Landscape Escapes

Four Seasons

Who: Designer Lynn Cavanaugh, of Four Seasons Garden Center & Custom Landscape Services (the garden center is in Oak Park, while design studios are based in Birmingham and Traverse City), has been collaborating with Four Seasons clients and ensuring landscape installations are executed down to the last detail since 2004. An experienced metalsmith, Cavanaugh’s appreciation for the natural world made the transition to a career in landscape design simple. With an associate degree in applied science in landscape design and her background in art, Cavanaugh’s contributions to the Four Seasons team have been tremendous, and she has twice been the featured landscape designer on HGTV’s Rehab Addict. In 2014, she won the Unilock Award of Excellence, and she has been included in the Unilock Project showcase because of her innovative design.

Info: (248) 543-4400,

“The homeowner really dislikes bugs, so the landscape is defined by clean lines and green foliage that (doesn’t attract) insects.” — Lynn Cavanaugh

Clean & Serene: The Goal Was to Simplify

“The expansive Bloomfield Hills property (photo above), was an experience in good intentions that resulted in a mishmash of unrelated and conventional areas,” designer Lynn Cavanaugh says. “The previous design included a … fence around the pool area, but the fence didn’t work because the arrangement left them feeling cut off from the yard. We replaced walkways with Unilock Richcliff and the pool deck with Unilock Umbriano. We also replaced the chipped stamped concrete patio. It’s now a clean and serene gathering place for the family.”

Landscaper’s Tip: ”Determine who will be using the space and (what) the (purpose of the) space will be,” Cavanaugh says. “The goal is a seamless transition, where everything works together and no element looks like it wasn’t always there. A couple I know looks forward to that moment every evening when they have returned from work and can … unwind and engage with each other in their new outdoor living space. ‘We treat the garden like it’s an extension of our home,’ they say, ‘a room with a ceiling made of sky.’ ”

Boxwood Border: “A landscaped space requires maintenance to stay healthy and beautiful,” Cavanaugh says, like the trimmed/sculpted boxwood shown at right. “Professional services should include appropriate pruning, fertilizing, and refreshing,” she adds. “A full range of maintenance services will keep the property looking perfectly polished and maintain the original design intent.”

Simply Perfect: You can’t go wrong with simplicity, says Cavanaugh. “An unglazed clay or terra-cotta pot like this one is harmonious with every flower and foliage color,” she says.

Classic Planter: Campania International Williamsburg Chippendale planter (right), Alpine stone, $280, Four Seasons Garden Center, “It’s classic with clean lines, like this patio (shown above),” Cavanaugh says.


R. Youngblood & Co.

Who: As the president of Rochester-based R. Youngblood & Co., Ryan Youngblood has cultivated a passion for horticulture and design into a thriving landscape design and build firm. For the past 18 years, his company has taken pride in being a “single-source responsibility” — meaning the design team handles everything from site planning services to installation and management, including maintenance and upkeep. R. Youngblood & Co. has won numerous awards, including two Detroit Home Design Awards in 2010 and 2013.

Info: 248-650-1990,

“For good design, work with masses. Keep your plant selections to a minimum and use them with impact. The end result is calming and less busy.” — Ryan Youngblood

Up North at Home: The Goal Was to “Get Away”

The owners of this Oakland Township property (photo above) wanted a northern escape, Ryan Youngblood explains, but their professions in the medical field didn’t allow them enough time to get away. “My goal was to create a space for them that would make them feel as if they had stepped into a northern destination,” he says. Overlooking a pond, the outdoor space makes for a nice area for conversation; it’s nestled among natural plantings and features a fireplace as the centerpiece. “Here, they can enjoy nearly all the senses of a northern getaway.”

Daisy Days: “The shasta daisies (shown above) are  strong performers,” Youngblood says, “and always are great in combination with purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. Between the three, and in perfect sequence, the garden will have color late June through August. Leave the spent flowers for winter interest.”

Oh, Canada: “The Canadian hemlock (above) is a lush and graceful evergreen,” Youngblood says. “It’s one of a slim few that will be happy in shade. It serves well as a screen or backdrop.”

Fired Up: A hammered copper fire pit (like the one above), $320, Target, metro-area stores,“Consider lighting effects from items like a fire pit when designing a space. Include elements that are visually strong and can then become nighttime focal points,” Youngblood suggests.


Left: The Annabelle hydrangea variety is classic and elegant in every aspect —  it’s always a showstopper! And it’s also proved to be hardy,” Youngblood says.

Right: Belgard Arbel in fossil beige, $8/square foot, Haley Stone,,“The patio pavers were selected to allow for a natural feel, but to be functional and usable,” Youngblood explains.

Left: Unique Lighting’s Mercury 7, $232/ea., John Deere Landscapes, Livonia, “Lighting extends the usability of the space far beyond sunset and adds greatly to the experience of the space,” Youngblood says. “Unique Lighting was used because of its high-quality brass fixtures.”

Right: “Blue salvia blooms throughout summer — and it’s forgiving, if you miss a watering,” Youngblood says. Tellys,