over the past year, many people started to take a closer look at their homes, their families + their lives. one day a few months into the pandemic, ryan was working from home + outside walking around while talking. as i watched, i started to imagine a place for him to sit.

when we bought this property, the area of our yard beside the back stairs was in need of attention. it was practically a forgotten corner of our yard. even the lawn mower had a hard time navigating it’s hilly, uneven terrain. it was causing some poor drainage, affecting our basement as well as the adjacent areas of grass.

i stood on the stairs, enjoying the late-spring sunshine + once he finished his call, we began having an impromptu charrette, one of many throughout the course of 2020. we both arrived at the same conclusion, it was too unsettled for planting + would need to be dug out for drainage anyway, so why not make it a gravel sitting area? eureka! I could hardly wait for a place to further bask in the sun!

it was a month or two later, when work began. progress happened quickly, starting with the big dig + the chopping of many, many tree roots. afterwards, railroad timbers were acquired + placed by hand– ryan’s hands. we ran into an unexpected stump that ultimately measured 60″ wide. it was under many layers of dirt + largely to blame for our drainage issues. after hiring a stump grinder, we were able to check another project off our list following the laying of pea gravel.

only thing left to do was landscape! I had such a fun time imagining this space + sought a lot of inspiration from the many classic gravel paved areas seen throughout europe. by mid-summer, we had a few panicle hydrangeas to soak up the sunny spots while a couple fatsia japonica plants filled the sometimes sunny corners. adding a few boxwoods helped establish the borders along the planting area. everything was looking beautiful, encouraging me along the path of designing the remainder of the space.

i knew we wanted it to really feel like a private nook of our yard over time + with our style of fence, a bit of evergreen height would be needed to achieve this feel. in the fall, bulbs arrived + we planted daffodils, white tulips + a few snowdrops to provide some seasonal interest. we also added in yews along the fence to fill in over time, making the space feel enveloped. not only does this provide a nice anchor for a corner of our yard, but we reclaimed an area that months prior left us feeling a bit, well, stumped.

now that spring is here again, it’s been exciting to see the plans coming together as everything starts to pop + grow. we still have some finishing touches to add. just as a work of art is ever-evolving, so too is our garden! i can’t wait to share what comes next.

we are looking forward to using this space more now that the weather is beginning to be pleasant enough for having a friend or two over to catch up + reconnect outside. can’t wait to have y’all back!

if this looks like a space you’d like to enjoy in your backyard, please get in touch! we’d love to help make your vision a reality.

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