Architectural Gardens, Inc
4 Reviews

Before-and-After: Modern Garden

This recent backyard renovation was undertaken to give the homeowner what she really desired - a change of place with the goal of creating the look and feel of a comfortable, urban rooftop garden. Notwithstanding the suburban home's typical backyard makeup: garage, driveway, neighbors, kids and dogs, this outdoor space has many characteristics of a modern rooftop garden; an efficient, geometric layout, modern adaptation of traditional materials, screening for privacy, dramatic textural contrasts, an updated planting palette, and easily maintained surfaces. The 50' x 50' space between the rear of the house and the property lines was completely gutted. To meet the client's desire for a variety of gathering spaces, the yard was sub-divided and organized to optimize functionality, direct views, and improve flow. The spacious dining and lounging area in front of a prominent stone fireplace is the main focus of activity, re-claiming the formerly underused rear corner of the yard. A smaller gathering space alongside the garage is for the owner's children to use. Aligned on axis with the mudroom door, their back-and-forth foot traffic from the house is confined to a secondary bluestone stepper path. A small grilling area is situated out of the main sightline from the house, but close to the rear doors. Three large faux stone planters are used to impart a sense of separation between the grilling area and the dining area, and serve as the client's culinary garden for patio tomatoes and herbs. The original design had included a wooden pergola overtop the fireplace seating area to provide vertical definition to the room. However, building codes would not permit the structure so instead "architectural" plantings of columnar hornbeam and pine were placed in the locations where the four support posts would have been. Other plant varieties in the garden were chosen for their unique qualities and distinctive textures, color, and forms. Several types of bluestone, laid in varying patterns, are used for the paved surfaces. Hand-cut Windsor stone was used to veneer the masonry fireplace, seatwalls, stairs and stoop, and harmonizes with the peachy-brown tones of the house and garage brick.
Country: United States
Before Photo
Modern Garden; Before and After
18 Saves | 0 Questions
Before and After images of a backyard makeover on a typical suburban lot in the Midwest.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
103 Saves | 0 Questions
The paver patio, wood deck, corner shed and lawn were all removed. In their place, a custom-built stone fireplace with hand-dressed Windsor stone, several connected patio spaces, a dining area, two lounge areas, two decorative and function seat walls, container gardens, and a grilling space close to the back doors. The client's desire for outdoor entertaining space was comp...More
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Before Photo
Modern Garden; Before and After
6 Saves | 0 Questions
The entry to the rear yard from the driveway was unappealing. The wooden deck took up too much space for a stoop, but was too small for furniture. It required continual maintenance without providing aesthetic appeal or functionality.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
35 Saves | 0 Questions
The walk from the driveway is flanked by beds of Liriope as a substitute for turfgrass. With two large dogs, keeping the old lawn in good shape required constant effort. The new planting scheme meets the client's goal to reduce maintenance. The A/C units are camouflaged by upright, evergreen yews, and the neighbor's white garage no longer commands attention.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
6 Saves | 0 Questions
The blankness of the space actually made the backyard feel confining. Thoughtful design and precise field-layout transformed the space into 3 distinct and spacious rooms with many amenities, as well as privacy.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
2,308 Saves | 2 Questions
A precise path of 4'x 2' Bluestone leads from the house to a casual seating area, and provides access to the garage. Irregular bluestone paving and masonry seatwalls make this space distinctive from the main gathering area. In time, the groundcovers planted between the stones will fill in and completely knit together - covering the soil for a softer look. The grouncover plants ...More
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Before Photo
Modern Garden; Before and After
3 Saves | 0 Questions
With 2 large dogs, the lawn was unsightly and unusable. None of the existing surfaces or structures worked for the client’s vision of a modern, urban-style rooftop garden. More refined and interesting "flooring" would be key to that aesthetic
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Modern Garden; Before and After
700 Saves | 1 Question
The masonry steps and stoop to the house replace the high-maintenance and dated wooden deck. Risers are clad with Windsor stone and treads are of dimensioned bluestone so that everything matches, without being formal
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Before Photo
Modern Garden; Before and After
3 Saves | 0 Questions
The transformation from “ordinary suburban” to “modern urban” rejected all existing elements in the yard, save the fences. Added were 20 CY concrete for foundations, 950 SF bluestone, 10 trees, 37 shrubs, and a multitude of perennials
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Modern Garden; Before and After
31 Saves | 0 Questions
Movement through the garden spaces is easy and logical, yet there is an intentional degree of separation between them. Cohesion is achieved by limiting the palette of materials and considering functional relationships - how/when spaces are used, and by whom.
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Before Photo
Modern Garden; Before and After
8 Saves | 0 Questions
By dividing the backyard into a series of outdoor rooms, the garden offers unique views from every location. Placing trees in the center of the garden obscures sight-lines effectively making the backyard look larger than it is.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
443 Saves | 3 Questions
In the spring and fall the modern faux stone planters are filled with colorful annuals. In the summer they function as petite culinary gardens, with no bending or weeding required. Chosen for their distinctive bark and large thick leaves, the London Plane Trees provide privacy. To keep them from outgrowing the space the client has committed to a long-term pruning regimen to be...More
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Modern Garden; Before and After
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The traditional materials and style of the house and garage influenced how a modern "urban rooftop garden" would be interpreted to fit with this suburban backyard. Design elements and materials were orchestrated to marry both styles.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
101 Saves | 1 Question
The same view as the preceding "Before" shot from the corner of the garage looking across the yard. The lawn was replaced with connected patio spaces with trees floating in the center of the yard, not just around the perimeter. This planting scheme provides for greater privacy and directs views toward intentional focal points.
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Modern Garden; Before and After
71 Saves | 0 Questions
a scaled drawing of the landscape plan of The Modern Garden by Architectural Gardens of Lake Forest, IL
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