Holmen Residence

Embracing Wildness in a Cultured Landscape

White Bear Lake, Minnesota
MASLA Merit Award, Private Landscape Design MNLA Honors Award for Excellence in Landscape Design

This home was built on the site of an old lake home on Manitou Island in White Bear Lake. It was our client’s desire to reflect the lake home shingle style of the island community in the architecture and landscape spaces developed around the house, while at the same time restoring some of the property to a more sustainable natural landscape.

Large, simple massings of native plants soften and contrast the bold geometry of the hardscape features. The main entrance on the north side of the house is surrounded by remnants of a sugar maple forest. Plants selected for this space include: birches, diervilla, viburnums, ferns, hemlock, balsam fir, and young sugar maples.

More exotic plants such as peonies and lavender are used in the more cultured spaces in the landscape, then gradually shift to a mix that is predominantly native prairie. The resulting garden is a unique blend of horticultural sophistication and indigenous wildness that offers year round interest and is relatively low in maintenance.