Little Traverse Bay Cottage

We met our new clients and began work on this Lake Michigan cottage in 2017. It was a cold winter day. We sat around the dining room table, overlooking the blank slate before us while sipping coffee and observing what we could of the frozen shoreline. As you can see in the first images, all vegetation had been removed and this view was in need of some enhancement. We spent the morning discussing North By Nature’s mission and methods and learning about our clients’ aesthetic preferences. Over the following weeks, a concept was developed and then presented to our clients along with a draft plant list and accompanying example photos. Images that depicted the sense of what we were trying to envision were also included and showed scenes of native rock gardens and coneflower medleys. (I would include them here, but for copyrights and such.)

The primary goal was to re-vegetate the lake-side landscape with low-growing, native perennials and grasses that would attract pollinators and require little long-term maintenance. After working through the concept phase, we moved on to material selection and plant procurement. Our client was concerned about also attracting nuisance pests like ticks, so finer sedges replaced the proposed grasses and we suggested planting lavender as a deterrent. The woodland fringes were also planted with a few multi-stemmed paper birch, bayberry and nanny berry shrubs to enhance and frame the view. Temporary irrigation was used to establish plants, but there should be little need to water once established. A variety of straight native species were combined with selected cultivars for a broad palette of color displayed from June through October. While we have observed that a one of our coreopsis cultivars has not performed well, but the native sand coreopsis is thriving along with all the rest. Please take a moment to peruse the slideshow. The captions have been written to guide you through the first two growing seasons and help identify these native beauties. If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to call or email Jason or Bret.


Pardon Our Dust…

Greetings and thank you for visiting our new website! We recently went live with a soft opening for our virtual store front with some exciting new additions. Have no fear, North By Nature Landscapes is still committed to serving our clients’ needs in the most environmentally sustainable way across Northern Michigan. Since we are setting sail in somewhat stormy waters, we are having to navigate the ins and outs of website editing on our own for now. Please pardon our dust while we clean up some duplicate images, fix links, and add photos to our project gallery.

Our staff is currently social distancing while still working to prepare for the upcoming season. The experts are modeling another potential 4″ – 6″ increase in the Lake Michigan/Lake Huron basin this summer. Of course, this has a direct impact in our inland lakes as well and many property owners are seeing ice push damage and erosion along their shorelines. Click here to see some before and after photos of some of our past projects. Captions are coming and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 231-340-0446 or email info@nbnlandscapes.com.


We also offer a range of Design and Consulting services. Stormwater Management Solutions, Pollinator Gardens, Hardscapes, Green or Bio-technical Landscape Solutions, Formal Gardens, Restoration Plantings, DIY Landscape Plans and more. We look forward to getting to know our clients and the places you call home – even if it’s a seasonal getaway. It is our mission to create beautiful, low-maintenance, durable and sustainable landscapes that you can enjoy and share with friends and family all year long. Because, naturally, you love Northern Michigan.