When Claudia and Paul built their house in 2006, they were presented with a clean slate for a garden. Not wanting to make any mistakes, they decided to work with a landscape designer. A local garden center recommended Barbara Hilty Landscape Design. On a rainy day in February 2007, Barbara and Claudia started working on what was to become their hidden garden. Claudia’s list of favorite plants was enough for a garden ten times the size of their space, but was carefully narrowed down with the focus on inviting birds into the garden. Barbara designed the hardscaping along with the plant ‘bones’ of the garden; the hardscape installation was completed by professional landscape contractors, and then Claudia planted it herself.
No one likes living in a fishbowl. This one-story home was surrounded by two-story homes so bringing a sense of privacy to the yard was paramount. Barbara carefully considered the views from each window to make sure the design worked perfectly with the vantage points from within the home. Four large steel screens, brought from a previous home, were integrated into a semicircular wooden arbor that provides not only privacy, but also a focal point to frame the fountain. Italian cypress were carefully situated to provide further screening. The original plan had three stages, all of which have morphed into what you see now.
As the years pass, the garden changes. One of the biggest factors leading to the changes is the surrounding homes have mature trees now which have blocked great amounts of sunshine; what was once a partial shade garden is now a deep shade, hosta-fern, remembrance garden. The raised beds were originally designed with trees to provide shade; they are now used for vegetables and cut flowers. Many roses – one for each of the family’s grandchildren – were moved to pots on the patio also due to light issues. Over the years, life changes led to other modifications in the yard. Eliminating the very small lawn seemed a good way to phase out unwanted yard maintenance, so again Barbara’s skills were used to design the walking path and terraced front yard.
Claudia and Paul love spending time in their garden. They say that every year more birds come and interestingly there are more varieties every year. When you walk down the street, you would never know what is behind the garden gate. It is truly a hidden garden.
Barbara Hilty – Barbara Hilty Landscape Design
Barbara Hilty, a Nationally certified landscape designer who has been practicing for over 35 years, loves collaborating with clients to create gardens unique to them, their dreams, budget, lifestyle and architecture. Her designs are as diverse as her many clients. Hilty’s underlying goal as a landscape designer is environmentalism, creating healthy habitats in urban environments.