Landscape Design

Creative, Practical, Livable Outdoor Spaces

Ready to Get the Landscape of Your Dreams?

The best landscapes are created from a blend of artistry, in-depth scientific knowledge, and decades of experience. That's the Bay Landscaping difference that continues to earn us recognition for outstanding landscape design both locally and throughout Michigan.

Whether you're looking for a simple "facelift" to an existing landscape, a comprehensive design for a new build, or anything in-between, you can trust the professionals at Bay Landscaping to create a design that works for the way you live and provides the best growing environment for your plants.

You can rest easy knowing the designs we create include the healthy, thriving plants from our own 70+acre nursery.


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Three Design Options

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, we will be your landscape design partner at any stage of the process.

  1. Leave it All to Us

    We'll design your landscape (in collaboration with you) and take care of all the construction and installation. Beyond giving us the input and feedback needed to create the perfect design, you won't have to lift a finger!

  2. Share the Work

    We'll be there for you every step of the way but you can choose to perform any of the tasks you most enjoy. Love tearing out overgrown plants? Go for it! Like laying pavers? It's all yours! Everything else? We'll take care of it.

  3. Get a Helping Hand

    If you're the DIY type but need some direction and support, we're here to help you out. Whether you need guidance in choosing an appropriate plant palette for your property, determining your construction supply needs, or delivering plants and trees to your location, you can count on us to provide whatever assistance you need.

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Our Landscape Design Process


Initial Meeting

Welcome to the team!

We always view you as an indispensable member of our design team. After all, no one knows better than you how you want your landscape to look or how you want to enjoy it.

After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up an initial meeting time that’s convenient for you. During that meeting, one of our landscape designers will come to your home and:

  • Listen to your landscaping needs and preferences, including design styles, building materials, and plant preferences.
  • Ask about any special concerns, such as drainage issues or unwanted views.
  • Walk your property to see any issues directly and get the lay of the land (literally)!
  • Take pictures and even take a soil sample, if necessary.

We begin with an analysis and evaluation of your existing yard and landscape. This includes gathering technical information including property line locations, yard dimensions, and the position of non-movable objects. We’ll talk with you at length about your unique needs, how you use your yard, and what you personally envision for the design of your landscape. We’ll discover what you enjoy about your existing property and what you want to change, and any specific structures and/or features you feel are necessary or should be avoided.

What's REALLY important to you?

You know what you want for your home’s landscape – generally if not specifically – and it’s our job to understand it, design it, and make it a reality. That means we'll ask you a lot of questions to get a feel for what you like, what you don't like, what's not working for you in your current landscape, and how you want to use the space.


Concepts & Review

Options and inspiration for your new landscape

Next, we’ll show you examples from our portfolio of projects similar to yours. We want to help you visualize exactly what the possibilities are for your home’s landscape.

Based on the scope of your project, we'll provide you with a design retainer agreement and a design questionnaire so you can take your time thinking about your needs, styles, and options.

During the early stages of the planning process, our team will discuss with you a wide variety of ideas to help us home in on the ideal solution for you and your lifestyle. We’ll also consider your existing outdoor space, including any plants, hardscapes, drainage, grading issues, etc.

Depending on the scale of the project, you'll have one or more conceptual drawings to look at. After approving one of the concepts, the designer will begin the process of rendering a final landscape design for your approval.


Setting a Budget

We'll never surprise you

As experts in designing and installing beautiful landscapes, Bay Landscaping knows how much different options cost. We’ll show you pricing comparisons, offer installation phasing options, and itemize every part of your plan for your approval upfront.

We’ll budget for every part of the project, such as:

  • Existing plant protection and/or removals
  • Hardscapes (concrete, wood, stone, fencing, lighting, etc.)
  • Softscapes (plants and groundcover)
  • All other key aspects of your project including any necessary sub-contracting
  • Recommended maintenance budgets

The only surprise you might experience is the end result looking even more beautiful than you imagined!


Design & Approval

Getting it all down on paper

Our designer will create a final rendering of the project with detailed specifications for plant materials, hardscaping, and all costs specific to the installation.

Once the concepts have been refined into the final plan, we’ll come to your home for a proposal meeting where we'll present the plan and walk through all parts of the project. We'll leave you with a detailed proposal to review; we want you to understand and approve exactly what your dream landscape will entail.


Installation & Quality Control

Bringing your dream to life

Before any work starts on your new landscape, we'll give you a complete, step-by-step plan and estimated timeline for completing your project so you'll know what to expect. We’ll even take care of as much of the paperwork as possible, including acquiring permits for decks, sheds, fences, or any other aspects of the project that may require them.

Bay Landscaping's professional crew will install your new landscape according to the final plans. Your designer and installation team leader are available during the whole process to respond to any questions and/or concerns that may arise.

Our construction team will involve you as much or as little as you’d like. By keeping you fully informed and encouraging you to stay involved, we can continue to collaborate with you as a partner throughout construction.

