Me and My Landscape Architect
Just because you’re a gardener doesn’t mean you can do it yourself—consult a landscape architect.
By Susan Harris
H. Peter Von Pawel
You wouldn’t believe how crappy my 900-square-foot front garden still looked after nine years of my utterly forgettable design attempts.
Small spaces are hard!
Then, in 1994, I gave up and enlisted the help of landscape architect Holt Jordan. Although he works primarily
in Washington, D.C., on megabudget projects, he happens to live near me, and I’d seen examples of his work in the neighborhood.
For only $250 he created the lovely plan shown here, which was implemented
by a local carpenter and one odd-jobs laborer.
- removing the hideous cement walkway up to and along the front
of the house and replacing it with red brick pavers to match the
front porch and a new planting area
- replacing the black-and-white metal awning over the porch (what
I call the house’s 1950s-style tackification) with a wooden one
that complements this Sears bungalow
- adding a custom-built teak arch over the entrance to this now-enchanting
- transforming a busy, distracting lawn shape into a simple oval
that regularly gets compliments
As for the plants? Well, the reason this very successful guy charged so little for the plan is that it didn’t include precise species
and quantities of plants. Holt knew I’d want to choose them myself (although, like so many gardeners, I needed help with the larger
plants and happily followed his suggestion to include the flowering plum shown on the right and the cherry trees in the right-of-way).
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