Landscape Design Services in Milwaukee

Backyard Renovation Feels Like a Vacation at Home

This backyard renovation was a bittersweet one for our New Berlin, Wisconsin clients.  While they had long dreamed of creating a beautiful backyard oasis where they could entertain, the project was put off for years due to the unexpected passing of their teenage son.  And, standing in the way of the renovation was their late son’s playset.  

This design needed a creative, yet mindful touch.  The clients entertain often and also enjoy traveling.  On their wish list was to create a space that gave them the feel of being on vacation right in their own backyard. To that end, the features they requested included a hot tub, a fire pit, and a large area to entertain friends and family. Of utmost importance was to also provide privacy from the neighbors in the back, as well as around the hot tub area. 

Thoughtful Design for an Expansive Patio and Multi-Purpose Fire Pit

Backyard Renovation

For both the patio and fire pit, we used wet cast pavers to accent and complement the house. The patio also has a double border detail to highlight the curves and corners of the space.  It makes for a spacious and appealing gathering space with plenty of room for multiple tables and chairs. The fire pit is a showstopper, with a full seat wall enclosure to provide a comfortable area to sit by the fire, while doubling as a bar on the backside for bigger parties.  Firewood storage pillars were added with large Lannon stone caps to keep wood dry and readily accessible.

Plantings Lend Privacy for Backyard Oasis

Plantings to Screen Hot Tub Area

The hot tub anchors one corner of the backyard, abutting a neighbor’s yard on the side. To give necessary screening, we surrounded it with juniper and fine line buckthorn. Adding to the ambiance are new garden beds, edged with Lannon cobbles and populated with hydrangeas and ninebark. Large 12-foot arborvitae were installed on the back-property line to instantly provide the privacy needed for this beautiful retreat. 

Finishing Touches


Lighting for Backyard Transformation

To ensure their enjoyment of their backyard oasis extends into the evening hours, we included lighting carefully placed throughout the backyard.

Planting for Backyard Renovation

Lastly, with their late son’s playset gone, we wanted to honor their late son with a memorial magnolia. This colorful focal point will bloom every spring as a memorial. 

Our customers now have a beautiful Backyard Oasis where they can entertain, enjoy the ambiance of the fire with a Brewer game on TV, or enjoy the sounds of live music echoing from down the block while relaxing in the hot tub.  

 Are you ready to create your dream backyard? Let one of our expert designers help you realize your vision for your backyard.  Get in touch! Contact us here or call 262-252-4260 today.


30-Year Dream Backyard Becomes Reality

This project started off as a dream of the client’s late wife.  For years she had wanted to transform their backyard into a retreat.  After her passing our client felt a pressing need to bring this 30-year dream to life in memory of her.  

The backyard had major drainage and erosion issues.  The decaying timbers were becoming dangerous for the grandkids and the client’s dog.  There was no safe way to get down to the lower level of the yard and to the shed.  The client gave us an open slate as he felt he could not put a price on this memorial for his wife.  

The client’s requirements for the project included a water feature to minimize the noise of the freeway, replacing the walls, adding steps to make the lower level accessible, solving the major drainage issues, and bringing in color. 

Fieldstone was chosen for the walls to go with the natural design of the house.  The walls terrace the landscape to solve the erosion while creating multiple planting areas.  Lannon stone steps were installed to make a beautiful and safe transition to the multiple levels of this landscape.

We were challenged by narrow access to the yard because of the privacy fence, so we needed to remove fence panels to get into the yard.  The 5 cubic yard drywell was installed to mitigate the drainage issues in the lower level.  All drainage in the back yard comes to this area, and it handles it with ease.  


The basalt columns water feature was chosen for it’s natural appearance which blends in with the other features of the home and landscape.  The pond-less aspect was chosen to be child and dog friendly, as well as being low maintenance.  Landscape lighting brings this to life late into the evening and it can be viewed from multiple windows in the home.   

A hammock was added to this project so the client could enjoy afternoon naps and catch up on some reading.  It is the perfect location to enjoy the entire back yard while listening to the sound of water cascading down the centerpiece of this landscape.    

