This new construction suburban home in Needham was completely transformed from a dirt plot to a beautiful garden space. Each element of the property was examined and brought together with a consistent landscape plan. The client had specific needs including a child play space, a vegetable garden, a large shed for storage, lawn for play, a dining patio, a holiday tree for lighting, privacy screens, and a bird garden. The project included extensive work on the back yard.
The sunny gated corner was adorned with colorful lupines, a focal weeping Redbud tree, and wind-swept shrub willows along with the ornamental feather grasses. All are under-planted with a variety of sedum ground covers, geraniums, and tiny prairie grasses which line the over-sized step stone path which gently curves guests towards the entertaining patio. The opposite side of the yard was lined with birch trees to soften the tall fence and to screen out the neighbor’s house. Golden and yellow forsythias, shrub willows, a Redbud, a Seven Suns tree, pink, white and burgundy weigelas, and American black elderberry are all under planted with spring bulbs, and flowering ground covers of pale blue and yellow to retard weeds and add color and texture to this open space garden for play and casual living.
Lawns are good for one thing, in my humble opinion, and that is only as an outdoor carpet on which to fall during family sports. Every opportunity is taken to reduce the size of a lawn and this lawn was reduced by 1/2 to accommodate new perimeter planting beds with nutritional soil amendments and a large play structure. The shady corner of the yard was cut away for a children’s picnic table and surrounded by boulders to form a natural enclosure. The child-size playhouse was placed behind the shed for playtime fun and surrounded with large evergreen shrubs and trees to hide and frolic around. The yard falls under a neighbor’s perimeter canopy of maples which lend some shade to the space and allowed for a woodland feel to areas of the garden. Bird-attracting plants that dangle berries or pollen for bees and butterflies were planted throughout such as the majestic grape leaf holly and American witch hazel.