’Tis the Gift to be Simple

Beauty of nature speaks for itself

A landscape design doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, simpler may be better. This Worthington home’s landscape project improved circulation and created easy outdoor living areas where the natural beauty of the garden takes center stage. It proves that great things can come from simplicity. “A simple design can still create a beautiful garden and is often the most effective,” says Ryan Kolb of Wood Landscape Services, Inc. Kolb created such a landscape for this home with three goals in mind: low maintenance, improved circulation, and ease of living.

Front and center

Wood Landscape Services, Inc. joined the project, which encompassed a complete renovation by Owens Construction. The front walkway and driveway were repositioned to enhance the curb appeal and improve the flow around the front door and garage. The pavers selected for the walkway were also used around the side and in the back for visual continuity.

“We worked hard to incorporate the new landscape with existing vegetation,” says Kolb. “Our goal was to preserve the many mature trees and to blend them into the design. In fact, the new driveway was routed so that no trees had to be removed.” Kolb explains that during construction they took great care not to damage the trees so as to prevent their decline and eventual death.

Kolb selected plants that provide a variety of form and texture such as Oak Leaf, Blushing Bride and Endless Summer hydrangeas, as well as dogwoods and hostas. Impatiens added a touch of color. The plants were strategically selected for their size and shape. All are hardy varieties which do well in Ohio soil. “The plantings, pavers and turf work together to give an organic, natural feel and have the added benefit of being low maintenance,” Kolb observes.

Back to basics

Achieving a simple design sometimes comes with challenges. “The biggest challenge was the slope of the back yard and how it affected the front, side and rear spaces,” says Kolb. The home’s addition resulted in a rear slope creating the need for a 60-foot-wide retaining wall. “We designed the wall to enable us to build a continuous, one-level walkway from the front of the house to the entertaining space in back,” he explains.

Natural stone steps were added to provide access from the walkway down to the back yard. The retaining wall and the steps were built with Arlington Blue Vein, an Ohio limestone.

An outdoor patio was created off the 4-season room at the back of the home. “We softened the horizontal lines of the porch with hydrangeas and other low-height plants to maintain the tremendous view of the back yard,” says Kolb. Potted plants were also added. “Plants in containers are a beautiful way to add color anywhere,” he notes.

An existing bridge in the back yard crosses a creek. “There was so much vegetation, including bush honeysuckle, that the creek wasn’t visible,” says Kolb. The view of the creek was enhanced by thinning out the undergrowth and overhead canopy but without sacrificing the homeowner’s privacy. Finally, Itea, a pleasant-colored shrub, hostas and impatiens were added to finish off the space.


Complete renovation: Owens Construction
Landscape design: Wood Landscape Services, Inc.


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