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Replant, Renovate and Restore

A huge landscaping job left no stone unturned.

Presented with a wish list a mile long, fueled by a desire to reuse every living thing on the property while adding a substantial deck and hobby workspace and bringing a cracked driveway back to life, Brennan and Michaela Nicholson charged forth with a plan. The company they built, Scenic South Landscape and Design, had been hired to consult on and complete an extensive residential project. The homeowner wanted a yard with easy maintenance including zero to minimal trimming needs and a WiFi-controlled irrigation system using recycled water. The yard should use native plantings, natural and authentic, eschewing anything overly manicured. Adding parking or a turn-around space and repairing a badly cracked driveway without completely replacing it was also top of the list, along with adding curb appeal overall. 

“The biggest goal: use as many existing plantings as possible, to utilize the budget in other areas,” says Michaela. “Also, we needed to create more space for entertaining and a workspace for their hobby golf cart repair projects; correct the erosion and save a mature redbud tree washing away on the path to the lake; address window and deck rot in several places on the house; build a large deck with a flagstone surface and cable railing; and replace living room windows with French doors onto a new deck.” 

The Scenic South began by removing all plantings along the driveway, transplanting more than 50 fully matured azalea bushes, three Japanese maple trees, and several other large young trees, and moving 100 plants and trees across the property. Every plant dug up had to either be planted right away or needed a temporary holding spot with water and protection from the elements. Irrigation systems were updated, adding a pump from the lake using recycled water rather than city water. “We built a carport to match the house with tongue and groove ceiling, electrical outlets, and lights, making a once unusable area a functioning parking space,” says Micaela. They also lovingly relocated a koi pond and expanded the level of entertaining space. 

They constructed a 600-square-foot deck with flagstone as the surface, with room below for parking and a covered outdoor space. “It took a great deal of careful planning and engineering to build a suspended deck strong enough to hold the weight of flagstone. We replaced an existing deck with Trex deck boards and handrails. We also built an 8-foot diameter boulder fire pit embedded in another 600 square-foot flagstone patio,” says Brenan. Their team used more than 40 tons of boulders in the landscape design while attending to drainage, dry creek beds, and grading.

Michaela and Brennan started their partnership with a landscape maintenance company and built on their creativity and strengths with problem-solving to launch Scenic South. “When you hire us, you get an integrated team of qualified individuals who all work together on each project from start to finish," says Michaela. “We handle everything from small additions to plants and trees to plumbing and electrical. Even if we don't have someone on our team, we can align you with the best-fit person.” Because teamwork is dreamwork.