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Private Escapes in Your Own Backyard

High end home landscape design in New England

Now that spring is on the horizon, we’re dreaming of moments en plein air. You might say we’re waiting to inhale, because it won’t be long before the landscape comes alive and teems with color and fragrance. What better way to enjoy the splendor of this long-awaited season than on your very own home turf. Join us on a virtual garden tour for a glimpse at backyard Edens and private oases cultivated by the area’s leading landscape professionals.

(Main Image: Landscape Architecture by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects)

High end home landscape design in New EnglandLandscape Architecture by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects

Rife with perennials and ornamental grasses, this Truro terrace by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects affords two very different outdoor experiences. Homeowners can drink in the sunshine and beauty of shadblow and stewartia trees out on a bluestone terrace, or shield themselves—just a bit—in an intimately scaled shade porch. Within the private refuge shown above, homeowners can take in the lush and verdant garden while relaxing on downy sofas in a room of their own. The structure’s sliding doors and wood slat walls invite in gentle breezes but keep harsh rays at bay.

Home garden landscape designLandscape design by Gregory Lombardi Design; landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company; photo by Eric Roth

This luxuriant Chestnut Hill garden was designed by the office of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and reimagined by landscape architect Gregory Lombardi Design. Together with landscape contractors R.P. Marzilli & Company, Lombardi Design breathed new life into the sacred ground, conjuring an “Alice in Wonderland” sensibility.

Romantic southing home gardens and landscape design
Landscape design by Gregory Lombardi Design; landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company; photo by Eric Roth

Originally, the historic garden was quite formal and structured, in keeping with the architecture of the Georgian style home. The current homeowner, however, while respecting tradition and looking to preserve the green space’s geometry, prefers a “romantic and naturalistic” escape punctuated by thoughtful destinations.

Landscape architecture and design custom cupola gazebo wooden swingLandscape design by Gregory Lombardi Design; landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company; photo by Eric Roth

To that end, Lombardi Design allowed the formal plan “to relax and become somewhat overgrown,” creating a “fantasy lost garden that forever feels just on the cusp of decay.” Bursting with boxwoods, white euonymus and royal burgundy, as well as a soaring 150 year-old Sugar Maple, viewers “can project a romantic story of their own about the space and its history,” says the firm. We can’t think of a better perch to weave that tale than from the red wooden swing in the custom cupola gazebo.

Home Landscape Architecture and design services
Landscape Architecture by The MacDowell Company

For a glorious landscape project in Weston, the MacDowell Company drew from classic New England materials to create an idyllic setting for enjoyment three months of the year. Peaceful and picturesque, the landscape professionals capitalized on the terrain’s variance in elevation, installing a custom water feature flanked by two steps of stairs leading to fields of green above. Built from hand selected granite boulders from the firm’s Monadnock quarry, and jutting out from New England fieldstone walls, the landscape element serves as the central focal point from the rear of the expansive home and its terrace areas.

Home yard landscaping design and luxury spaces
Landscape Architecture by The MacDowell Company

Its soothing water cascade provides an audible reminder to stop and smell the roses (it also foils traffic noise from the Mass Pike) and is answered by a glittering spa tucked into the lower left hillside adjacent to a bluestone courtyard.

Garden home landscape design
Landscape by a Blade of Grass

When the landscape of a beautiful Brookline brownstone did not measure up to the architectural bones of the residence, landscape company a Blade of Grass was commissioned to restructure the yard and make it blossom. As the homeowners sought to use the grounds in a variety of ways, a Blade of Grass divided the property, creating a series of smaller verdant “rooms” to suit different purposes.

Restful private landscape patio and canopyLandscape by a Blade of Grass

The landscape company carved out a restful private patio under a canopy of climbing blooms, a parterre cutting garden for the resident green thumb to tend, plenty of play space for the kids, and their take on a checkerboard garden at the main entry. A long lawn garden, capped by a whimsical pergola, has all of the hallmarks of an English landscape—manicured hedges, and a long level lawn lined with beds of gorgeous, showy blooms of varying heights, color and texture.

English garden yards landscape architecture
Landscape Architecture by Dana Schock and Associates

While we’re on the subject of English gardens, behold Dana Shock and Associates’ resplendent natural gem conceived for the side yard of a sprawling property in Wayland. Framed by boxwood hedge and spilling with David Austin roses, lavender, catmint, salvia and dwarf lilac standards, the garden has aesthetic as well as functional virtues. The working kitchen garden contains a section for herbs and features a charming English-style potting shed. Come dusk, the bower shines with light; the homeowners can walk the gravel paths, thyme growing amid the stones, and often sip a glass of wine on the bench.

