The following galleries are a small representation of our past works. We hope that you can use what you see here to get ideas for your own landscaping projects, whether they be large or small.
Click on the thumbnail images below to view the full-sized image with a description. After the slide show is open, you can navigate to the next picture by clicking at the side of the image.
We worked with the natural woodland setting of this home by adding a tiered field-stone wall to edge the driveway and wrap in front of the house. At the base of the wall are planted Pagoda Dogwoods with assorted hostas, daylilies and ferns. At the top of the wall is a mix of globe and trailing junipers.
This is a nice example of fall coloring with an upright weeping evergreen between the two front windows and a small yet beautiful Japanese Maple over by the front door. Planted throughout the flower bed are various junipers, orangish-red barberries, and yellow and red chrysanthemums.
A water feature is an excellent way to enhance any area of your yard, whether it's building one from scratch, or adding a small stream with waterfalls to spill into an existing pool. We can install any size from a small fountain in a raised planter-box to a large commercial pond.
And what good is a new stream and koi pond if you don't also build yourself a new patio to sit on and enjoy them? Planted in some of the larger spaces between the flagstone pavers are stepping tyme and in the foreground, between the daylilies, you can see that strawberries have been used as an effective groundcover.
An excellent way to increase your "outdoor living space" is to add hardscape elements. This patio was created using the Brussels Block line of paving stones from Unilock manufacturers. You can find a link to their web site on our Resource Links page.
As access off the patio (from the previous image) into the lower yard, we added a combination of cut stone steppers and flagstone pavers. The combination of the two helps to blend the geometric shapes of the upper patio with the organic flow of the field stone retaining wall.
This is an excellent way to increase "outdoor living space" in a woodland setting. Since grass was having a difficult time growing in such a shady area the whole space was cleared and then covered with a wood mulch. In the foreground are ornamental grasses and in the background are assorted hostas and ferns. (Sorry, you'll have to supply your own hammock :1)
After this commercial building in Holt, MI was renovated, we designed new beds of stone interlaced with geometric designs filled with wood mulch. Planted throughout are lilacs, hydrangea, Lollipop Crabapples, ornamental grasses, asters, and a variety of other colorful perennials.
This photo shows us installing one of two large brick parking lot areas for the MSU Federal Credit Union that was opened in Mason MI. It was towards the end of the project and you can see that we had already finished installing the lawns, trees, and planting beds.
When Agro-Liquid Fertilizers built their new world headquarters in St.Johns MI, we not only installed the landscaping outside, we also did plantings in custom made planting-troughs built into the floors inside. You can see our Resource Links page for more information on the Agro-Liquid Fertilizers company.
When a Michigan Fitness in Lansing's Old Town renovated this building space we were hired to rejuvenate the landscape. To keep mulch from washing down the steep banks between the parking lot and sidewalks, we replaced them with stone-mulch beds. We then updated the plantings with spirea, rug junipers, and assorted perennials.
The same elements that apply to a home landscape can also apply to a commercial project like this entry boulevard to a subdivision. Here we've used three flowering pears for our height and surrounded them with ornamental grasses, variegated red-twig dogwoods, barberries, irises, and low-growing junipers.
The Making of a Pond
These pictures show a couple of the steps involved when we built a large pond for a commercial project - a wedding chapel at a golf course. In this one you can see us lining the bottom of the hole with sand to help protect the liner when we put it in.
Here we've added the liner and a few of the rocks to help weigh it down. Adding the water at an early stage is important to help the liner stretch a little and settle into place. Plus at this stage you can see if you have any leaks and if all your seems are holding.
The liner is covered with stones at this point and the pond is beginning to fill up. Now is the point when the pumps are added.
In addition to the pond we built a large hill where two separate waterfalls tumble off at different angles before flowing into the pond.
The chapel building turned out beautifully. The sidewalk was worked in so that it crosses both of our streams, near where they tumble out into the pond. Not only is it a beautiful spot for wedding photos, it's also a great place to stand and feed the fish!
This is a shot of the back side of the hill that the waterfalls flow down. With it also being visible from the road and the entry drive to the chapel we had to make sure that it looked good as well.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Holt MI
In 2008 Instant Shade had the honor of volunteering their services in helping out a local family in need. That's when ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Holt Mi. We worked closely with Michigan State University's landscape design team to help install a landscape fit for a king (or queen).
After the event, the MSU team supplied us with a short slide show presentation that they made of a behind-the-scenes look at everyone's part in the project. We've gone ahead and uploaded it to YouTube and then embedded it below for your convenience.
Also, if you are interested, on our Resource Links page, we've included a link to an article that MSU Today wrote on the project.