notice how the steps that go through the sitting-wall match the band of pavers around the ‘carpet’ as well as in the firepit and outdoor kitchen.  

We ended up not installing a water feature for this area, but we did put in the necessary buried sleeves that would be needed so that a water feature can be added in the future.  The plants that were put in soften the edges nicely, and an irrigation system was installed.  

Some other considerations were

1)  changing the type of rock that is walked on to access the shed

2)  correcting drainage near the propane tank 

3)  keeping the steps through the sitting wall away from the snow/ice fall from the roof

Not only did we install this patio area, but we addressed some other areas of the property as well.  We made an unsightly drainage ditch more visually appealing.  The planting bed along the street was updated and had some more colorful plants added.  The front lawn was repaired.  

All in all, a wonderful project with a few more projects around the property that we will address in the future.  

Many thanks to these great folks for trusting us to realize their landscaping dreams with them. 

Shorefront properties are a huge part of our business.  We started with a consultation meeting to assess the customer’s needs, wishes, and the all-important details that this property would require.  This project, like all shorefront properties, had to have DES (Department of Environmental Services) permitting.  So, we called in our permitting experts.  According to the rules, we were allowed to install a paver patio under the entire upper deck area, then we were allowed a 150 s.f. patio that would extend outside of the area underneath the deck.  We were also allowed a walkway to the lake, which we connected to some steps that would go to the lake deck/dock as well as to the steps that would go into the water.  There were some stones on the side yard slope that were unsatisfactory for walking on, so we were also able to do a paver walk with granite steps that would go from the upper driveway, down to the lake-side of the home.  Permitting is a big part of the design, because we have to work within the allowed square footages of permeable and impermeable surfaces.  

Just to the outside of the main patio area, there’s a well that is right in middle of everything.  We were able to work with this by constructing a raised bed around it.  You may not notice right away, but the shape of the raised bed reflects the shape of the upper window on the home.  

The landscape plan shows that the entire property is planned.  We did the lake-side of the home and one side-yard this year. The remainder of the planning was done at the same time so that the entire plan could be submitted for a permit, and the remainder of the landscaping can be done in the future without having to go through any permitting process again.  

There was a shoreline rock wall that was falling apart, so we did repair to this wall, and constructed granite steps that went into the water.  

Some of the hardscape products that we used are Granite steps, Techo Bloc ‘Blu 60’paversin a permeable application, Techo Bloc ‘BelAir’ retaining wall blocks, and ‘Anglia’ edgers.  Permeable pavers were required for permitting, and we were excited to use a brand new product called “EZ Joint Fill”.  This product goes in the joints of the pavers and looks like grout but allows water through with ease.  This is a great new product, because the old method has very small stone used inthe joints which had a tendency to ‘migrate’around.  This product is far superior.  

Many finishing touches are included, such as

1.  A granite compass that was incorporated into the paver area

2.  Sod and plantings

3.  A dry well to handle water from the downspouts

4.  An irrigation system

We are grateful to these customers for their business, and look forward to working with them again in the future!

To start with, we got plans of the home to be built because when we first arrived, the home was only a foundation, so we needed the plans to see where windows would be among other considerations. We also needed to obtain DES permitting since the work is being done on a lakeshore. The planning and permitting processes were done over the winter so that we’d be ready to start first thing in the spring of 2017. 

As is typical on many of our projects, we started near the lakeshore and worked our way out of the property. What was not typical on this project is that we needed to work around the home builders, and we were very happy with the cooperation between our companies to share the work space! 

If you look at the computer design plan, you can see that this was an extensive project. At the lakeshore, we put some stone steps to the water with a stepping stone path through the woods to lead up to the stone stairs to the house. On the lake-side of the home, we installed a fieldstone retaining wall which essentially created a raised bluestone patio. There were many levels and foot traffic patterns to consider, so we did several sets of stone stairs and stone paths. 

The bluestone paths go around both sides of the home. There is no lawn to mow on this property. The owners love a very naturalized woodsy setting, so we chose a look to reflect their tastes. Lots of native plants and naturalized beds. 

A patterned bluestone patio used to exist on the driveway side of the home, but due to the new construction, we disassembled it in 2016 and reinstalled it in 2017. A freestanding, 2-sided fieldstone sitting wall separates this patio from the new driveway.

The driveway was done in Belgard pavers and is a wonderful compliment to this property and really welcomes you to the home. Notice the granite compass set into the paver driveway.

