McKay Outdoor Living is your complete source for landscaping services and expertise, including the design, installation, and maintenance of softscapes and hardscapes for your home. Find out about:

McKay Landscape Design & Architecture: thinking beyond grass, shrubs, and trees

The words “Wisconsin landscape architect,” probably evoke images of beautiful lawns, lush shrubbery, and gorgeous perennials for the outdoor spaces around your home. But the artful and scientific placement of what we Madison landscape designers & architects like to call “green perennial materials” is only half of it—quite literally. Thus, two words have become part of the professional vernacular used by Midwest landscape architects: softscapes and hardscapes.


Landscape Design Services at your Front Door

McKay Design Pros are your nearby experts for residential landscape design & construction, including softscapes and hardscapes. Among them are some of the finest and most experienced landscape architects and designers in Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, northern Illinois, and eastern Iowa.

New to McKay Nursery?

Find a Design Pro now

Need to pay your bill?

We now accept payments online through our secure website. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover as forms of online payment. Be sure to have your invoice number handy as you'll need that to submit payment to your account.

Click here to pay your bill!

Residential Softscapes (a.k.a. “greenscapes”)

The word “softscape” refers to the live, horticultural elements that add character to the outside areas in and around your home. The word “greenscape” is sometimes used instead. Both refer to the flowers, perennials, shrubs, and trees that—if artfully and scientifically placed—will reflect not only your taste, but your sensibilities: making the exterior of your home as much a vehicle of self-expression as your choice of interior paints, furniture, and fabrics. Consider:

  • Are you a traditionalist? If you are a devotee of the iconic English lawn with its highly-manicured look, then your Midwest landscape architect should not be suggesting a prairie-grass lawn for your home—no matter how much of a disciple he or she might be to its wild-and-wooly look.
  • Are you ecology-minded? If you value and practice “earth friendly” living, then your Midwest landscape architect should show you “water-wise” designs that incorporate native grasses, indigenous plantings, and even rainwater collection.
  • Are you looking to build an edible garden? A major trend today is “edible landscapes,” which feature more edible or otherwise productive plantings alongside (or in lieu of) traditional or exotic ornamentals. A good example is aronia or “chokeberry” bushes.

We do it all—and we are nearby

Find out about McKay Design Pros™ and the one nearest you. We are your comprehensive source of landscape design and installation throughout Wisconsin, eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, eastern Minnesota, and places nearby.


Residential Hardscapes

The word “hardscape” denotes the non-perennial features of your overall landscape plan. Composed of rock, brick, masonry, stone, and other durable materials, they provide permanent definition to your overall landscape plan and are a major contributor to the outdoor style that surrounds your home. They also can create outdoor living and recreational spaces on your property where previously there were none. Some examples of hardscape elements that McKay landscape designers & architects are expert at designing and building include:

  • Driveways
  • Fire Pits
  • Interlocking Walkways
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Water Features
  • Retaining Walls
  • Steps
  • Sunken Patios
  • Waterfalls
  • And more

DIY - Let us help

Although we promote our full service of creating landscape designs, installing and doing the landscape maintenance we do want to recognize that some folks like to tackle it themselves. By purchasing our plants online you get a quality product and DIY. Our in-house designers and our local Midwest Design Pros can assist with a landscape design and plants that are most suitable for the space to ensure longevity and visual balance. Plants purchased online are delivered right to your home for convenience. 

Click on the image for our Handling and Planting Guidelines

Handling & Planting Guidelines