May 15, 2013

Garden Plans!!

I  mentioned a while back that I’m working with one of my good childhood friends, Danylo Kosovych, to put a vegetable garden onto our property.   (Kindergarten photo below: Danylo is the blonde boy under the   1987-1988 writing and I’m to the left of the writing with the awesome mushroom cut.  —Thanks for that Mom! :/   )

Danylo owns Organic Edible Gardens and specializes in organic edible landscaping in Northern Virginia.

I love the designs that he & his designer John have come up with.  John’s drawings are gorgeous!!

Our house is a cedar contemporary but I tend to like more classical gardens and have always loved the idea of a “garden with paths” so the design was a bit of a challenge.

{We’ve been working on relaxing all of the heavily pruned shrubs a bit so they look more natural…  This was the real estate photo from when the house was on the market.}

Here’s another picture of our house before we bought it & added the patio:


The garden will be going to the right of the house along the fence and it will be as deep as the house.  This was a tough decision for us to make because it will reduce the size of our “playing field” and we’re constantly playing soccer or football or something else out there:

…But we decided to give it a go because the yard is still going to be large enough to play football or soccer even with the garden.

Besides where we were going to put the garden, we also had a bunch of other decisions to make: raised beds or in-ground beds?  What should the paths be made out of?  Should we go symmetrical/classical or more casual/ meandering like the rest of the landscaping at our place?  My biggest fear was (and is!) that the type of garden I really love doesn’t exactly “go” with the style of my home.

I collected a bunch of images on pinterest of gardens that I loved and of course, I was drawn to the more classic gardens.  Many had brick paths…

…or gravel ones:

All had a series of paths because I want us to be able to enjoy actually being “in” the garden vs. just being beside it.


{My friends’ Brooke & Steve Giannetti’s kitchen garden in the front yard of their previous house…  When we visited them, the first thing I remember noticing was the smell of lavendar as we walked up to their front door!!! Heaven!!}
I love the use of focal points in gardens.  In Brooke’s garden, above, your eye is drawn down the path to the garden table, which looks like the perfect spot for working and relaxing, making the garden feel more like a “room.”
I also  really love the look of gardens with gravel paths…
…But I’m a barefoot kind of person and I don’t like walking barefoot on gravel so we’ve decided to try grass paths this year and see how they work out.
When deciding between raised beds or in-ground beds, I reviewed my inspiration gardens and realized that I was drawn to gardens that were edged in a plant or shrub, like this classical boxwood hedge:
I want my garden to feel a little bit wilder so we are going with boxwoods, but they won’t be pruned into a square hedge like in the photo above.
When I saw this Country Living Garden (below) I really fell for it’s structure yet relaxed look.  It’s more rustic than many of the classical ones I’ve fallen for but it still has that symmetry that I love:


Seeing a garden like this made me think that we could maybe try to combine the more classical gardens with  country ones and maybe make it work with my rustic-modern home.  Can we get away with it???  And the grass paths are just what we’ll be doing. which I think really relaxes the look and will blend it better with our house.

And of course, one of my favorite local places to visit is Mount Vernon:


{One of the Kitchen Gardens at Mount Vernon}
Aaaaaaah!!! I love everything about it!!!!  It’s so classic yet definitely more primitive and relaxed then some of the more formal European gardens.  I love how the grass paths look here.
So…  after talking Danylo’s ears off (I MIGHT possibly be the worst client ever!! hahaha) we came up with this:
The round spots in the center will be for potted trees because I wanted some sort of focal points in the garden… Right now I have some hydrangea trees but hopefully one day we can try fruit trees of some sort.
The guys are building a teepee for the boys near their favorite climbing tree:
{This tee pee is insanity and I can’t wait to have one!!!}
Here’s a picture of the fence where the garden’s going:

It’s going in now so I’ll be sure to post pictures once it’s all planted!!!  I can’t wait!!!  And of course, thanks so much to Danylo and his team for everything!!!  They were so patient with my craziness and are incredibly creative and know their stuff.   If you’re in the DC-VA area and are looking for a kitchen garden or eco-friendly landscape in general, definitely check out the Organic Edible Gardens website & get in touch.  They’re amazing!!!

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.