An Extension of the Home
Working closely with landscape designer Peggy Krapf, owner of Heart's Ease Landscape & Garden Design in Toano, Virginia, the couple aimed to make the shed visible from the driveway while maximizing the planting area.
Prior to the structure's arrival, they had a 9½- x 9½-foot concrete pad poured. "Within a half hour of delivery, the dovecote cupola was attached and the delivery driver was off on his way," marvels Lynne. Besides customizing several features, the Walkers opted to paint the structure themselves to match their home's exterior. They also added electricity and plumbing to accommodate a sink. Then they finished the structure with shutters, window boxes, and carriage lights.
"The entire experience has been enjoyable and positive," says Lynne. The shed may still be the same, but the plants in the garden are very different now than they were on the day the structure was delivered. Bruce and Lynne have embraced this evolution as they've found what grows stronger and flowers longer in Virginia's climate. While not everything thrives all the time, at the center of this landscape is a little building that's the source of endless inspiration and unbridled enthusiasm.
If you're planning your garden, Lynne and Bruce suggest starting a clip file with photos of looks you like. Designer Peggy Krapf says it's the best place to start when working with professionals because it gives them a feel for what you want.
By studying her clients' images, Peggy learned that the following ideas were important to them.
- Formal yet functional style―A main walk leads to the dependency, while a smaller secondary walk offers an area for seating. A center circle softens the geometric grid and features an urn brimming with seasonal color.
- A cutting garden―They dug out the heavy clay soil and replaced it with a rich, well-draining loam to promote vigorous roots and prolific flowers.
- Unifying materials―The brick paths and the white woodwork of the fence and pergola tie the garden to the Colonial-style house.
"A Fab Prefab" is from the September 2007 issue of Southern Living.