Craftsman Rustic & Native Plants
These clients had a dilapidated old deck and garage that constricted access to the yard, full shade from a large mulberry tree and neighbors' bamboo, and a desire to spend more time outside and create habitat. We designed a new deck with tiered steps that opened up the back yard, an irregular flagstone patio and walkways, a rain garden to infiltrate roof runoff, and a pollinator garden featuring straight-species native plants that was planted in the fall of 2022. I drew up deck and pergola construction details, which received County approval with no revisions. The house is still undergoing renovations. A local architect worked with the clients to create a cabana on the same footprint as the tiny garage, creating a garden office and entertainment space in keeping with the home's Craftsman roots.
Midcentury Stormwater Management and Outdoor Living
This homeowner was concerned about an eroding slope, a muddy back patio, and stormwater entering through the lower door of the house. To complicate matters, an easement limited options in the side yard. A wall just outside of the easement prevents runoff from reaching the back door and new patio. A gravel walkway infiltrates stormwater between stone steps, which can be moved in the unliikely event that work must be done in the easement. Native shade-loving plants also slow down runoff. The shed was relocated and the area planted with ferns, which thrive in the moist soil. As part of the project the narrow deck was expanded by several feet, creating a much more usable perch from which to enjoy the season long-blooms in the back yard.
Rowhouse Modern Steel Deck
The owners of this rowhouse previously had to descend dilapidated stairs from the main level of their house to reach their yard, which contained a narrow path and no liveable space. A new steel deck with a pergola added 85 square feet to this 500 s.f. back yard, creating two gathering spaces where there had been none. The pergola was designed with steel cables to support flowering vines that will attract hummingbirds. Once the vines grow up they will create a shady, private oasis from this hot, south-facing space in full view of the neighbors. A rain garden is being installed soon and will infiltrate stormwater and provide a patch of habitat for city pollinators.
Space to Gather in Kensington, MD
These clients wanted space to host large parties, and their existing patio wasn't cutting it. The tiered aluminum pergola has a 24' x 24' central gathering space and two 12' x 12' wings, one with an outdoor kitchen. The pergola also has motorized louvers that can be closed in the rain, and fans to ensure the space is enjoyable even when mosquitoes are present. A new stone fireplace acts as a focal point and, along with river birch trees, partially encloses the space. A low deck to the side provides an additional space to enjoy a hot tub.