The plantings were chosen to be tough enough to handle the dog traffic and able to thrive with only having filtered sun due to the large overhead trees.  The mix of textures and newly installed sod give this lush backyard retreat its finishing touches.  

Do you have a dream in mind for your own landscape? Get in touch today to connect with one of our talented landscape designers. 262-252-4260

Why All the Neighbors Can’t Help but Look at the Landscaping of this Brookfield Home

Transforming a blank space takes vision. For this project, we were tasked with the landscape development for a newly-built, contemporary home in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The design and construction involved hardscape, landscape, drainage, irrigation and lighting elements for the property.

“Classic, timeless, simplicity, and refined” were the directives given by the client for the design and implementation of this project. This was achieved through the right selections of hardscape colors, mature landscaping elements and an eye for connecting all the outdoor spaces into one cohesive design.

See the transformation in this short video compilation of before and after images:



Spacious, classic bluestone patios provide restful retreats for peaceful relaxation and stunning sunset vistas.

Retaining Wall & Staircase





Elegant, modern-themed retaining walls and staircase flights transcend the steep grades of the site and the use of U-Cara wall block for the wall and steps complements the modern style of the architecture. 






A sweeping front walkway and intimate courtyard of patterned bluestone creates a beautiful and timeless front entryway to the residence. Pathways of natural flagstone and contemporary rectangular concrete steppers cross the lush green lawns, connecting the outdoor living spaces and introducing texture, pattern and visual interest to the hardscape aesthetic.






Specimen trees, arcing evergreen hedges and generous groupings of flowering shrubs and perennials provide a diverse combination of bloom, structure and seasonal splendor throughout the site.  


As the sun sets, the home comes to life with a stunning display of up-lite trees, highlighted architectural features and the warming glow of path lights along patios, walks and wondering pathways.

All elements of the landscape were carefully designed to complement and beautify the home’s exterior. A mix of materials gives the landscape interest and texture, while the trees, shrubs, and perennials soften the hard edges and provide seasonal color.

Put our talented designers to work on your own landscape project. Contact us today at (262) 252-4260 or

Creating a Rain Garden in Delafield, Wisconsin

Earlier this year, we were happy to be a part of establishing a rain garden at a commercial property in Delafield, Wisconsin.

The purpose of the rain garden is to collect, absorb and filter run off from the parking lot.  A rain garden in this situation has specially engineered soil and filtration layers. Having the rain garden plants and filtration layers serves multiple functions:  

  • helps prevent contaminates from reaching our waterways
  • assists in preventing flooding and drainage problems
  • increases the amount of rainwater that filters directly into the ground
  • benefits our native wildlife because they are filled with native plants 

How a Rain Garden Works

A rain garden sits lower than the drainage pipe to allow as much water as possible to filter through the root systems of the plants and the filtration materials.  In the event of a substantial flood event, water would enter a traditional drainage overflow system to prevent flooding of the public space.  Rain gardens in the home landscape rarely require extra drainage systems as they do not need to filter runoff from a large paved surface. 

On this jobsite, the building contractor engineered and built the structure and American Landscape planted and established the gardens.  The builder constructed the areas for the gardens in fall, but since it was too late in the year to establish the small plants we planned on using, we waited until spring to get started.

Establishing Native Plants in the Rain Garden

First, the crew prepared the area by removing any weeds and lightly tilling the surface, being careful not to damage any layers. 



We sorted the plants by variety and planted them in groupings to mimic the native environment.  A variety of native grasses, sedges and wildflowers were chosen based on their ability to tolerate varying moisture levels.  Over 700 native plants will be used between the 2 beds. You can find native plants that will work for your own rain garden plans here.


Plants will be watered regularly so that they can develop strong root systems, and weeds will be kept to a minimum to prevent competition as the young plants grow.

Once they are established the garden will require little care, other than monitoring for and removing invasive weeds, and some watering during times of drought.  As with any planting, a little maintenance will always be required, but the payback to the environment in this situation is well worth the effort.  

