A Backyard Transformation

Tim and Jane Kretzmann’s backyard in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis was overgrown with Hosta’s, shrubs, and unwanted weeds. At the time, their neglect was their dog’s joy, but the lack of outdoor appeal, and a desire to spend more time outside prompted them to make changes.
Before image showing a mostly dead and weedy yard and an after picture showing its new garden design

Client Overview

Tim and Jane Kretzmann’s backyard in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis was overgrown with Hosta’s, shrubs, and unwanted weeds. At the time, their neglect was their dog’s joy, but the lack of outdoor appeal, and a desire to spend more time outside prompted them to make changes. They replaced their chain link fence with cedar, installed a stamped patio, and called Minnehaha Falls Landscaping to finish the job.

Challenge

After 40-years in their home, the sidewalk on the side of the Kretzmann home had become icy and treacherous in the winter. Unlevel ground and water draining from downspouts on their 1988 addition were the culprits. And because the yard was overgrown, the back of the house was very dark and attracted unwanted bugs. The Kretzmann’s described their backyard as “ugly,” and they wanted to transform it to “something pretty.”

Solution

Minnehaha Falls Landscape Architect Tom Kerby joined Tim and Jane at their kitchen table to ask questions about likes and lifestyle and offered his professional advice for achieving their goals. He spoke of a low maintenance design and shared images of non-invasive plants that bloom at different times of the summer, including those that attract pollinators. Tom also suggested a rain garden to receive the
runoff from the house and alleviate the slippery winter sidewalk. And, flagstone steppingstones were recommended to add function and flair to the space.

The Minnehaha Falls Landscaping crew removed shrubs, split and repurposed Hosta, and replaced old Lilacs with a new, more fragrant species with a lovely scent that enters the house through the kitchen window. They added Japanese Irises that Tim brought home from the cabin, and red Coneflowers that are now the talk of the neighborhood. Overgrown Ferns behind the garage were replaced with a row of fresh plants, and large boulders on the corner of the property invite neighbor kids to sit for a while and enjoy the view.

Results

The Kretzmann’s describe their backyard transformation as an attraction to people who pass by. “Neighbors stop to compliment us on the yard and ask us the names of our beautiful flowering pink and white plants,” said Jane Kretzmann. “And, we’re meeting a lot of neighbors for the first time because of the allure of our gardens.”

“Our backyard is now an oasis. Our relationship with Minnehaha Falls Landscaping is a partnership, and we couldn’t be happier.”

– Tim Kretzmann

As the education and advocacy branch, we work with community partners to create safe places for our pollinators, one garden, yard, business, school, church, conversation at a time. We know that together, we can build the buzz! Learn More
As the construction branch of Minnehaha Falls Landscaping, we build outdoor decks, steps, railings, pergolas, fences, and planters. When it gets colder, we step inside to remodel living spaces with creativity and craftsmanship, including cabinetry. Learn More
As the gardening branch, we work within your landscape to grow plants, flowers, shrubs and woodland gardens that are beautiful, restorative, and safe for birds, people, pets, and pollinators. We also install bee-friendly lawns and do spring and fall clean-up. Learn More

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Call us at 612-724-5454 to see what is possible with landscape design and construction, organic gardening, and indoor remodeling.