Minneapolis Landscaping

Julian & Jillian’s Complete Yard Overhaul

We have a doozy of a project to share with you today! After a nearly a month of hard work, we’ve just wrapped-up at Julian & Jillian’s place in Golden Valley and we are so excited about the final outcome. As you can see in the images below, the property started out overgrown with minimal hardscaping. When the couple decided to renovate their landscaping, they chose to push the restart button and redo the ENTIRE yard.

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After spending some time removing brush and trees, especially the large evergreen growing in front of their house, construction on the retaining walls and patios begin. We decided on using a variety of materials for this project, but the focal point will be Borgert’s Holland Stone pavers used in the patios and walkways that will surround the entire home. A mix of retaining walls built from both concrete retaining wall block and natural granite boulders will be used to shape the contour of the yard and maximize the usable space.

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Once the retaining walls have been constructed, and drain tile is installed in the correct locations, its time to begin installing the paver patios. The first step is to fit a piece of underlayment cloth to the proper size for each patio space, and then add crushed limestone for the base. Using 4″ of crushed limestone and properly compacting it is super important for the life of the patio, especially here in Minnesota where the continual freezing and thawing of the ground will severely damage a patio if it is not installed properly. The compacted crushed limestone combines the perfect amount of strength and flexibility so the patio will last for years.

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After weeks of hard work, the project is nearly complete! Unique additions like a square, steel reinforced fire pit and wooden privacy walls add dimension and usability to their outdoor living space. Uniform hedgerows of hardy shrubs and perennials add a splash of green to the yard, and the uniformity helps accentuate the modern feel of the charcoal paving stones. As a finishing touch, new sod is added to the lawn, and a lighting is added to really make things shine!

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Thank you for having us, Julian & Jillian! We hope you enjoy many cozy summer evenings in your new outdoor living space!

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Minneapolis Landscapers

Holly & Mark’s Backyard Paver Patio

It’s that time of year again in Minnesota. We all come out of the holes we have been hibernating in over the last several months, and we begin to spend time in the outdoor living spaces we have created and take so seriously. When Holly & Mark sent their children off to college and moved back into the cities, they knew that a new and improved backyard was a must. After a recent addition to their new home, we sent the crew in to beautify their outdoor living space.

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As you can see, we were able to start with a blank canvas. We love getting to start a project in this condition, since the final project always looks so much different! We immediately came across a surprise cement walkway below the surface of the dirt, but luckily we were able to remove it quickly. Many of our projects are in city lots that can make using heavy machinery more destructive than helpful, so we take full advantage of the fact that we’re not going to ruin anything in a yard that is already ripped up. Once all the material has been brought in, it’s time to start building!

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To complement the colors of their new home addition, the pavers Holly & Mark chose for their patio were Borgert’s Holland Stone in the Minnesota River color scheme, with a Charcoal accent for the walkways. We’re really excited to see how well the different pavers help to separate the walkways from the main patio area. To improve the overall drainage of their lot and to create more usable backyard space, we added a small retaining wall in the lower corner of the property, with a small staircase. This wall was built with the Tribute Retaining Wall System.

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Once the patio has been laid and the polymeric sand has been added to the paver joints, the rest of the yard is completed very quickly. Within just a few hours, we are able to sod the lawn, get plants in the ground, and add mulch to the gardens. It can be so much fun to see how fast the yard can go from a construction zone, to a beautiful backyard ready to enjoy. For plants, Holly & Mark have chosen a good selection of low-maintenance perennials and shrubs that will provide wonderful colors all season long. All of the plants that we use in our projects come from our favorite, Gertens Greenhouses.

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Thank you for having us, Holly & Mark! We hope you enjoy your new backyard for many years to come!

Minneapolis Paver Patio

Jennifer & Geoff’s paver patio and walkway

 Every spring in Minnesota, we all begin to realize just how nice it is to spend time outdoors in our yards. This spring Jennifer and Geoff had similar thoughts, and decided to give their yard a makeover in order for them to fully enjoy their outdoor living space. A main priority for them was to create a space better suited for grilling and entertaining. Another priority was to give the yard a new covering of sod for the kids to play on.

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Construction begins! As usual for your typical Minneapolis neighborhood lot, drainage was a constant concern for the crew. A lot of care and effort is taken to make sure water will run where it needs to. Proper drainage is insured by using string line guides, levels, and sometimes a special laser. All patio and walkway spaces are dug to a depth of around 7″ before the new patio material is added, starting with an underlayment fabric for stability, and then 4″ of compacted crushed limestone, as shown above.


After the crushed limestone has been compacted and leveled to perfection, it is time to add a thin layer of masonry sand and the pavers. Since the sand can be easily disturbed, we often level the sand and add pavers simultaneously as we work from one side of the patio to the other. Jennifer and Geoff decided to go with the classic Borgert Cobble Series pavers, which complement the color of their house quite nicely. After a majority of the pavers have been laid, pavers are cut individually to fit in along the edge of the patio – a step which can sometimes take as long as building the rest of the patio!

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With the patios completed, its time to finish up the gardens – our first plantings of the year! Take a look at our seasonal guidelines for planting here to make sure you’re not getting plants in the ground too soon. We use the one-and-only Gertens Garden Center as the supplier for almost all of our planting projects. Jennifer and Geoff wanted a low-maintenance perennial garden, which is a great choice for those who have limited time to tend to their garden. Through careful selection, we were also able to get a good variety of plants that will provide good flower colors throughout the season.

After two weeks and a few rain days, Jennifer and Geoff’s landscaping project is ready to enjoy! Thank you for having us!