Wagner Hodgson
Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers
North Cove contemporary-landscape

North Cove

North Cove Residence
Shelburne, Vermont

We worked very closely with the architect to create a multi-generational home for grandparents, their daughter and 2 grandchildren providing both common and private outdoor space for both families. The 12.3 acre site sits facing north on the shore of Lake Champlain and has over 40 feet of grade change from the point of entry down to the lakeshore and contains many beautiful mature trees of hickory, maple, ash and butternut. The site offered opportunities to nestle the two houses into the slope, creating the ability for the architecture to step, providing a logical division of space for the two families to share. The landscape creates private areas for each family while also becoming the common fabric that knits the 2 households together. The natural terrain, sloping east to west, and the views to Lake Champlain became the basis for arranging volumes on the site. Working together the landscape architect and architect chose to locate the houses and outdoor spaces along an arc, emulating the shape of the adjacent bay. The eastern / uphill portion of the site contains a common entry point, pergola, auto court, garage and a one story residence for the grandparents. Given the northern climate this southwest facing alcove provided an ideal setting for pool, utilizing the west house and retaining wall to shield the lake breezes and extending the swimming season well into the fall.
Approximately one quarter of the site is classified as wetland and an even larger portion of the site is subject to seasonal flooding. The site program included a swimming pool, large outdoor terrace for entertaining, year-round access to the lakefront and an auto court large enough for guest parking and to serve as a place for grandchildren to ride bikes. In order to provide year-round access to the lake and not disrupt the natural movement of water, an elevated boardwalk was constructed of galvanized steel and cedar. The boardwalk extends the geometry of the lakeside terrace walls out to the lake, creating a sculptural division between natural wetland and lawn area.

Architect: Truex Cullins & Partners Architects

Image Credit: Westphalen Photography

This photo has 5 questions

October 19, 2013
design219 wrote:
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i would appreciate very much if you could give me a closer look at the way you did your wood board walk cuts.
    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Wagner Hodgson
They stayed horizontal the entire length.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by design219    August 27, 2014 at 6:29PM
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April 8, 2013
niccole721 wrote:
What kind of trees are these?
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Wagner Hodgson
They were existing trees consisting of Oak, Red Maple and Shagbark Hickory...
    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:47AM
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August 17, 2012
gbergh1 wrote:
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Rustic Brick and Stone
To reiterate what Keith Wagner Partnership said, there are all natural forms of pesticide and fertilizer. It's well worth your time to speak with a local organic landscaper who can analyze your soil and recommend or create a compost tea to naturally maintain your landscape. With beautifully natural contours like this particular site, it's difficult to justify changing grades to alleviate runoff.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Almost all states restrict use of phosphorus in case of sites where there could be runoff. Turf has heavy root systems that naturally prevent runoff also, unlike many other surfaces and plantings. Herbicides work by being quickly absorbed into weeds, this usually prevents runoff. For information on the proper use of all products and runoff prevention in steep areas check with your local extension services, they are very helpful.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:38PM
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August 9, 2012
frenchie123 wrote:
This is the shape I am trying to achieve but for some reason it is not working out for me. I have almost cut
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Wagner Hodgson
It is important to have the curves tangent to one another and as smooth as possible, no sudden shifts...
1 Like    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:46AM
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Thanks for your reply. I finally got the curve to look nice and it is a soft curve so is appealing to the eye.
    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:14PM
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June 20, 2012
djaguilar wrote:
what did you use for the steps?
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Wagner Hodgson
