Clive home takes on a whole new look.
Story by Carol McGarvey
Photography by Jack Coyier, courtesy of Ted Lare Design + Build
Featured in July/August 2021
A Clive couple loved to walk in The Woodlands to admire the housing styles and the landscaping. “Then one day, there was a for sale sign in front of a home we admired,” says the wife. “We called, we looked, and we made an offer. However, it was rejected because there already was an accepted offer. Then a few days later, the real estate agent called and said the previous bid had not worked out, so it was on the market again. We got it then.”
It took some vision to see what it could become, and they had it. “It was as if every owner had planted trees, trees, and more trees.” In all, the couple had 30 trees removed. “To get back on track, we partnered with the best, Ted Lare Design + Build. He and his crew were so great with their vision and were so respectful.”
“The yard basically had to be retrofitted,” says Ted Lare. “There was just no light in the backyard at all.”
The couple purchased the home four years ago. Each year they have done something big with the property. They have done major landscaping, including adding tall arborvitae around the back perimeter of the property for privacy and a formal touch.
Lare has added the perennials hydrangeas, burning bush, and roses, among many other plants, including spirea, sedum, and Japanese maples.
“It’s all about having lovely color from spring to early summer to full-on summer to autumn,” Lare says. The home has obvious straight-line design elements. In architect Paul DeGroot’s design, the classic look features a broad base, a pillared middle, and a tapered top. Tall casement windows topped with transoms add interesting Prairie-inspired touches.
The home received the Innovations in Housing award as the Better Homes & Gardens Home of the Year in 1994.
The home has distinctive hard edges. It was important to soften that look, Lare points out. He has done that with the multiple plantings.
Kept the gazebo
The homeowners and Lare also decided to keep the gazebo that was already on the property. They updated it by removing the screens on the sides to make it an open structure. Now it is a lovely spot to gather for morning coffee, evening wine, and to host a few guests. A ceiling fan keeps the air moving for comfort.
Nearby Lare built a conversation area for a firepit with seating surrounding it. The site is raised to give dimension to the whole yard.
Near the back door is a new outdoor kitchen, which is handy to the inside kitchen. The cook enjoys being involved with guests outside. Nearby grow small beds of herbs for cooking as well as succulents.
The piéce de rèsistance is the lap pool, which takes center stage in the whole scheme. It measures about 55 by 15 feet, complete with two fire boxes at the far corners for a touch of light and drama in the evening. Lare used Aberdeen pavers as the pool decking. Nearby are Karl Foerster ornamental grasses that move in the wind.
There are two huge beds of hostas that spread their big wings to make statements. Other lovely plantings follow the fence lines around the edge of the property.
This past year five more arborvitae were added in a corner for a vertical effect and for privacy.
In the front of the home, Lare added large urns, which are filled with a variety of annuals. He also added uplighting to the front entrance. In keeping with the more formal look of the home’s front exterior, pachysandra was used as a groundcover.
“I think we’re now done,” says the homeowner with a smile. “At least, that is, until next year.” •
- Landscaper Ted Lare Design + Build