PaulTaylorDesigner 5001
Photo: © DoreenWynja.com

The Taylors are a young family who were ready to upgrade their landscape by removing the playhouse, play structure, and lawn in order to develop outdoor spaces more suitable for adults and teens.

In the front garden the client wanted to create a "large front porch" kind of feeling, a place where they could sit out in the evening and visit with the neighbors. To accomplish this, the existing decorative wooden handrail was taken out and the simple foundation type plantings were removed. A new flagstone terrace large enough to hold a bench and two chairs was built in this newly created space. Large boulders placed around the terrace edges help define the seating area. A Diane witch hazel shrub was added for vibrant fall color and late winter fragrant blooms. An Avondale redbud tree replaced the previous street tree. The new tree with its shiny heart shaped leaves will not overpower the space and will provide bright pink flowers in April. Red flower carpet roses were used in front and back to provide continuity and spring through fall color.

A new steel spiral staircase in the backyard allows the family to descend from the updated upper deck to the revitalized garden terrace below. A cable system handrail visually expands the outdoor room to the green space beyond. The existing upper and lower decking was replaced with the durable hardwood Ipe. Off the lower deck, the addition of a curvaceous flagstone patio provides cozy seating around a portable fire pit. A flowering dogwood was planted, and blueberry plants were relocated to improve fruiting and provide fall color. Hinoki cypress trees create privacy between neighbors.

Paul Taylor Designer 5016
Photo: © DoreenWynja.com

Stone stairs tame a steep side yard and allow easier transitions between the front and back gardens. Shade loving plants were introduced where there had been very few plantings before. Native plants were a good choice for this low maintenance shared space. It feels a bit like a private oasis between two three-story buildings.

Throughout the Taylor's refined garden, low walls formed by boulders and flagstone paths guide the eye and create flow. Plantings were thoughtfully chosen to provide four-season appeal and easy care gardening. These small garden spaces live large. The Taylor family has reasons to be outside in their garden and enjoy nature. This family is getting to have fun in the garden each and every day.

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