We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a project and look forward to future projects as more and more communities are starting to require environmentally sound storm water management practices.

If you’re interested in learning more about rain gardens you can go to this link provided by the Wisconsin DNR

Our designers have the expertise to work with you to create your own rain garden. Get in touch today to schedule a time to discuss your plans.

A Landscaping Makeover

Brookfield, Wisconsin


Our clients purchased this Brookfield, Wisconsin property because they were looking for a home more conducive to spending their golden years than their previous two-story home, which was located atop a large hill. This particular home struck their fancy, mainly for its unique configuration with a central courtyard in the back of the home. They have a special appreciation for the outdoors and landscape, and felt like the footprint afforded unique opportunities for strong visual and physical connections, as well as an uninterrupted flow from the interior to the outdoor living spaces.


Front Entrance BEFORE


Front Entrance AFTER


With those goals in mind, the home was completely re-imagined both inside and out, in collaboration with an architectural team. Interior walls and functionality were reorganized to create an open concept and new opportunities for clear sight lines through the center of the home out to the landscape. Furthermore, the rear wall to the courtyard was replaced by floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels – basically putting the courtyard space on center stage within the context of the building architecture.

Courtyard BEFORE


Courtyard AFTER


The design challenge, as we saw it, was to create a plan that worked in context with the very symmetrical, modern appearance of the home, yet broke from that rigidity to create a softer, more livable feeling within the outdoor space. With that in mind, the hardscape was organized to highlight the newly-created visual corridor through the center of the home from front to back.

Along this central axis is a front entrance courtyard with a raised central planting bed and over-sized black metal planters planted with rotating seasonal decor.



Paving material selections were intended to blend with the contrasting black and white color scheme on the building exterior. Paving stones were selected to be large so as to contrast with the size of the bricks on the façade. Planting beds were intentionally woven through the space in a very non-symmetrical manner to accomplish the goal of softening the lines. Site furniture was meticulously selected for its combination of modern appearance and ergonomic comfort.

See the full transformation in the video.

Ready to tackle your own landscaping transformation? Get in touch with one of our expert designers today!

June Landscaping Checklist


  • Continue planting annuals and vegetables.
  • Direct seed annuals and vegetables into the garden early in the month.
  • WATER! Annuals and veggies need regular water due to their shallow root systems. Remember that fewer, deeper waterings are more beneficial than frequent, shallow waterings.
  • Fertilize as needed. Perennial beds can use a slow-release fertilizer or can be fed along with annuals with a liquid like Miracle Gro. Vegetables can also be treated this way although many people have moved towards organic methods like compost to enrich the soil in the vegetable gardens.
  • Deadhead annuals and perennials for enhanced appearance and improved blooming.
  • Stake or trellis newly planted things like vines and tomatoes right away to avoid damaging the plant later.
  • Get on a regular weeding schedule. It’s easier to keep up a little at a time than to let things get out of control.


  • Apply fertilizer and broadleaf weed control. 4-6 weeks after your prior application is best. Avoid using weed control on newly seeded areas.
  • Monitor for disease and insect problems and consult a professional if needed.
  • Keep grass cut at about 2 ½” to 3”. Cutting the grass shorter will allow more heat and light to penetrate to the roots causing stress. It also creates more openings for weeds to take hold.
  • Water as needed. Remember that fewer, deeper waterings will be more beneficial than frequent, shallow waterings. Lawns require about an inch of rain per week.
  • Newly seeded or sodded areas will require more water than an established lawn.


  • Monitor for disease and insect problems and consult a professional if needed.
  • Prune spring blooming shrubs right after they are done blooming.
  • Trim boxwood, yews and other evergreens.
  • Fertilize roses and pre-treat with fungicide if they are prone to disease issues.
  • Trees and shrubs planted within the last year should be monitored for water. They will need it before your established plants do. If it’s hot and dry and we’re receiving less than an inch of rain per week, give them a good long drink.

Download Checklist