Garden design home landscape architecture and landscape contractor
Landscape design LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects; Landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company

For a homeowner who likes to walk in the woods, R.P. Marzilli & Company celebrated the journey by creating a small scenic pathway into the woodlands. Conceived by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects, the design directs your eye to the rear woods in the far portion of the yard, “exaggerating the length and making the yard appear a little bit longer,” maintains principal Bob Marzilli. 

white arbors flowering vines garden brick walkways
Landscape design LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects; Landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company

Repeated white arbors, softened by flowering vines, bring romance to the garden setting as well as structure to an area that is thick with vegetation. Together with brick walkways, and shocks of perennial ground covers in all shades of green, the trellises bring ceremony and style to the wooded allée.

Home waterfront Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architecture by Pellettieri Associates, Inc.

A beautiful stone walkway is also a focal point for a tranquil garden designed by Pellettieri Associates, Inc. The gentle path, comprised of New Hampshire bluestone, cuts through the expansive lawn, winding through native plantings and white birch, before spilling into a private garden.

Home Garden landscape and walkway designLandscape Architecture by Pellettieri Associates, Inc.

The meandering stepping-stones accentuate the length of the property, somehow bringing both anticipation and serenity to the natural, sustainable setting. Given the southern exposure of the garden oasis, Pellettieri Associates, quite literally, gave the homeowners a place in the sun.

Landscape Design Berkshires Massachusetts
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design; collaborator: Creative Country Landscapes

Situated on the cusp of woodland in the Berkshires, Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design created a secluded garden setting for the contemporary weekend retreat of a prominent writer. Like the destination itself, Cunningham crafted an easy and low-maintenance reprieve from the pressures of daily life. The thoughtful design has a deliberately uncultivated “back-to-nature” sensibility, with a Goshen stone hardscape that spills into and out of the house and garden via paths, terraces and thresholds.

forest landscape design and landscaping creation year-round landscape
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design; collaborator: Creative Country Landscapes

In keeping with its rustic setting, “pine duff paths weave around the property,” says Cunningham, to allow for casual, side-by-side strolls to a sauna (shown above) at the edge of the forest or the hammock cradled among the ferns. Crushes of bayberry, witch hazel, mountain laurel and woodland geranium also surround the masonry elements, bringing year-round appeal.

firepit landscape escape in Weston Massachusetts
Landscape Architecture by Sudbury Design Group; Photography by Richard Mandelkorn

Sudbury Design Group brought that Berkshires allure to a home in Weston when sculpting a perfect escape at the foot of the woodland in a side yard. Pea stone walkways, astride hydrangea and ornamental trees, lead to a fireside clearing in a natural thicket of plantings including ferns, hostas and groundcover. The landscape firm elevated the camp experience, but kept it true to nature thanks to the fieldstone and granite boulder design of the fire pit and a carpet of moss and fieldstone stepping-stones.

home alfresco landscape patio design
Landscape by Paragon Landscape Construction

Paragon Landscape Construction also fanned the flames when bringing to life an alfresco sanctuary that is, this time, closer to home. Here the homeowner simply steps out the sliding doors for fresh air, and can take in the landscape from a higher tier. In keeping with the style of the residence, this clean-lined terrace is more about hardscape than foliage, yet it’s softened and warmed by the hearth within its masonry, the glow of outdoor lighting and swaying natural grasses.

landscape design transformation courtyard
Project by Perfection Fence

Perfection Fence partnered with a landscape designer to transform a backyard space into a Japanese Garden style oasis. A fence of clear Western red, with a unique post top design element, encases the serene space and lends an air of romance. We love the way the rich wood evokes the crimson of the Japanese maple, and how it mingles with the stone courtyard for a truly elemental setting in which the homeowners can find their zen.

Home outdoor lifestyle custom pergola private patio design
Project by Walpole Outdoors

Walpole Outdoors can give you what your property didn’t, allowing you to design and cultivate a terrace garden of your own. This lovely veranda features a collection of the outdoor lifestyle company’s enduring mainstays. The screens and trellises, coupled with the custom pergola overhead, create a private inner sanctum, as well as a place to coax those climbing vines, while oversized paneled planters allow homeowners and their guests to surround themselves with container gardens of flowers and greenery.

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