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Big Splash

Near and Far, Finer Lawn & Landscaping Is Transforming Old-School into Simply Stunning

Article by Stephanie Meinberg

Photography by Matthew J Capps

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

Picture the backyard … it’s wooded and wild, more suitable for hidden hobbit holes than an active family of five. A steep, sloping, tree-packed hillside, rife with shady nooks and rough crannies and not much else when it comes to usable outdoor space. After nine years of “making do” with their expansive but impractical yard, Heather and Jason Kammer finally took the plunge—and changed the entire thing. 

“In my opinion, there was no other choice than to put in a pool,” Heather laughs, remembering those early decision days last year. “We saw the potential. We wanted it to be a kind of gathering place—for our daughters to have friends over, for bringing family together.” With two teens and a grade-schooler, it felt like the right time. Pool, check—now what? There was so much more to consider, contract and plan. Even though the Kammers lived across town in Delhi Township, one company came recommended—enter Finer Lawn & Landscaping. Because yes, they travel.

“We basically started at ground zero,” recalls Donnie Powell, owner of Finer Lawn. “We had to go in and dig out everything that was there, on the slope and hillside—it’s not a perfectly flat backyard. There were elevation changes and drainage, we had to take all that into consideration. It needed to be a blank slate, creating that space from scratch.” 

Donnie sent his designer to draw out a plan hand-in-hand with the Kammers. “We sketched out everything—pool, retaining wall, fence, landscaping—to have a really good visual of what the space would look like.” 

Then the real work began. Once the pool was installed, Donnie’s team added paver decking around the pool. “We liked the idea of stamped concrete, but we’d heard that could be slippery,” Heather says. “Donnie offered the idea of laying down concrete and then putting pavers over it for sustainability—plus it’s super low-maintenance. It’s one of the first things people compliment—the pavers take everything up a notch.” 

Then came the retaining wall, then landscaping, then black aluminum fencing. Everything was graded, topsoiled and sodded, which completed the project without having to wait to grow grass. The finishing touch—a pavilion over the pool. “It’s a great extra gathering space that’s covered, for all-weather purposes,” Heather notes. Or Donnie’s idea for phase two: a place for an outdoor kitchen or TV. “Donnie’s team shows up when they say they do. He’s given us advice and really helped us though this project. They’re trustworthy, reliable, and I appreciate that.”

“I love the completion of the project,” Donnie says. “This point where you see all the hard work, all the planning, the prep, the days, weeks, everything you’ve worked toward. It’s not until you’re done that you can look back and see it, and I’m like, ‘wow, this turned out awesome.’”

“My favorite part—there’s a wider space of pool decking for lounge chairs where everyone can lay out, soak up the rays,” Heather smiles. “The overall transformation … it’s kind of hard to believe that it looks like what it does today.” Talk about making a splash. 

Meanwhile, Back in Loveland
You didn’t think the story ends on the West Side, did you? Donnie and his crew are Loveland-based (Donnie himself, born and raised), so of course there’s more to ooh and ahh over, right in historic downtown. 

“We’re contracted with the City of Loveland and have been working with them on and off for many years,” Donnie shares. “We’re helping transform Nisbet Park to meet the needs and wants of the community.” And it starts with something concrete—Donnie and his team added a number of concrete walkways next to the brand-new gazebo. “People can now navigate through the park, with a stroller, just walking—the new sidewalks allow you to go all the way around.” Pavers, too, were added, along with brand-new sitting areas. 

They’ve also added their signature touch to the local landscaping—along the bike trail, around the gazebo, in front of City Hall. “We’ve been busy down in Loveland,” Donnie smiles. “Just this past year, we’ve put in more than 500 new plants.”

“When I work in Loveland, I feel like I’m working at my own place, my home. What I like most about it, though, is that I’m making something nicer or more enjoyable, creating spaces for my community to enjoy—that’s what satisfies me.” And there’s still more—more walkways, more sitting areas. “Projects throughout town I can’t give away just yet, but cool things are coming that we’re all looking forward to.” You’re right, Donnie. We can’t wait. | 513.260.6466