Neenah: Renovation

In the backyard of this Neenah home, the obstacles to provide this client with an attractive, color-rich, useful space were many. The lot was at the end of an established cul de sac that backed up to an undeveloped area where deer were seen often, including during our first visit. This meant that the perennial beds the client was hoping for to give them changing seasonal color was going to have to be not only colorful but deer resistant.


They also had a very shallow backyard on an oddly-shaped lot, with the northeast corner of their home roughly 25’ from the lot line. Finally, they had an existing concrete slab patio that was perfectly functional but didn’t suit their needs; they needed something larger and something more attractive but they didn’t want to have the existing (perfectly usable) concrete slab removed to achieve that.


Our solution? We kept the concrete slab largely intact, but in order to add to it and make it look like the client had always intended to have two different materials as their patio surface, we had to modify the existing patio. We trimmed the slab with our high speed handheld concrete saws so that it’s shape was more precise and symmetrical. From there we installed a contrasting material in high quality clay pavers from Pine Hall in a design that complimented the newly-modified concrete slab.


The shallowness of the backyard would have been even more visually pronounced had we made a single plant bed that extended from edge of patio to edge of lot line, so we chose to create a layered effect, placing a small planting bed immediately against the patio’s edge, a narrow grass area that ran the length of the patio, and then the primary planting bed that went right to the lot line.

We removed a few less desirable trees from the backyard and replaced them with more ornamental ones, then filled the new plant beds with multiple varieties of perennials. The perennials ranged from shade-loving where under more established trees to sun-craving in the open areas, all of them selected for their vibrant color and disfavor to a deer’s palate.


The result? A full, lush landscape that belies the shallowness of the yard and is thriving in shade and sun, with increased usable patio space.