A pair of stone terraces divide the space into segments making the walk to the lawn seem shorter. Benches provide nice spots to rest and enjoy the garden.
Let Architecture Set the Tone
The Colonial Revival style of their new combined home suggested a formal look for the garden. This treatment is evident from the moment you exit the left entrance. A pair of stone terraces linked by brick walks replaces the old driveway. The inner terrace, replete with roomy benches, feels serene and private. The outer terrace has an antique wishing well in its center, which serves as both a focal point and an ornate planter.
Why two terraces instead of one? The reason, explains Mary Palmer, is that the brick walk leading from the front entrance on the left to the lawn is fairly long. Breaking it up into segments makes the approach seem shorter and more inviting. Hugged by greenery on three sides, the terraces are like retreats within the garden.
Keep Things in Line
The wishing well, terraces, and walk are on axis with the front door (an invisible line running through the middle of each also runs through the center of the door). Putting landscape elements on axis is a hallmark of formal gardens and is often used to lead the eye to a focal point in the distance. In this case, the focus is the wishing well.
If you walk out to the wishing well, you'll discover another axis used in designing this garden. This line, called a "cross axis," is perpendicular to the first. It runs from the center of the garage, across the guest parking, down the center of a brick walk, through the wishing well, and finally to a garden house that sits behind the outer terrace. When viewed from the guest parking area, the wishing well and garden house become arresting focal points.
Stroll a few steps from the wishing well toward the street, and you'll soon arrive at the neck of a guitar-shaped lawn. Originally, the grass ran all the way to the street, putting the house in full view of passersby. New planting beds filled with trees, shrubs, and flowers now screen the home from traffic.