Created for a couple moving to a smaller house and lot in order to “down¬-size” after their children had left home, this garden’s design presented many challenges. The wife, an ardent gardener, had a long wish list: a water feature; specific plants (including a river birch, a gingko tree, oakleaf hydrangeas, plants to attract butterflies, and trilliums), fragrance, a small patio, and a potting shed. She also wanted to eliminate grass from any part of the property, and to have space to plant annuals (in containers and other areas). In short, she wanted a small “dream garden” created from a site that even she characterized as “disastrous-looking” at the outset.
The wife wanted pathways that would allow her to visit all parts of the garden. The patio space did not need to be sizable because of the high deck off the back of the house, but the views from the deck were important.
We accomplished all of the clients' goals, and designed a series of small "garden rooms" in the backyard to create the illusion of a larger space. We also designed a "faux potting shed" front to screen the area under the deck and incorporated a raised planting bed for annuals and herbs, which was featured in an article in Fine Gardening the following year as an inventive way to disguise an eyesore in the landscape.
This garden received an Award of Distinction in 2009 from the DC/MD/VA Landscape Contractors Association.
A view from the deck into the corner of the back yard, with a crape myrtle to provide seasonal interest.© Melissa Clark Photography