Finally, we never forget that we are guests on your property; we will be considerate in keeping noise, mess, and distraction to a minimum. Because it’s not just our job site, it’s your home.


Landscape Maintenance

Keeping it beautiful for the long term

Our partnership with you doesn’t end just because construction is complete.

Included in every project where we install plants and irrigation, we provide a one-year warranty on your new plants. If any plants don’t make it through the year, they'll be replaced.

Landscapes are always growing and evolving. Beyond the first year, your new landscape will benefit from ongoing horticultural and aesthetic adjustments. We’ll identify any routine and long-term maintenance needs you should be aware of and offer to take care of those for you. After all, who knows your landscape better than the pros who built it?

We can provide regular landscape maintenance throughout the year (with weekly, monthly, and annual programs), once a year horticultural pruning, or anything in-between.

We offer pest and disease control, weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, edging, pruning, spring and fall cleanup, and winter plant protection to keep your new or existing garden looking its best all year.

*We do not provide lawn mowing services. Please refer to your local lawn care company.

Meet Our Landscape Designers

headshot of Jerry Somalski, president and landscape designer at Bay Landscaping

Jerry Somalski

Landscape Designer, Project Manager and President

About Jerry

Jerry Somalski, Landscape Designer, Project Manager and President

Creating landscapes of the highest quality and providing client satisfaction are the guiding principles Jerry has carried on from his parents, and founders of the company, Dick and Marilyn Somalski. Since 1948, Bay Landscaping has strived to make its name synonymous with beauty, dependability, quality and service throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Jerry’s education on plants and landscape design began early. As a young boy, he was hoeing in the nursery and tagging along with the landscape crews who taught him the tools and methods of the trade. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Central Michigan University, he returned to the family business.

Jerry has an enthusiastic yet practical approach to meeting the client’s landscape design objectives. He has a thorough understanding of plants and how they thrive in the mid-Michigan climate. With this, he focuses on the importance of choosing the right plants for the client and their unique space. The goal is a sustainable and spectacular landscape. For that reason, he believes the process is as important as the final result – a space that is a true reflection of the client’s style and taste.

Like his father before him, Jerry is a committed and active leader in the community. It is only natural for him to build a better community literally from the ground up. Through his leadership and contributions of time, resources and expertise, numerous community beautification projects have been realized. Jerry both leads and designs with a commitment to life-long learning, a philosophy that is shared company-wide.

headshot of Jack Gustafson, landscape designer at Bay Landscaping

Jack Gustafson

Landscape Designer and Project Manager

About Jack

A passion for design and a love of nature since childhood has shaped Jack’s philosophy for landscape design and project management. After gaining a thorough understanding of the client’s needs, Jack strives to create a unique landscape, incorporating fresh ideas into every design project. This, combined with over 46 years of experience at Bay Landscaping, beginning with landscape installation crew, has resulted in hundreds of phenomenal projects and happy clients. Jack’s landscape designs have won awards on both the state and national levels.

Shawn Barbeau, Licensed Landscape Architect at Bay Landscaping in Essexville, MI

Shawn Barbeau

Licensed Landscape Architect and Project Manager

About Shawn

Shawn began his career in landscape design on the technical side as a high school co-op student doing drafting at Bay Landscaping.  He continued both his horticultural career here as well as his education and earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University. Shawn works with clients from conception and listens closely to their goals and specific needs. He then combines his innate creative talents with his extensive technical knowledge to deliver a landscape the client will enjoy for years to come. Through beautiful design and outstanding project management, Shawn has earned rave reviews.   An avid outdoorsman, Shawn understands the importance of responsible, sustainable landscapes and our responsibility for stewardship of the land.


Steven Gallagher

Landscape Designer and Project Manager

About Steven

Steven has a strong background in the green industry with an emphasis on landscape maintenance, irrigation and landscape materials. A life-long gardener, Steven has an eye for good design and a keen understanding of the best use and care of plants to promote long-term beauty and vitality in outdoor spaces. Steven’s clients quickly notice his attention to detail and follow up to ensure satisfaction and that the job was done right. A plant lover, Steven has an extensive collection of trees, shrubs and perennials at his home.

Tyler Leonard, Design and CAD Technician at Bay Landscaping

Tyler Mercier-Leonard

Landscape Designer and Project Manager

About Tyler

Tyler started his journey with Bay Landscaping in 2014 as an intern in our drafting department. Since then, he’s grown into an innovative designer who loves creating plant-based solutions for his clients. A vivid appreciation for the natural beauty of perennials, annuals, trees, and shrubs is what drives Tyler’s creativity. Tyler has a background in theatrical design and spends his free time volunteering with community theater designing sound, sets, and lighting. When not volunteering, you can find Tyler outdoors. Usually, he’ll be camping or kayaking but anything that gets him closer to nature is Tyler’s ideal way to spend a Michigan weekend.