How one customer’s love for community changed the way she thought about designing her landscaping
11 years ago, Kristi Farrington moved into her Omaha home. As someone who is conscious about green space and with a passion for gardening, she knew her goal was to reduce how much grass she was growing (and mowing).
She recalls sitting in church one day as her pastor relayed to everyone,
“The demise of the American neighborhood can be contributed to two things: garage door openers and back decks.”
This lit a spark in Farrington. She realized that backyard barbeques and 6-foot privacy fences were keeping us away from getting to know our neighbors. She mentioned that as a child, she often played outside with other neighborhood kids while parents usually hung out on the front porch and talked with one another. Something you don’t see as often anymore.
With the combination of wanting less yard to maintain and wanting a place in front of her house to relax and get to know neighbors, she came up with the idea of a front patio including a fire pit. The patio would sit on the east side of her house, being shaded and habitable in the summer sun.
She had ideas and some designs down on paper, so she decided to try and find a landscaper that could help her achieve her goals. Farrington reached out to 7 or 8 landscape companies in Omaha until she decided on Andy Leuck at Nebraska Yard Care. She said Leuck was incredibly easy to work with and loved her idea of a front yard patio.
Together they went over Farrington’s design ideas, and although she had to make some adjustments for proper drainage, she said Leuck was really receptive, had open communication, and made the whole process seamless. He even had the idea to include a small retaining wall behind the fire pit to separate the patio from the garden.
The patio finished in September of last year (2017), and has already had such a positive impact.
Farrington met some neighbors from a couple blocks down during construction that she probably wouldn’t have known otherwise. Now when they walk their dogs past her house, they stop and chat before continuing on their way. She also mentioned that her next door neighbors decided to bring two Adirondack chairs from their back yard to under a tree in the front yard.
“Others have told me they love the concept, and if it spurs others to spend more time in their front yard, then it’s doing exactly what it’s intended for,” said Farrington.
Farrington now enjoys the space to sit and talk by the fire, read a book, and enjoy her morning coffee. Despite all the benefits this front patio has brought her, she still believes the best part about it is having less grass.
“This one section has removed 20 minutes off my time spent mowing. I’d much rather have functional spaces, fresh produce, or native Nebraska plants growing in my yard versus grass,” says Farrington. She goes on to talk about how much yard maintenance grass requires, and that she prefers things low-maintenance, even her gardens.
“Now I just wish this Nebraska weather would cooperate so I could spend more time outside enjoying spring,” she chuckles.