Residential Projects

Residential Landscape Design References


For this backyard renovation project, we incorporated light and sound, fire and water, a food prep / grill area, a dining patio, spaces for talking and dancing, and a pergola with sound system, lighting and warmth from above. Our firm provided design and project management services over 4 years and 3 phases of work. The construction was accomplished by 11 different firms plus subcontractors.


For this home expansion project, Designscapes, Inc. provided site design services for the entire yard, including waterfalls, koi pond, vanishing-edge spa, patios, plantings, outdoor kitchen and fireplace plus new driveways.

Bay City

This backyard retreat started out as an ordinary backyard of an historic home. The homeowner wanted to create a series of garden spaces. The finished project includes a swimming pool and spa, a sauna, a secret garden with a pond and waterfall, and natural stone patios. An arbor-covered path with perennial borders connects the different features together.


A narrow back yard was transformed into a beautiful residential retreat incorporating three waterfalls, a koi pond, retaining walls, plantings, and several patio areas.


This project began with a hillside that drained toward the house, creating moisture problems in the basement. By creating a winding stream flowing through wooded property to a pond, the flow of runoff water was intercepted. The result is a beautiful view, pleasant sound, and a dry basement. A natural stone patio takes you right to the edge of the pond where you can watch the fish swimming about.

Pine Island - Birch Run

We provided the layout for an 850’ long road that winds its way through seven building sites on 34 acres. We also created the grading plan for 3 interconnected ponds totaling 3 ¼ acres, utilizing the excavated soils for site contouring. Culverts link the water bodies and provide “bridge” entries to the 2 rear waterfront lots. We coordinated site utilities, road engineering, and county approvals. Project management oversaw pond and site grading, tree moving, and installation of natural stone retaining walls and bridges.


Imagine walking onto your backyard deck as the rolling terrain unfolds before you. At the bottom of the hill to your right is the horse stable, and straight ahead are the rolling pastures. Now add a swimming pool with a beach entry and a vanishing edge. A stream flows along the hill above and cascades into the pool. There is a built-in grill with a granite counter. Best of all, all the pool equipment is hidden in a sunken equipment room -- quiet and hidden from view.


We started out with an inaccessible wooded building site surrounded by wetland areas. After creating an access drive winding its way through the woods, we were able to help the owners decide on a location for the house. Then the real fun began. We created a grading plan that allowed for a walk-out lower level on the house. Digging a pond generated the soil needed to build up the drive and area around the house. To this pond we added a stream and waterfall. The kids love to wade and play in the stream, and they enjoy fishing in the pond. A series of rustic bridges allow access to the island in the center.

Rogers City

This project began as a house on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. We used an artesian well to create a stream and a series of three interconnected trout ponds that welcome visitors. A stone bridge allows the water to flow under the entry drive. Patios, decks, and a sunken spa round out this project.