When one of Van Zelst, Inc.’s lead landscape architects moved into a 100-year-old home in northern Illinois, the landscape offered him an opportunity to combine his loves of landscape design and gardening. The house had an original landscape plan that the owners decided to honor wherever appropriate, altering it as needed to suit the current site and their lifestyles.
For example, the original plan called for a circle rose garden, but the trees now provide too much shade for roses. Instead, it’s planted with perennials. A path to the long-gone general store, where the original homeowner worked, still provides access to the neighbor’s property through a gap in the hedge. And a pond will be added in the future. New elements, such as steps and a retaining wall were installed, and additional hardscape creates areas for entertaining where the landscape isn’t well suited to plants.
The result is a comfortable balance of formal and informal design elements, so the environment feels special and inviting at the same time.