Lake House Landscaping

Spring has finally sprung here in Michigan, and I have had lots of requests for more pics of our yard and outside. I don’t know all the plant names, so I apologize in advance if I miss a few, but I thought I would share what’s popping up in our yard lately. Let’s start in the backyard, or on the lake, it’s technically considered the front, but that’s not where the front door is?… So, it’s all confusing – my mom and I go round about this topic! Let’s just go with lakeside vs. streetside! lake house landscaping

A lake house surrounded by water

I’ve been waiting for some blue skies and sun to snap these, but I’ve just about given up on the weather here in Michigan.

A dark gray lake home with grass

It feels like we have had such a late start to spring this year that not a ton is blooming yet. Like these rose bushes here are pretty pitiful looking still, but they do get beautiful dark pink blooms in the summer. We did boxwoods around the patio to create sort of a privacy hedge. Well, one day they will be a hedge – they are working on it!

A garden in front of a lake home

We flanked both sides of the patio with them.

A close up of a flower garden

We also have some select blue catmint, which will get blueish purple soon, and a hydrangea tree in the middle of this area.

A large lawn in front of a house

A couple of lawn chairs sitting on top of a patio

Here’s a little bird’s eye view from the balcony off our master. Don’t mind our soaking wet rug and the fact that I have no pillows or anything out, it stormed again right after I shot these. This is definitely an unstyled quick tour of the yard! You can see the row of limelight hydrangeas we planted on the border of our yard in this view too. We flanked both sides of the yard like that, again are you sensing a theme here? You all know how I feel about symmetry :)

A house with bushes and a large deck

A large gray house with a patio and lawn

This little sidewalk brings you over to the deck stairs, outdoor shower, and our storage room where we keep lifejackets, skis, and kayaks. I mentioned before we went with plain old concrete back here for budget reasons, but someday I would love to lay bluestone over the top of this.

White doors on a gray lake house

I also finally filled all my planters this week. I like to use hanging baskets and pop them out of their baskets. This was a weird spring because we had a frost so late, so I bought plants a little later this year and I was on the struggle bus to find matching baskets! I need 4 matching for the lakeside and 4 for the pool, but I just couldn’t find any full sets. So these aren’t my fave colors, but they are still very pretty.

stone step landscaping dark gray exterior design

Around the side of the house, we have this big stone pathway up to the street. The hostas over here have gotten enormous!

hostas landscaping design stone steps

Here’s a view looking down. Sorry for the photo overload, but I have had so many landscaping requests that I tried to cover every inch of the yard! I’m so happy we were able to save a lot of the mature trees in our yard even though we took down a few to build. It really feels like you are up in a treehouse on the decks.

lake house landscaping design

lake house landscaping design

Ok, over to the front/back/street side of the house!

dark grey house exterior with white trim and pergola

Again with the symmetry, we have more roses, blue catnip, and boxwood up here. Along with dwarf patio peach trees that aren’t doing so hot this year with the frost. I can’t remember the name of the groundcover at the moment.

dark grey house exterior with white trim and pergola

I’m not sure the name of the evergreen we have planted over here, but the plants in front of the boxwoods that haven’t quite bloomed are Salvia.

dark grey house landscaping design

Here’s a little up close window box update. Along with my cute stalker who is currently giving the neighbor’s cat the stink eye… I feel like they aren’t as full as they usually are at this time because there has hardly been any sunshine, but they are coming along.

purple and blue window box flowers

I did plant hydrangeas again with the vinca vine in my planters and they are starting to bloom a little. Again because of the hard spring, I had a hard time finding good ones this year.

hydrangeas and vinca vine

Ok and a quick trip across the street to the pool house/garage – sorry this post is SO long, but it’s the only one I’ve gotten out this week so think of it as a two for one deal ;)

garage landscaping ideas

I just planted all of this ground cover along the driveway last year and it’s doing so well so I continued it up beneath these limelight hydrangeas. It has been hearty enough to survive the trampling it’s getting during our family 2-on-2 basketball games out here.

garage landscaping ideas

We also have a ton of hostas over here from the previous owner and the perfect tree for my kid’s rope swing.

tree with a rope swing

PHEW! I think that covers it! If I haven’t bored all of you gardening enthusiasts to tears yet!



Vinyl shake siding by Mastic the color is Natural Slate

Pergolas – they are made from Cedar and painted white to match our soffits so I don’t have a trim color for you.

Doors by Thermatru

Windows by NorthStar

Roof – Driftwood by CertainTeed

Metal roof – Burnished Slate I think by ABC Metal

Decking by Trex Deck

Outdoor furniture – you can read all about it here

Window boxes – find them here


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  1. Hi, Kelly! I’ve been following your blog for over a year, after I discovered your beautiful flower boxes. I just now showed my husband your landscaping pictures as we are trying to decide what to do in our backyard. He was impressed and liked your idea of symmetry. I have a a
    question about the first photo, showing the back of the house. You are pointing out the boxwoods and there is a tree or shrub in the middle. What is that? On the other side you said you had a hydrangea tree, but you did not name the one on the right side. We are looking for a dwarf tree to put on one side of the patio and I think you may have helped us, if you could name the tree or shrub. Also, how tall does it get and does it require full sun all day. Does the hydrangea tree require full day sun? Sorry this is so long, but your answers could really help us.
    Thanks for all the photos you share inside and outside of your house!

