Marshall Residence

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

This month we have a new case study for our readers. Many people want to know what Nancy’s house looks likes. Well, here it is. This property won the 2012 Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association’s Award of Excellence in Residential Landscape Design/Build category.


Where do we begin with this one? From the day ground was broken for the house over Twelve years ago this property was designed to be a landscaping marvel. The house is situated among hundred year old oak trees. During construction Nancy & Roger were adamant about large equipment encroaching upon the roots of the trees. The construction site was cordoned off to within 15′ of the house. This insured that there would be no construction equipment/traffic over the roots of the existing old growing trees. All but one survives to this day. In the shade of the large old growth trees live dozens of Hosta varieties. There are multiple flagstone paths leading from garden to garden as well as strips of green grass that form their own pathways around the acres of gardens. Nancy & Roger are both very passionate about plants and either one of them could discuss for hours the various intricacies from species to species and subspecies to subspecies.

The front yard of the property has hundreds of rare varietal, one of a kind conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs planted throughout. Many were planted as test subjects. The theme is to have an arboretum at home. Mission accomplished. One has to be a horticulturalist or avid plant lover to truly appreciate the variety found on the front 40. There is a pond near the road with a large berm for privacy. Further, there are hornbeam hedges planted on the berm to block the neighbor’s house. The front side of the home features a retaining wall made from massive Granite boulders.

marshall-residence-02The home is bordered to the west by a forest. Much of the property was farm land so we added and additional forest consisting of 20 thousand trees to continue and enlarge the existing forest. The idea behind this, other than having wooded areas, is that a microclimate will develop. This will allow us to plant even more interesting plants that may not have otherwise survived our growing zone. We also planted an orchard (still maturing, so no apples, peaches, cherries, nectarines, pears, plums, or pecans yet) and installed a fenced 60×40 gourmet vegetable garden.

Around the garage we transported approximately 10,000 yards of soil in order to elevate the original building site location. Then another 10,000 yards was transported to the site to create the undulating grades & new lawn areas. We partially covered the structure in stone veneer to accentuate the boulders mixed into the landscape. The garage is surrounded by breathtaking landscaping and since it is not under the cover of the large trees there is an entirely different range of plant materials used. It seems as though every single plant is unique and interesting. A walk around the garage can take over an hour as you discover something new with every turn of the head. There are two simulated streams that allow water to flow away from the circular drive. Natural stone steps were used to bridge the grade changes and take the casual observer to a flagstone patio on the south side of the garage. More hornbeam hedges reside here as well as shade trees.

Ground covers are used extensively throughout the entire property in an attempt to cut down on maintenance. The patios by the home were installed on top of poured concrete. The stone is called “grand canyon” and is a beautiful red that plays off the brick home. Everything structural was overbuilt and no shortcuts have been taken anywhere along the way. Our crews perform the maintenance, of course, so it looks as good as possible all the time. The property has been featured on several garden walks including an upcoming walk on June 29. That walk is being put on by the Porter County Master gardeners Program. A walk around the property is always an over-the-top fascination to panoramic jaw dropping beauty around every corner for anyone interested in landscaping or horticulture. Words cannot do it justice.

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