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Garden Design

Sanctuary garden

Maria von Brincken

Maria von Brincken

November 15, 2011

As you can see from the photographs, this garden creates a very private, sanctuary retreat for this new home addition that has windows on 3 sides. There were concerns for screening from the streets and the neighbours, which is why this green ‘living fence’ of arbor-vitae was used.

Sancuary garden entrance

In the first picture you can see the entry steps to the side of the garden and the newly-laid sod lawn. We hope to have a couple of adirondack chairs there, so there’ll be places in this garden for people to hang out, like the clients’ children. You can also see the white neighbour’s fence that will be screened some day as these plants grow.

Sanctuary garden retaining wall & new planting


The second photograph shows the stepping stone path and the retaining wall that do several things in this garden. Not only do they provide winter interest – eventually there’ll be lighting that will glaze the front of the walls in the winter, but here in New England, we have approximately 6 months of winter, when our perennials and deciduous trees are really non-existent, and we depend on hardscape and the elements of broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs to provide both structure and winter interest.

You can also see the retaining wall, which also functions as way of taking the water from the higher points, way behind in the garden near the fenceline, and pushing it across the garden. There’s a little swale that you can’t see, so that it doesn’t come back in and flood out the patio area.

Sanctuary garden before construction

The last photo shows the side and what was there before. It was a hodge podge with a slope coming right through that looked pretty ugly. You can see the soil, or what was left of it after the construction, and also the gutter dripline, which I included in the garden bed now filled with Pachysandra that we transplanted from what is now lawn area. We also took out a great number of overhanging limbs and branches to add more light in this shady garden.

You can see that there’s a lot that goes into even a small garden, and I haven’t even started talking about the plantings! I hope you enjoy the blog, and the posts from my mostly winter area over the coming months.