Boulder and grasses in circle garden

A favorite challenge in creating gardens is incorporating children’s play areas and family entertaining. This family of four’s home was located on a main scenic road with no sidewalks, making neighborhood bicycling, skate boarding, and other wheel-bearing sports inaccessible for the kids. There was also a desire to engage in daily basketball one-on-ones. A large back yard lawn was available, but there was no budget to create a sport court for their elementary-age children. The decision was made to renovate and widen the existing front driveway for family play and basketball, and incorporate a circle garden, sitting areas and new foundation plantings. Sunny perennials and grasses were planted on both sides of a quaint garden path which bisected the circle, and provided easy access to school bus stop. From the house, the circle garden doubles as a privacy screen from the passing cars.

The awkward and tiny steps from both formal and mudroom entrances were joined together with a small paved sitting court and the steps were redesigned to be multi-directional and to allow for additional informal seating. All areas were accessorized with containers of spring, summer and fall annuals.

In addition to the front yard garden design, I was given the challenge of trying to integrate the inside of the house with a spacious two-acre back yard landscape. As the house had a chopped up interior, we added a French door leading from the family room onto a new five hundred square foot raised terrace designed to entertain at least fifty people. Access to the raised terrace was also created by turning a two-season porch into a four-season sun room where one could relax with conversation, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, then move to dining, entertaining, reading or sunbathing on the new terrace before descending the grand terrace stairs into a wide open field of lawn. The staircase pillars incorporate built in planters for seasonal plantings or more permanent evergreens.

Before and After