The planting beds all have irrigation which is pumped up from the lake, and we had pathway lighting installed in several locations along the path and steps to the lake to help ensure safety.

Overall, this project has tons of beautiful stonework, including fieldstone retaining walls, bluestone stepping stone paths, irregular bluestone patios, a patterned bluestone patio, naturalized planting beds, irrigation, lighting, and a paver driveway.  

This beautiful property is on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. At our initial consultation with these customers, we discussed their desire to have a patio area on the lake-side of their home that maintained a very naturalized look. The grade of the land dictated the best place to put the patio, and we designed the area to incorporate natural stone in all areas:  Patio, retaining walls, and steps. 

DES permitting was required due to the proximity to the lake, so we needed to keep all of the work within a certain distance from the lake, and were not to exceed a certain square footage of impermeable area. The plan addressed all of the permitting requirements, and the patio complied with the lakeshore setbacks and we did not exceed any square foot limits.  

Even though this project is not huge in it’s overall scope, we chose this as the featured project this year to illustrate how a simple wall, steps and patio can make a huge difference in a property. It’s looks and functionality are so much better now!

In the ‘Before’ photos, you can see that the area was pretty rough and unfinished. We located the setback limits, and planned for the new landscaping to fit the area. 

Now, in the ‘After’ photos, you can see the differences! A fieldstone retaining wall was installed to make the patio area level, and also maintain a level area above for a stepping stone path. This fieldstone retaining wall is mortared on the back and inside for strength and stability while the face of the wall looks like a ‘dry-laid’ wall. The top of the wall has visible mortar in the joints to create a ‘cap’ so that water will not get into the wall and break it apart. The patio itself is made of Irregular Bluestone and has tight joints. The joints in the patio have a polymeric joint fill sand that eliminates any weeds from growing in the cracks. There are stone stairs on each end of the patio so that foot traffic has a natural flow.

Simple solutions for a naturalized look and great functionality!

We started off with a plan. The plan was revised several times to have the layout “just right”. It was really convenient to communicate with these customers by sending PDF’s of our plan, have them review it, and so on. After the plan was finalized and approved of according to permitting, we were good to go. But first of all, we’ll describe how we started with the planning process.

Ok, for the wish list:

  • Patio area with good flow for foot traffic. SOLUTION: Patio is designed to the maximum allowed. Foot traffic easily flows from the door ways and to the walk as well as to the hot tub, the lawn to the front and the garage doors at the far end. In other words, traffic had to flow in many directions, but ample area is maintained for entertaining. The patio surface itself is Belgard ‘Arbel’ pavers which resemble the look of natural bluestone.
  • Fire pit, Stone sitting walls, Stone pillars. SOLUTION: All of these features are to be constructed out of “Penn-Thin” fieldstone which is finished on both sides and mortared on the inside with a dry-laid finished appearance. Then, in addition, all of these features (fire pit, walls, and pillars) are to be capped in natural bluestone. The bluestone was custom cut and maintained an overhang. The walls and pillars delineated the outer edge of the patio and designated clear foot traffic flow. The fire pit is located so that chairs will face the lake, and overflow seating will be on the sitting wall.
  • Hot tub to be moved into its new location. SOLUTION: This required moving the hot tub out of the way, then pouring a new concrete pad for it, and then placing the hot tub in its new position and hooking it up. The hot tub has its own “room”. It is outside of the walls that surround the fire pit area.
  • Night Lighting was requested. SOLUTION: At first, we were thinking of doing lights on top of each pillar. The electrician made a great suggestion of doing a ribbon type light under the caps of the walls and pillars. That worked out great! We also did some ‘onion’ style lights which are similar looking to other lights on the property.

Of course, there were other considerations as well. Here’s a breakdown of them:

There are some utilities in the corner which we decided to disguise from view by having a fence installed here – complete with a gate. The style of fence chosen matched other styles on the property.

  • Irrigation had to be modified to fit the new layout.
  • The lighting and irrigation required that we lay a bury a lot of conduit under the patio.
  • New sod was laid down due to the old sod being damaged during construction.

The permitting required that we create a “Rain Garden”. For those of you who are wondering what a ‘rain garden’ is… It is a garden that is made in a ‘bowl and berm’ type shape designed to catch surface rain water runoff. Typically, these have water-loving plants in them. These gardens are required as part of a way to protect the lake from runoff water.