They are bluestone slabs
    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 4:40AM
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    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:44AM
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Debra Prinzing added this to Keep Your Garden in Lines
A few stone steps move across a vast lawn and connect with a low, curved boardwalk. The walk is obviously functional, leading people to the waterfront in the distance. Yet it gives the landscape a dramatic focal point. Simply sublime.More:Teach Your Landscape Rhythm
J. Peterson Garden Design added this to Give Your Turf the Fall Tune-up It Deserves
1. Know your grass. There are cool-season and warm-season grasses, and several varieties in each category. Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass) are better suited for cooler climates, are most productive in spring and fall, sometimes take more irrigation and are generally mowed higher than warm-season grasses due to their erect growth habit.Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, big bluestem) grow best in warmer climates, are typically more drought tolerant and are often mowed at lower heights.Be sure to check with your local lawn experts for specific recommendations for turf grass in your area.
The very important first step to great design is to do what in architecture lingo is called a site analysis — an examination of how the existing structure or new build relates or will relate to its unique existing environmental conditions. These conditions include topography, access, solar and wind orientation, views, existing trees or streams, and neighboring properties.
Mitchell Parker added this to Why We Want a House With a Great View
Rebuilding mental energyBut when we look at something that interests us, something that doesn’t require a lot of attention to monitor, we build back up our mental energy and our mood and performance improve. This happens when looking at nature, but also anything that produces a natural, soft fascination.In other words, if you can zone out on something simple and soothing — not Angry Birds — your mind is able to restore calmness.Most of this effect has to do with evolution. When early humans could observe their natural surroundings from a secure vantage point, with a clear view of any approaching danger — like lions — they could relax, feel at peace, reflect on life and make a plan for it. The same theory holds true today. "My brain is almost exactly the same as some relative I had several thousand years ago," Augustin says. "Our brains change so slowly that things that made us comfortable in the environment in which we evolved are comforting to us now. Watching the countryside allows us to look at our world softly, easily, and consider what might happen to us next.”
Eric Reinholdt, Architect added this to Design Practice: How to Ensure the Best Client Experience
Your client should always be informed of any schedule changes. This is really important, because depending on the fee structure, they can have a significant impact on the final cost for a client, your profitability and ultimately your reputation. Nurturing a reputation of being forthright in all situations is in everyone’s best interest.Systems: For the mechanics of communication, I advocate developing systems and templates for handling certain situations that frequently arise. There will then be one less thing for you (or your employees) to spend time on. Systems save time, ensure you’re delivering a consistent message and allow you the freedom to work on your business, not in it.For example, you’ll always have prospective clients contacting you via your website or by email. If you don’t have SOPs to address these messages, you’ll spend a lot of time answering the same questions. Figure out a means of processing inquiries that makes sense. You might direct people to a new client funnel, where they provide certain information to determine whether you’re both a good fit — even before they talk with you. Or you might establish frequently asked questions (FAQs) along with an email template containing a link to the FAQs. If you revise it as new questions come in, your reply will always be up-to-date and won’t require more than a minute of your time to respond.Automated systems like this can enhance the experience from both the client and business sides. Clients will be directed through a logical series of steps to prequalify them. If you ensure they’re a good fit for the work you do before you even talk to them, you’ve done both parties a favor — you both will have used your time efficiently.If you do nothing else, make sure you get your communication SOPs right. Commit to an email or a voicemail response time and stick to it. I respond to all client communication within 24 hours, no exceptions. Even if it’s just, “Thanks for your message. I’m working on a solution, and I’ll be in touch shortly.” When problems arise, open, honest and forthright communication can work wonders.

