Four Season Suburban Landscape
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 work on the front, side, and back yards.
Front Garden, Vegetable Garden and Side Yards
The year-round front garden was designed to be welcoming and reflect the informal nature of the residents and to soften the lines of the raised foundation planter. It was planted with a dwarf Japanese maple as a focal point with companion azaleas, boxwoods, ornamental grasses, echinaceas, sedums, and spreading groundcovers. A trellis was installed on the side of the garage between the windows to anchor the wall to the walkway with climbing flowering clematis, cascading hydrangeas and weeping grasses. Corner pockets with evergreen interest accompanied by wispy grasses, phlox, Shasta daisies and under-planted with showy geraniums, dress up the driveway. This garden truly inspires an embrace of New England’s seasons with it’s bursts of colors and textures throughout the landscape.
With three small children this family decided to install a vegetable garden for food education and fun. It has overhead irrigation sprays attached to the fence and is enclosed to keep wildlife from the first tastings.
In the world of suburban landscapes there are always unattractive utilities to hide. All the tricks of the trade were used on the side yard of this street facing property. We screened the A/C with a low-maintenance vinyl lattice enclosure draped with climbing clematis and other flowering vines and lined with red twig dogwoods emboldening dark red twigs against the white lattice in winter, showy white blossoms in spring and berries in summer. Other utility meters were screened with large flowering shrubs like the native Annabelle hydrangea. The utility access walkway was hidden with a low hedge of native holly, inkberry and dwarf hydrangeas. The neighbor’s unsightly yard was hidden with a tall row of evergreen arborvitae. We are experts at hiding ugly things!
Birch Garden and Sunny Perennial Corner
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.
Picnic and Children’s Area
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.