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“I Love Your Garden”
Designers brighten Washington yards with relaxing patios, woodsy paths, lush water gardens, and more. By Marilyn Dickey
All photographs by Roger Foley (
Comments () | Published May 22, 2008
Homes > Home Design > Outdoor Living Package

Fire and Water

Scott Brinitzer Design Associates in Arlington created gardens in both the front and the back of this Bethesda house. In the backyard—shown at left and above—the stucco fireplace, designed by Brinitzer’s firm, and the small stone wall next to it are made of the same materials as those used in the five-year-old house. The terrace around the pool is bluestone; the rest of the stone is fieldstone from the local Carderock Quarries.

In front of the fireplace, Brinitzer created a “cutout” in the terrace so its size wouldn’t seem imposing. Shown in the photo above, it’s filled with Korean boxwoods and small magnolia trees from the series called Little Girls; this variety is called Jane. They’re similar to tulip magnolias, but the blooms appear a week to ten days later, so frost is less likely to kill them. The trees are lovely all year, says Brinitzer, who likes the bark’s color in winter and the leaves’ shape in summer.

The biggest challenge was the front yard, shown at left. It was on a slope that dropped 14 feet on the left side of the house, so Brinitzer leveled the yard with terraces and added such plants as serviceberry trees, the groundcover pachysandra, English boxwood, and English ivy.

Two Paths to Wander

A bluestone path, shown at right, leads from this Potomac house to a circular lawn terrace decorated with large sculptural boulders. From there, a fieldstone path, shown in the bottom photo, leads to a lower terrace with a pool and pond. Along the left side of this path, Sheila Brady of Capitol Hill’s Oehme, van Sweden & Associates planted iris siberica; on the path’s right side are a heritage river birch tree and a Japanese ornamental grass called Hakonechloa macra. The small photo below shows daylilies, Russian sage, and fountain grass.


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/22/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles