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Project Highlight: Making a Landscaping Design Gone Sour, Sweet

Landscaping Design | Sideyard Plants

Like most things in life, landscaping projects rarely go 100 percent according to plan. Here at Eagleson Landscape, we anticipate changes, work through challenges, and still make the yard gorgeous despite setbacks or unforeseen snafus. We recently completed a hardscape and landscaping project that underwent drastic changes midway through. Our client’s landscaping design was created along with the plans for their newly constructed home in the Chatham Hills neighborhood in Westfield, IN. However, unforeseen issues led to major revisions of the project along the way.

We had worked for these clients before on their previous home. When they bought a new property in Chatham hills, they brought us in to consult during the initial design phase of their home. Planning for landscaping at the beginning of a project helps ensure the outside and inside of your home correspond and flow seamlessly together. We drew an initial plan for our clients’ front and back yards. However, a problem arose primarily in the backyard that kept us from sticking to our schemes. On one side of the house, the developer built a small retention pond for storm water drainage as was planned; however, the retention berm (that’s landscaping talk for a hill of dirt that holds water in place) extended onto their property much more than originally intended, about 30 feet.

Landscaping Plan | Pond

Consequently, the backyard is not level with the walkout basement. Needless to say this development forced many changes to the initial backyard design plan.

Eagleson Landscape owner Bill Eagleson considers landscape plans as fluid; you should modify them when appropriate rather than stick to it no matter what. Oftentimes plans can be massaged this or that way, and that is what happened when the actual landscape of the house turned out to be entirely different than the site plan. The flavor of the backyard stayed the same, but the layout changed completely. We used the rise in elevation to give their spa and patio area more privacy than would have been possible with a level grade.

Landscaping Plan | screening and boulders

Landscaping Plan | Patio

Because of the pond misplacement, the developer allowed us to raid their giant granite boulder pile. This gave us the opportunity for creative retaining arrangements around their planting beds.

Landscaping Plan | Backyard Side

Landscaping Plan | Front Yard

Project Highlight | Landscaping Plan

We also had to heavily modify plant placement; we were able to use all of the plants we had chosen, just in new spots.

Landscaping Plan | Plants

What was initially a major setback became the perfect opportunity to turn an orchard of lemons into lemonade. We had a good working relationship with these clients, and they gave us great latitude for creativity with the granite boulders, and scattering a handful of unusual plants throughout their landscape. It’s always nice when you’ve reached the stage in life where your clients say “just do whatever, and tell us when it’s done”. Questions about this project? Send us an email or give us a call at (317) 997-4803.

Eagleson Landscape Company provides landscape and hardscape services in the Greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Fishers and Geist.


  1. Chris Irwin says:

    Love our yard Bill! Thanks to you and your team, for being so accomodating, creative, patient and flexible!

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