Washington Square West
(Philadelphia County) PA
Classical styling sets the mood for quiet relaxation in a small urban garden.
Like many Center City Philadelphia
yards, this one was edged with a narrow planting strip and surfaced with uneven brick paving. The owner of this urban home contacted Composite Inc for a classical retrofit.
Landscape Architect Michael LoFurno developed a plan that transforms the uninteresting backyard to a classically toned outdoor room. Every element was selected to create a unified whole and create a viable extension of the home's living room.
Concrete pavers mimic Philadelphia's cobblestoned streets. A custom-built cedar trellis and fence (both stained dark green) provide the illusion of privacy. Plantings chosen for their ability to thrive in low-light conditions include fragrant hosta, striped lilyturf, heavenly bamboo, and a pink flowering dogwood; these were chosen for their low-maintenance requirements and provide year-round interest. A built-in masonry seatwall provides extra room for guests without the clutter of additional furniture. Dramatic lighting showcases the garden's features.
A wall-mounted iron fountain sets the tone for this formal yet intimate garden retreat. This feature is especially striking when illuminated by a narrowly-focussed low-voltage spotlight. Seen from the moment one enters the front door of the home, visitors cannot wait to walk through to the garden to hear its gentle babbling.
The engaged stuccoed wall provides an appropriate setting for the fountain and helps to provide relief from the nearly overwhelming presence of brick in the neighborhood.
Small urban spaces are especially challenging and we welcome the opportunity to transform them into special places that reflect the tastes and sensibilities of their owners and that complement and enlarge their homes.
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