We also installed some plantings around the new hardscaping. We didn’t do a whole lot of plantings. Just enough to soften the edges. We also used the same type of red broken flagstone in the beds that they already were using in all other parts of the property in order to maintain a consistent look to all of their landscaping.

agpole for Old Glory!  DONE! 

We got a call in the fall of 2013 from these folks who were looking to have their Lake Winnipesaukee shorefront property re-landscaped. There was an old walkway going from the driveway, along the home, extending to the shorefront area.

There wasn’t much useable space for entertaining, and the area lacked ‘appeal’. The first thing we did was to call in our DES expert for the permitting process so that we could determine what we were able to do. The permit required that we only be able to have a certain amount of PERMEABLE pavers within a specified distance from the shoreline.

There were a couple of changes that were done as the project progressed. The retaining wall next to the shoreline deck had a concrete footing installed. The ledge outcropping ended up being larger than expected, and we had to adjust the patio around it and used cobble edgers to do this. Also, the steps that went up from the patio to the walkway were originally planned to have landings in between the steps, but since there was ledge here as well, the steps went up all at once instead of with landings. Look at how nice that ledge looks next to those steps!


“We recently hired Landscapes by Tom to build a stone patio, granite steps, stone walls, and stone walkway. After this experience we would highly recommend Tom and his crew. Both Tom and Martha listened to our needs and came up with a plan that was all we wanted and more. Martha’s plan transformed our uneven, disjointed waterfront space into a beautiful place to entertain. The plan worked well with existing features of the property and flowed perfectly.

Brent and crew got a big project done quickly, and the stone walls are a work of art.

Overall, the results exceeded our expectations.”

Mark and Linda Storm

The folks who own this property have just purchased it. They wanted to do the entire project and there were a number of areas around the yard that needed attention. When we first met with them, they showed us around and we discussed all the different areas. We agreed on a plan fee in order to do a comprehensive Computer Plan and two Computer Images. At that point, a site evaluation was done, and site measurements were taken. Then it was the design phase of the project. A detailed Computer plan was done and 2 photo realistic images were done. Along with these, we produced a comprehensive materials list and Proposal that were both broken down into many sections. This way, the project was easy for the customers to review and was easy to see where the money was going and how they might divide the project out over a couple of years if they desired. After we presented the plan and proposal to these customers, they decided to go ahead and just ‘do it’! They accepted the entire project!

One issue that came up right away was that the well needed to have some work done in order to increase the output of gallons per minute. The irrigation system along with household use needed to have more water output, so we had the well company come and ‘stratofracture’ the well.

The first part of the project to be undertaken was the front paver walkway. We created a beautiful curving walk which starts at the driveway, and gently curves to two front entrances. Then, we started with the planting bed areas while the patio under the rear upper deck got underway. We also did some planting beds in areas along the drive, in the well area, along a side yard slope, and other places.

There are two granite lamp posts in this plan, and we also installed a granite post for the mailbox. The granite lamp posts required that we dig a trench for the wiring to be buried. We also made a neat bench near one of the front entrances out of old antique reclaimed granite. There were a few substitutions of plant materials that were made and we added on a few plants too, but mostly, everything went as planned.

After the landscaping around the foundation neared completion, we got underway on the patio which is located in a lower wooded area. This is really the ‘signature’ piece of this entire project! There is a slope at the outer edge of the back yard lawn area that descends into a pretty wooded area that has the most SPECTACULAR VIEW ever of Lake Winnipesaukee! This is a tight area, so we first excavated the area in preparation and then we started work at the bottom and worked our way up and out of the area so as not to disturb the natural growth around this patio area. First we did the lower planting bed area, then, the circle paver patio went in.

Then there’s a paver walk extension from the circle patio to the granite steps which go up the slope. The granite steps go in a gentle curve up the slope and have ‘blue hard pack’ as the landing surface between the steps. There is garden area surrounding the patio and steps. This is such an inviting little spot to hang out and enjoy the view!

Now, after all this has been done, the lawn is next. The entire lawn area is to be cleared of weeds, and loam is to be spread. After the loam is spread, the lilac in the front yard will be planted, the irrigation system will then be installed and the planting bed areas will have the bed edges cut in and we will finalize the mulch in the beds. Then, finally, the lawn will be hydroseeded. Contact Us Now 

TA DA !!! We have thoroughly enjoyed doing the landscaping for these completely delightful clients. Thank You!