7 Simple Steps To Remodel A Small City Garden

This is the story of how garden designer William Morrow transformed a nondescript urban backyard into a most desirable green retreat. The seven steps mentioned in the title are simple, but some are quite radical such as abolishing the lawn and cutting down some large trees. Making the boundaries disappear is another of his tricks as Joanna Fortnam explains in her article which I came across on the Garden Design Magazine website.

Georgetown, one of the oldest parts of Washington, D.C., where the town houses stand shoulder to shoulder on narrow streets, conceals many a green oasis. When garden designer William Morrow began making his enclosed backyard five years ago, he was instinctively drawn to the Old-World vocabulary of stone and gravel; lush, romantic planting; antique statuary; and weathered artifacts. But the space he had to deal with, at 1,686 square feet, was less than aristocratic. He adapted his vision accordingly.
?I knew the space needed strong lines to contain the chaos of my perennial beds. I trial a lot of plants before using them in a client?s garden, so I?m constantly replanting. I also needed a space that was flexible and that would look good because I like to entertain a lot,? he says. Construction was ?challenging,? but as Morrow explains, his approach breaks down into simple steps:

  • Start with the house
    One of Morrow?s goals was an area for outdoor entertaining next to the house?but he did not want the existing architecture to dictate the design. His 1890s Victorian house, although pretty from the street, is just a ?brick box? at the back. Morrow?s response was to cover it with wisteria, and, like a theatrical backdrop, the leafy curtain strikes the right note against the wrought-iron furniture and weathered stone on the patio.
  • Design for flexibility
    Morrow?s constantly changing lineup of perennials could prove distracting. To counteract this he designed a layout with a strongly defined hardscape in stone and gravel and a backbone of permanent plants that provides all-year interest.

See more at the Garden Design Magazine

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