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hagens added this to new addition
on Tuesday
My grass eventually
Sajan Patel added this to Yard
on Sunday
Unique steps to lake
mvgavin added this to terracing ideas
March 25, 2015
grassy slope with path
hewitt added this to Anna
March 25, 2015
stones not continuous but give idea of trail
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March 23, 2015
Winding trail and the grass
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Treppen im Rasen
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Space out the steps a bit for our yard?
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great pavers
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curved boardwalk
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Swamp path
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Walkway to the lake
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Wo w
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stone steps
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pedestrian path to lake
Sara Pickering added this to house
February 23, 2015
Curved pathway more natural
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February 23, 2015
this is what i want to achieve out back of the house...eventually....ha
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grass steps
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Wow - pavers
LANDFORM Inc. added this to Rockcliff Hts
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Rosetta Stone Steps - Less formal steps down to back yard
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beautiful for boat dock
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What is that green stuff on the ground?
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stepping stones down the side?
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Individual stones to establish a path.
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Large grassy area
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long walkway, steps on a gradual grade in lawn (alot of lawn to mow); parklike atmospher
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Down the side yard around to the office.
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That's attractive
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site analysis
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sweeping lawn and steps to the lake
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December 31, 2014
Gradual alternating steps with grass
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Grass and steps
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December 27, 2014
that is a pretty back yard
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nll5711 added this to lake lot
December 23, 2014
you can mow inbetween steps
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November 29, 2014
like the steps in the grass
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November 22, 2014
Step down
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Landscaping ground over at tree
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Front Yard Stairs 1
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Path leading to fire pit by lakeside
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Gentle grade with natural steps
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Steps in lawn
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Interesting stepping stones to lake
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Grass with trees
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Love this
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September 19, 2014
Steps in the grass
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September 18, 2014
Cheaper stone step version
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September 17, 2014
gorgeous lawn with stone steps large
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vineyard house
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stone step in lawn
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love the stairs
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August 28, 2014
landscaping, slope
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August 28, 2014
Live on a lake
Bjorn Jackson added this to bjorn_jackson's Ideas
August 27, 2014
Like the stone step spacing. Very cool walkway.
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August 26, 2014
Path to water
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August 24, 2014
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August 24, 2014
Manicured cared-for lawn
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August 21, 2014
nice slope design
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August 17, 2014
Large and simplistic. Clean lines outdoors without a lot of man made products.
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Ouroboros Design added this to Landscape
August 13, 2014
Separation of path from Grass
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August 11, 2014
Diane Franke added this to Updating/Replacing/Remodeling
August 10, 2014
Paving stones/steps down to walkway.
Rachel Law added this to Outdoors
August 6, 2014
Stairs on left side of house
marie2012 added this to Outdoor ideas
August 6, 2014
Stone grass walkway
evalis0414 added this to Lake House Ideas
August 3, 2014
Cool steps down the grass
kathleenwarner added this to Lake house
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August 2, 2014
Look to water
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August 1, 2014
Lots of land Could have less trees
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August 1, 2014
steps to play area
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That grass
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July 27, 2014
Sloping backyard
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Lawn at cottage
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July 23, 2014
steps down to fire pit
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July 23, 2014
still run mower over this path
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July 22, 2014
Big yard to waterfront
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July 19, 2014
Grass all round
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Conceal and Reveal / space between ground and tree plane
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July 18, 2014
Just beautiful.
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July 18, 2014
Love the stairs built-in to the grass slope
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love this
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July 10, 2014
idea para patio cranston
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Lake view
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cool stone grass walkway to the shoreline
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interesting variation of steps
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Great Idea
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June 29, 2014
outdoor steps
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June 26, 2014
Curved duckboard walk, stepping stones, delicate trees in clusters
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June 21, 2014
curved band bordering the back yard
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June 11, 2014
Large stepping stones . . . looks nice . . . .
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Path to lake
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stepping stones threw grass
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nice pathway
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June 1, 2014
maybe a way to go from front yard and meet up with walkway to lower back yard ? hmm . . . nice !?
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Nature walk
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Path to the lake
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May 28, 2014
This looks so peaceful and beautiful.
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May 27, 2014
mama4mimi added this to lake house
May 27, 2014
Decking path
aliceinteriors added this to garden
May 25, 2014
steps in slope
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May 21, 2014
Steps separated by incline.
Neil Cole added this to Greenhouse & Backyard
May 21, 2014
Walkway steps AND a boardwalk
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May 18, 2014
large pavers
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May 18, 2014
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May 18, 2014
Walk way to pond
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May 18, 2014
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May 18, 2014
Anderson - walkway down to beach
Joe Whelan Timber Frame & Extensions added this to covered deck, more suited for Irish climate
May 18, 2014
rolling lawns
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May 16, 2014
Nm yard
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May 16, 2014
Cool steps.
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Walkin path
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May 9, 2014
Wetland elevated boardwalk
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Steeping stones
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Stepping stones
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Pathway to water
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May 4, 2014
love the lawn
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April 28, 2014
WOW what a path to the lake
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April 27, 2014
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April 27, 2014
path transition down
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April 24, 2014
to lake
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April 17, 2014
Wish my back yard looked like this
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April 16, 2014
A dream!
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April 14, 2014
Path in giant lawn
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April 12, 2014
Here's our front lawn and lakefront!!!!
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April 11, 2014
Thoughtfully placed
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Escaleras en Los prados
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Wagner Hodgson
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April 5, 2014
To fire pit
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April 5, 2014
camino campo
Samantha Stein Interiors added this to Appalachia Studio
April 4, 2014
ours will have curves too
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March 31, 2014
Garden and lake
lexma27 added this to water front yes please!!!!
March 29, 2014
love the large clean space
Art Nomura added this to art_nomura's boardwalk ideas
March 28, 2014
long gentle curve
pattipage added this to pattipage's Ideas
March 27, 2014
Antony Mwangi added this to antony_mwangi's ideas
March 26, 2014
a nice timber board walk and blue stone slabs
auburn20122012 added this to yard
March 24, 2014
curvy, unique path
183104 added this to backyard
March 20, 2014
the spaced out steps to a full path
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March 20, 2014
nicolejinier added this to shore line
March 16, 2014
Stepping stones
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March 14, 2014
This is what I want :) :)
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March 13, 2014
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March 11, 2014
the path
charl23 added this to charl23's Ideas
March 9, 2014
myscudderjr added this to Landscaping
March 8, 2014
Note the longer grass to the left in the woods. Is that an option for the wedlands?
Robert Fowler_III added this to Paula's House
March 3, 2014
Love the grass to the lake and these floating stairs.
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February 27, 2014
loneytunes added this to Beach House
February 27, 2014
easy terrace
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February 20, 2014
pretty backyard
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February 17, 2014
Sloping grass
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February 15, 2014
Steps in grass
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February 15, 2014
Steps in grass for west side of lot
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February 10, 2014
down slope
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