The Zacheretti home was a new construction with only basic landscaping that seemed incomplete given the scale of the house and the beauty it had to offer. The home is located in a deep hardwood forest on an uphill slope that sits atop a lake. Our vision was primarily to use additions and enhancements to maximize the property and it’s surroundings.
Due to its location above the lake, the property was full of sloped areas with variable terrain including some steep grades. This required a well considered grading plan incorporating natural fieldstone boulder walls, weathered boulders, and flagstone steps in certain areas for better access to the backyard as well as new natural stone steps for the fire pit area. Unfortunately, given the home’s wooded setting, a few mature trees were compromised because of the root damage and compaction from the original construction. We had to remove these trees and stumps before beginning the new final grade work for the property. We also worked the lighting and irrigation system around the new landscape plan.
The Design Solution:
After meeting with the Zacheretti’s, it was clear that our design objectives were to focus on creating entertainment areas, adding privacy from a neighboring residence, and improving access to the lake via the back yard. Literally employing the old adage – “let form follow function”, we designed the access areas first to set the hardscape footprint and then created our landscape design. The front yard was also in dire need of some creative influence. Given the back drop of the lake behind the house, we felt compelled to offer a multi-level, fast flowing water feature and Koi Pond in the front yard that was visible from the main entrance and dining room. The sloped nature of the property lended itself to the meandering stream and waterfalls already, so it was a perfect match for that space. This was a magnificent addition to the overall design given the relationship to the lake upon which the house was sited. The water feature design will in time manifest into a self sustaining eco – system once the plant and aquatic life begin to prosper. Other design objectives focused on forest restoration, boulder walls and staircases, a flagstone patio with a masonry stone firepit, all connected by newly formed lawn contour wit large flagstone slabs embedded into the turf to serve as a path to maximize the usable yard space.
The Installation Approach:
The Zacheretti project was initiated with a well detailed project plan. Since tear out of dead trees and old plant material was necessary to get started, we concluded that phase first. We then began the final grade work and excavation for the stone patio. Once all of the hardscape stone elements were complete, it was time to focus on the water feature. Mike Martin presented a tactical way to have the large water feature area excavated and lined all in one day, but that was the easy part. We then began the careful construction of the stone faces on the Kerfs and stacked the stone inside of the pond. Next up was to run the auto-fill valve coming off the main water-line to the house to keep the appropriate water level in the water feature. With another heavy lifting component under our belts it was time to focus on the planting details. First up were the large trees. We then installed all of the smaller shrubs and perennials flowers of which many were evergreen for winter accent. With all of the landscaping elements in place, we then modified the irrigation and lighting, including a significant addition of area lights positioned along the stone staircases and paths.
The Zacheretti estate is now a landscape showplace with an abundance of natural elements centered around the notion of entertainment and spending time with family.