Skip to content

Client Review: A Rhode Island Yard Gets a Mountain Lodge Makeover

By Axis Fuksman-Kumpa June 30, 2022


When Christina came to Tilly she said “we think gardens make a house a home and we are looking for a design that is beautiful, calming, natural and able to grow with us.” Christina and her families’ Rhode Island home and yard were beautiful, but they wanted more visual interest than just a front lawn and to match their woodsy surroundings. Their idea was to create a comprehensive landscape design plan that they could install over the next 5 years and enjoy watching it grow and mature. They understood it would take time, but were excited to get started. The main goals were:

  • Create a “Naturalistic Mountain Lodge” yard design that matches their natural woodsy surroundings
  • Add some privacy from neighbors
  • Landscape around the septic system
  • Design a pollinator garden in the backyard
  • Keep existing hardscape and compliment it with plantings and new garden beds for visual interest

They were more concerned about the overall color and seasonality of their design than the specific plants, but wanted to make sure their space was filled with native and pollinator friendly plant choices. After finishing her Tilly landscape design, Christina also used Tilly’s plant delivery services and worked with our plant experts to have her delivery arrive curbside and ready to be planted.

Read more about Christina’s experience with Tilly below:

Why did you decide to use Tilly?

I enjoy creating and maintaining my own gardens but am a novice gardener. I was looking for an expert opinion on planting combinations, how to create year round interest and what would look good as the plants grew and matured.

What was the process like?

The process was so easy and quick, and exactly as their website describes. I had a lot of trouble getting in contact with local landscapers, but Tilly was responsive, thoughtful, and quick to send me back my design.

What did you think about it being remote?

I heard of Tilly through an Instagram ad and was hesitant at first that I would never meet them in person. I did a lot of reading of their site before committing to a plan. Once I started the process, I was much more at ease. I liked that I was matched with a designer from my area who was familiar with what plants work and don’t work in my region.

landscape design planting plan
Tilly's Planting Plan

What was your FaceTime call with your designer like?

I appreciated “seeing” my designer for the call. She was very thorough and patient as I walked her through my ideas for our property. It was clear she was very knowledgeable and listened to my thoughts while also offering suggestions. I did plan quite a bit before our call. I drew a mini map of where I would like the new gardens and what purpose I hoped those gardens would serve.

What were some of your priorities for your design?

I really wanted a naturalistic feel that blended in with our wooded neighborhood. I also wanted there to be interest year round. There were some specific gardens that I needed to function a certain way—-pollinator garden, privacy planting, screening.

Tilly's Plant Selections for Christina

Tilly's plant schedule
Tilly's Plant Schedule

What did you think of your final plan?

I love my final plan and am thoroughly enjoying the portion of the design we implemented this year. We did do a round of revision to swap out a couple plants, but mostly the first draft was spot on!

Before front yard in Rhode IslandAfter

Plantings lining a front walkway

Tell us about Tilly’s plant delivery process?

The plant delivery coordinator I worked with was amazing. She was very detail oriented and dedicated to the process, not to mention knowledgeable about the actual product. We had to go back and forth to find substitutes for a couple plants. I have a 1yr old and could not have imagined trying to find and transport all of the plants on my own. This saved me such valuable time!


How have you been installing your design?

My initial goal was to install the plants on my own. Due to time constraints, we ended up working with a local contractor, but remained very involved in the process.

What’s next with your yard?

We completed about ⅔ of our design this spring and hope to finish the remainder next week. My husband is also diligently working to make the rest of the yard look as good as our gardens do. There is much more pressure now!

Front yard after photo
New Plantings

We love seeing these before and after landscape remodel images. Christina has planted small plants and shrubs that she was able to DIY herself. These plants will continue to grow to their mature size over the next 3-5 years to create the beautiful mountain lodge design she wants! It's a true testimate to the old gardener's adage, "The first year the plants sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap." We will keep you posted on her beautiful yard's journey.

Do you have landscaping ideas like Christina, but aren't sure where to start with your yard makeover? Our talented team of landscape designers is happy to help!

Did you enjoy reading this Tilly review and seeing before and after images? Check out more here.

Read more about: Client Reviews