I do have clients who are hands on; Dr. Luria is one of those. I designed his landscape, and gardens, and I have planted a few of the bigger evergreens for him-but by and large, he has done this work himself. I can relate to that gardener that really does like the dirt. The perennial garden sits on top of a low elliptical wall, which strongly borders the space while the garden is dormant.
lI tried very hard to dissuade him from having a perennial garden in his front yard, but working against me was how the house sits on the property. This neighborhood has large common areas that all the homeowners share. Thus most of his property, and almost all of his sun is in the front yard. I need not have worried. This garden is better than well looked after. It is the jewel of the neighborhood.
A dwarf conifer garden lines the walk to the front door from the drive. These evergreens in different shapes and textures and colors have grown in beautifully over the years. Along with the douglas fir in the lawn, and the yews near the front door, the dwarf conifers see to providing visual interest during the winter months. A pair of dwarf magnolias are a welcome shift of texture from the evergreen needles. The side yard is dominated by groups of Limelight hydrangeas, fringed in boxwood. The white flowers read strongly from the street; they look inviting.
In the back yard, The woodland common property is faced down with a mix of shade perennials. This greatly helps to expand the visual space of the rear yard. I suspect he takes care of the woodlot as well. A round terrace/deck is notable for its beautiful iron railings. What I dislike about decks the most is what I see underneath them; I rarely see a surface treatment I find attractive. The undersides of decks also tend to accumulate tools, hoses, toys and the like. This deck has the illusion of being solid to the ground; the vertical wood planks add so much color and texture to this small garden. The stairs hug the deck radius, and spill out onto a second terrace, finished simply in gravel contained by black aluminum edger strip. The blue furniture looks great.
I so enjoy the gardens my clients make for themselves. Never would it occur to me to plant a cactus garden in an iron birdbath. Does this not look swell? I like everything about this small spot in his garden-the color, the textures-and most of all, the presence and personality of the head gardener.
Dr. Luria has been making things grow his whole life, and it shows. The plants are robustly happy and lush; how they look says everything about how much time he spends here. Though I am sure there are days he wonders what he took on here, the state of the garden gives no hint of that. Well grown plants are so much a part of what makes a garden beautiful.
He also does a beautiful job of adding annuals to his perennial mix. Any day you go by, something interesting is going on. In any given year, the annuals he fancies can change the complexion of the entire garden. It looks new and fresh every year. He may consult with me about this or that, but he makes the decisions.
He likes plants, and he likes color, but how he mixes and matches works. The garden is graceful, relaxed, and profuse. I know how much work it is to keep that wild look just this side of chaos. He clearly does not fear the work of it. In fact, the entire gardens looks like he enjoys it.
This garden is truly lovely; he is the driving force behind all you’ve seen here. He should be very proud of it, should he not?