A Collaborative Nod To The Past

Services|Design & Install, Garden Care
  • The Site

    A narrow lot in Lockerbie surrounding an historic, brick home from the 1800s.

  • The Task

    Work with their designer to create a green, slightly formal, and relaxing space that welcomes the neighbors who walk this historic neighborhood.

A Collaborative Nod To The Past
A Collaborative Nod To The Past

The Will family wanted an outdoor space that felt true to the history of the home, yet not overly fussy—a nod to its formal past, but softer and a bit more naturalistic. In collaboration with their designer and property manager, Joseph Nickell, we created the concept: an old, slightly overgrown, formal garden inherited by new owners who want to introduce a more natural aesthetic.

Buxus hybrid
Buxus hybrid
Brunnea macrophylla
Brunnea macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia
Hydrangea quercifolia
Salix purpurea
Salix purpurea
Magnolia hybrid
Magnolia hybrid
Hydrangea arborescens
Hydrangea arborescens
Helleborus hybrid
Helleborus hybrid
Veronica longifolia
Veronica longifolia
Taxus densiformis
Taxus densiformis
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Joseph provided a sketch of the hardscape, centered on a formal pea gravel path (to suit the style of the house) with circular features at either end. We developed it further, chose plants with an almost entirely green and white color scheme, and did the install.

After a winter spent designing, we began construction in February. We redid the drainage, coordinated contractors to relay the historic brick paths and a dog run, coordinated an arborist to prune the massive tulip tree in the front garden, and dug out and constructed the new pea gravel paths. Joseph took care of other projects, like the construction of a wooden screen to provide more privacy in the back garden and planting the iron urns in the circles.

To achieve the slightly overgrown, romantic feel the concept demanded, we planted this garden heavily. We placed Carex species throughout; over time, they will fill in any bare spots beneath the plants, locking together to keep weeds down and moisture in the soil. In addition to being practical, the wispy, grassy look of Carex lends itself nicely to the aesthetic concept. Thanks to a great collaborative effort with Joseph Nickell, the garden was finished right on time for the Wills’ Memorial Day party.