By Shayna Mace | Photography by Westhauser Photography
James Drzewiecki of Gingko Leaf Studio names all of his landscape projects something memorable. Take his stunning “Chateau de Fleurs” design for homeowner Heather and Brian Paulin’s Lac La Belle home. Meaning house of flowers, Drzewiecki’s landscape design company worked closely with the Paulins to revamp their formerly ordinary yard into a masterpiece full of lush gardens that complement the Monastery Hills home beautifully.
“We were never crazy about the yard before that, so we decided to have [James] design something for the whole yard,” explains Heather. The result is gardens the homeowners love, plantings the neighbors compliment the family on and passersby stop to look at.
The impetus for the Paulin’s yard makeover was out of necessity—a retaining wall had collapsed, so it was time to take stock of the landscaping situation. Heather did some research on Houzz and Pinterest and pulled together color schemes, plants and styles that she liked. After the couple met with and hired Drzewiecki, she shared with him her vision. “I wanted an English garden style where the beds are very full with not much space between the plants. James then took all of my ideas and made them work in our yard, and added some of his own,” says Heather.
Drzewiecki got to work building out a plan for the project. The first phase included working on the front of the home, putting in a new driveway and adding a new patio with outdoor kitchen in the backyard.
“The planting bed along the driveway is a couple hundred feet long and it’s the first thing you see when you drive up. The plantings weren’t looking good. The [Paulins] wanted the front of the house to have more curb appeal,” explains Drzewiecki. “Heather definitely had a look she liked, which is a little country, a little prairie and a mixture of different colors. She already had daylilies and purple coneflowers. So we built the plant palette around that.”
Since the Paulin’s home has half of the old Redemptorist Fathers Seminary entrance in the front of the home, Drzewiecki had to incorporate it in his design. “It’s a really interesting old curved stone wall with pillars on each end. We’ve always loved having it on our property. We already had a planting bed around it, so we just updated the plants in it.”
Heather says Stone Oak Landscaping did an excellent job adding another pillar on the opposite side of the driveway and matching the capstone so it looked like it had always been there.
Throughout the yard Drzewiecki employed a strategic assortment of plantings to maintain color year-round. “We did a mixture of perennials, grasses and shrubs because our goal with all of our projects is create multi-season interest, bloom and continuous color, which means something is always in bloom starting in May, and then that should take us right through fall with ornamental grasses. And if we pick ornamental shrubs and trees, maybe with bark or fruit, we’ve made a landscape that covers 12 months visually.”
Now that the front of the home is done, Drzewiecki will finish work on the back of the home this summer, which includes new plantings around the patio. He’s very satisfied with the results at the Paulin’s home thus far.
“I think overall [what we’ve done] fit with the house’s architecture. We go out of our way to make sure the landscaping fits the home and it’s not a completely different style. Most people don’t realize what we’ve done and they assume our work was done when the house was built, because it’s so seamless what we do.”
Heather agrees. “I’m very happy with all of it. It’s really beautiful and much more functional than it was before. We always get lots of compliments on it.”
This home was featured in the Lake Country: Summer 2016 issue.
For more photos of our featured gardens, visit the Gardens Gallery page.
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400 Broad Street, Unit D
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
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