    1. Hey Paula, I actually didn’t name that one because I can’t remember what it’s called ha! Sorry about that I believe it’s a type of blue dwarf spruce? it should stay small. The hydrangea tree does get a fair amount of sun yes. I hope that helps thanks!

  2. Love your blog, your home…. everything. You are one talented lady! I’m reading everything and loving it. Thanks for the pure enjoyment!

  3. I am interested in your outdoor lighting. This style is what I am looking for, but have not found so far. I am also on a lake in Michigan, funny I also referral our house as roadside and lakeside, its easier then front and back since they are reversed. Have enjoyed the journey with your house and property, especially living in Michigan, I can identify .

  4. I love the simplicity and balance in your landscape plan. But I especially love the stairway of splendid rocks leading down from the streetside. Everything just looks so pristine, I love it! I do so enjoy all your posts, thank you! You have a lovely home.

  5. Your home and landscaping are lovely! It’s always a challenge to plant and still leave room for the trees or shrubs to fill in as they mature! Yours will be perfect! You have chosen a nice mix, not only do they provide various colors but variety in texture too.
    Your post was not too long at all! You offered plenty of pics to keep it very interesting!
    Thanks for sharing! Let’s hope our mid west weather dries out soon!

  6. Your home and landscaping are lovely. You’ve given me some fresh ideas for our summer cottage, also on a lake in northern Michigan. Thank you for sharing your beautiful surroundings.

  7. Oh, and loved seeing your sweet doggie in the window, enjoying all of it as well! He is one lucky dog! :>)

  8. Love all of it – the picture of loveliness – -and anywhere you feel you still want to fill in, whether it be plants to grow more, or pillows for the chairs — just enjoy the process and the growth. I’m happy for you, and enjoying it vicariously with you! Keep it coming – love the inspiration!

  9. Here on Novi too!! Rain rain.. just started planting and doing my flower pots hoses getting hooked up this weekend seems everything is gonna be a little later this yr

  10. Some of our boxwoods got a bit of cold damage this year (NW Chicago suburbs) but should bounce back. We love most varieties. We have the groundcover you have by the pool (vinca/myrtle/periwinkle) and love it. All our landscaping was installed to endure being trampled! Yours is lovely and inspiring – and the post was not long at all!

  11. I haven’t even turned on the water to my outdoor faucets over here in Ann Arbor, much less got anything planted. It has been a crazy spring, but I must admit, I like it better than a really HOT spring.

  12. Your landscaping is so pretty! I love your hydrangeas but they simply refuse to grow for me (northwest Chicago suburb). However, I’ve had great success with Chinese Snowball Bushes. They’re really hardy (I haven’t killed them off yet), grow quickly, and produce huge ‘snowball’ flowers that start out pale green and slowly turn to white. It’s the closest I’ve been able to get to the look of hydrangeas. Thanks for sharing the sweet pic of Charlie.

  13. Beautiful!! I love to garden and I absolutely love ALL your pictures! Thanks for sharing !!

  14. Beautiful! I can relate having a lot of property to maintain. So many attractive and durable perennial choices too! Had to tell you that I couldn’t get your trip to Beloved out of my head and we’re going for the first time on Monday, so thanks for that share too!

  15. Your home and yard are just gorgeous! I’m curious about the World Market chairs. Do they stand up to rain, and do you ever cover them? We purchased some, but have been dragging our feet to assemble, because I’m worried about their longevity in our Michigan weather. The folks at the store said they are fine in rain, but should be stored inside in winter. Thanks!

    1. We put them in our storage room for the winter and we have touched up the paint on them over the years to keep the wood covered. I think we have had them 5 or 6 years now.

  16. I love the symmetry too! Everything looks beautiful! Question, when you plant the hydrangeas in the front white containers, do you keep them in the containers they came in from the garden store? I know you plant them eventually in the ground so I wasn’t sure what you do with them temporarily?? Does that make sense? Thx Kelly. Have a great day ?

    1. No i take them out of the containers so the roots can develop more. Then I’m really careful getting them all out when I transplant them if that makes sense?

  17. Love this post Kelly. Thank you for the tour, your home is just gorgeous and the setting is stunning. Loving your style all the way over here in Northern Ireland x

  18. I also love symmetry! Beautiful pictures! Here in South Carolina I am struggling just to keep everything from drying up from our 90 to 100 degree heat wave with no rain.

  19. I love this post and it was not too long. The shrubs, flowers and ground cover makes a great statement for the outside of your home. By the way, your home is gorgeous. The landscape compliments the exterior of your home so well.

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