Private Oasis

Cloistered among layers of evergreens, bountiful hydrangeas, and creative flower containers, this lakeside property evokes pure serenity | Photography by Heather Saunders
LAKE LIFE Deborah Silver works her magic around this gorgeous home in Bloomfield Hills.

At the request of the homeowners, landscape designer Deborah Silver, the owner of design and build landscape firm Deborah Silver and Co. Inc. in Sylvan Lake, turned the couple’s property, located on Lower Long Lake in Bloomfield Hills, into a stunning, unique, and sophisticated oasis.

“The primary challenge was to provide screening from both the street and from the lake, so we made the property very private by planting multiple layers of evergreens such as spruces and pines, as well as a lot of ground cover (including deciduous shrubs and perennials), to switch up the texture,” Silver explains. “Layers of privacy afforded by a variety of large evergreens including Serbian spruce, limber pines, Douglas fir, weeping Alaskan cedar, and false cypress — to name a few — back up a secondary layer of large-growing dwarf evergreen specimens.”

SERENE IN GREEN Layers of greenery adorn the property and provide privacy and screening from the street and the lake.

In addition, an abundance of ornamental grasses were planted along the shoreline and at the edge of the existing swimming pool. “Because it’s always breezy by the lake, the grasses undulate and have a wonderful kinetic sculptural quality to them,” Silver says.

Furthermore, to reflect the residence’s contemporary architecture, Silver decided to utilize masses of predominantly green and/or white plants. For example, approximately 200 white Bobo dwarf hydrangeas have been planted in the back, “and the result is stunning,” Silver says. (The Bobos stay in bloom for at least six weeks and then, with the advent of cooler weather, become a deep rose pink color in the fall.)

PLEASING PALETTE Landscape designer Deborah Silver utilized predominantly green and/or white plants. Approximately 200 white Bobo dwarf hydrangeas were planted in the back and near the pool.


On the pool deck, each of the large, galvanized steel rectangular planters, constructed by Silver’s company, The Branch Studio, contains a Himalayan white-barked birch tree as well as misty lilac wave petunias.

Silver says the plantings in the front of the home are very simple, in order to complement its contemporary architecture. Seven-hundred boxwood plants have been placed near the entry to the home. “We utilized small ones, in order to have the effect of ground cover,” she says, “and the grouping of spreading Taxus Densiformis yews, 30 feet in diameter, creates a strong sculptural element.” Adds the designer: “I wanted nature to play an important part while experiencing the garden. So, for example, if it’s raining, it has a certain feeling. And in the spring, when there’s new growth, it provides another new experience. I wanted it to be glorious no matter what time of year it is.”

Mission accomplished!

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