When Adam and Julie Naim were thinking about building a home for their young family, they had specific needs in mind: Good location with easy access to their favorite places in Gainesville; walking and bike trails; and natural foliage. They found a three-acre lot in southwest Gainesville and began their design for the home and outdoor areas.
As part of the design process, the Naims began looking for help with landscaping. They found Jon George, owner of Cottage Gardens, through HOME: Living in Greater Gainesville magazine. In meeting with Jon, the Naims learned that Jon has creative “out-of-the-box” thinking, which was perfect for what was essentially a bare canvas. There was a dirt driveway and builders’ sand in the yard, and no landscaping to speak of – only native trees and bushes. Jon took into account the Naims’ request for a low-maintenance, yet aesthetically pleasing design.
Along with landscaping, Adam and Julie hoped to incorporate a functional and appealing front gate, so that now-5-year-old Elias and 2-year-old Madeline weren’t tempted to go too near a busy roadway. The couple wanted to feel secure while Elias and Madeline enjoyed their outdoor activities, riding bikes and trikes, skateboarding and creating sidewalk art.
Plans for the gate were sketched using technology that Jon uses to customize each design, giving each client a realistic vision of the entire start-to-finish process. The project took roughly one week to install with the Cottage Gardens team including site work, plantings and pavers. The difference was immediate. Now the driveway has become the children’s favorite play spot, with the new gate and planters defining the boundaries.
Jon designed the Naims’ new gate to be practical and easy to maneuver. Built of cedar, the gate is light and moves easily on wheels, which are hidden by planters when the gate is open. As Jon says, “It’s not just a gate, it’s an interactive experience.”
Adam agrees, adding that for him and Julie, the gate is an investment in their quality of life. At the end of a long day, Mom and Dad can relax on their lovely front porch and watch the children play without being concerned for their well-being.
Adam and Julie have an “open gate” policy for friends and family and the gate is typically open when Elias and Madeline are not playing outside. The family enjoys having visitors drop by and are happy to have an easy option while ensuring the children’s safety. The couple appreciate the personal services provided by Jon George and will rely upon him for future projects as well!