Increase your smile quotient every time you come home. Creative, beautiful landscaping not only sets your home’s curb appeal apart, but it also enhances your own enjoyment of all the outdoor space—whether you’re entertaining, playing with the kids, or just relaxing by a crackling fire or bubbling water feature.
“Hiring Diana Grundeen of Trio Landscaping was the turning point between having zero interest in our steep-hilled, unattractive backyard and having hope that I would someday fall in love with it,” says Sheyna Galyan, who contracted Trio in 2020.
Certified nursery and landscape professional Diana Grundeen, owner of Twin Cities-based Trio Landscaping, brings outdoor living space to life with her firm’s namesake trio of services: consultation, design, and project management.
A consultation is the all-important starting point for every project to make sure the homeowner and Trio are on the same page with expectations for the project. “I really want to understand what style would best fit the client, architecturally and personally,” says Grundeen. And since people are sometimes unsure of how to express what they want, she asks potential clients how they hope to use the space. “If you know you want to be out there with your kids playing games, barbecue with friends and family, or get out from upstairs and downstairs and have people coming out from each direction, that’s giving me an idea of how that landscape will work with you,” she says.
This was exactly the case with Galyan: “I wanted a walking meditation garden, but I didn’t know enough to explain what exactly that meant to me. I basically wanted to go on a quiet nature walk in our yard,” Galyan says. “In a space roughly 80 feet by 50 feet, I wasn’t sure that was possible. We also had an issue with water runoff from the garage eroding the middle of our backyard … I remember standing near the top of the hill, looking out at what looked kind of hopeless to me, and saying to Diana, ‘Fix our backyard, please?’ She had full rein.”
The plan comes to life in CAD drawings so Grundeen can easily share it with clients. In addition to plantings, the design can include anything from patios and pavers to accent retaining walls and decks, as well as lighting, fire, and water features.
“She unveiled her drawing for our yard, and I was both speechless and near tears at how perfectly she had captured the vision I had held in my head for so long,” says Galyan. “There were walking trails, a dry creek bed, bridges, steps, a fountain, two park benches, edible plants, trees, shrubs, and so many flowers, colors, and textures—plus a new deck to replace our rotting one and large patio for dining or entertaining. She told us we could, if we wanted to, purchase the drawing and do the work ourselves, but it was clear it was such a big job. I wanted her and her vetted teams to do the work.”
Trio works with projects that range from small (which is a relative term for everyone) to full new construction that encompass everything in the home landscape. Trio also has multiple teams and crews skilled in specific jobs, such as planting, laying pavers, carpentry, and more. “A lot of scheduling and coordination goes on on our end as well—that’s the project management piece versus installation,” says Grundeen.
A landscape designer since 1999, Grundeen is certified by the Minnesota Nursery Landscape Association (MNLA). She develops projects with a base of Minnesota horticultural knowledge and always seeks to find the right plant for the right place and purpose. (Plus, she factors sustainability into all she can, both in the use of the land and plants.) As a committee chair and active MNLA member and as a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers she works on continuing education to grow and be inspired to take on new styles and practices, especially when it comes to native plantings and water management. When you hire Trio, you also have the bragging rights to say your designer has been featured on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” and participated in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
“I am stunned at how Diana and her teams were able to completely transform this yard,” says Galyan. “I truly feel like I have a secluded nature trail only steps away from my house, and I love spending time in my yard every chance I get. Diana was somehow able to reach into my dreams and desires for this yard and turn it into reality, and I will be forever grateful.”
If you’d like a project completed this season, reach out to see if your project fits in this year’s schedule. A big focus now is dreaming about plans for 2022 projects, and Trio can provide ideas and inspiration. “Landscaping is how we make our houses unique—it’s creating the rest of the design to make those spaces our own,” says Grundeen.