Front entry in springtime.

Lush, late-summer border along front walkway.

Pathway to rear garden.

Roses and perennial beds at rear of master suite/studio addition.

Pathway and perennial beds viewed through rear gate.

Vegetable garden.

Deck and master suite addition in winter.

Patio, deck, and master suite/studio addition.

Clematis vines along west side of deck.

Pittsburgh's most handsome compost bins.

The Architect's Home & Garden

This garden is the embodiment of some of my most enjoyable labors. All of my gardens are designed to be occupied, and I take great pleasure in dining, entertaining, or simply relaxing in mine at every opportunity.

Gardens are by definition—and must be— dynamic in their nature. The twitter of birds and the gentle rustle of leaves reflect this energy in the immediate sense, while longer term changes manifest themselves only over the course of a season, or sometimes only over several years. Plantings for this garden have been selected to provide visual interest in every season (even winter); for their subtle fragrances; and for their abilities to attract not only birds, but butterflies, bees, and even the occasional hummingbird.

The essential importance of connecting a building to its landscape—both visually and physically— is an underlying philosophy in all of my work. This concept is reflected in my garden by the way in which windows and french doors link both the master bedroom and the studio to the private deck that is nestled between them. The notion is further reinforced by the flowering vine-covered trellis that screens the deck from an adjacent property, and by broad steps that lead from the deck to the patio and shade garden below. Overarching birch limbs provide shade and frame views of the valley to the east, while a border of various dense shrubs shields this tiny urban sanctuary from passersby.

Taking a cue from traditional Japanese design, the garden has been developed as a series of outdoor rooms, each with a different character and purpose. The composition is conceived as a progression of distinct spaces that can be understood from no one vantage point, but that only reveals itself by exploring its paths.

The addition houses the master suite and the architect’s studio. With windows overlooking the gardens on all three sides, it is detailed to meld seamlessly with the original portion of the 1930's Craftsman bungalow.

Before Photos

Front of property prior to renovations and addition.

Rear of property prior to renovations and addition.

 

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