Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Peaceful City Garden

Baltimore is full of narrow city lots, often with a garage at one end and the town house at the other. Fences often surround them, and sometimes walls. It is only when one enters the gate or walks through the home or garage that one can see the beautiful and lush oasis' that have been created by the homeowners! What the city garden lacks in space is more than made up for in intensity of landscaping. City gardens provide a unique opportunity to create a garden space that is pure landscaping, lacking the usual lawns of their suburban counter parts. Homeowners enjoy grilling, gardening, entertaining, sunbathing, reading, and more in these beautiful and intimate spaces.

This "city garden" began as a rather bare yard with an old brick patio and a shaky privacy fence.

The homeowners decided to have us replace the fence with a brick wall, and re-use the existing brick to make new patio, as well as raise the garden beds with dry-stack Pennsylvania field stone walls.

The brick wall was selected to blend in with the brick on the existing carriage house and was a full 6 feet high to maximize privacy. The subtle pattern of end bricks was also carefully selected to reflect surrounding walls and the garage itself.

The homeowners had found a decorative terracotta which had been salvaged from an old Baltimore building. We were able to incorporate this into the wall at a prominent location where it was sure to be appreciated for many years to come.
A raised bed below the terracotta serves to blend the "old with the new"...

Pennsylvania field stone complete with moss provides natural borders for the raised beds, giving the appearance of having been in the garden for years.

The majority of bricks which made up the new patio came from the original patio itself, we brought in additional salvaged bricks from Baltimore which allowed us to complete the patio without the addition of glaringly new bricks.

The rectangular patio merged with a circular patio space which created a natural sitting area for the homeowners and guests.

As we came to a completion with this project it was wonderful to see how the garden looked as if it had been there for years. The moss covered stones, the old brick, the solid wall and the unique terracotta blended perfectly to create this private, peaceful city garden.

A rare glimpse from the alleyway taken before the gate was installed, a lush magnolia tree behind the adjoining fence adds rich color to the background.