Scott Lewis Landscape Architects were tapped for this Presidio neighborhood townhouse garden renovation after working on another project for the owners. The family’s children were growing and didn’t need the yard for playtime anymore, so it was time to transform the patchy old lawn into a space more suited to entertaining and working. A large wedge of bluestone pavers were laid down for practicality and to draw the eye to the end of the garden, which abuts the wilder space of the Presidio. The utilitarian shed was renovated into a working studio space and then clad with a metal frame, over which ivy was trained. The resulting “green cube” is a highlight of the award-winning garden.
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Several existing trees were retained in the renovation, including a Japanese maple and a Japanese black pine. These were then planted out with an understory of rhododendrons, viburnums, and Japanese snowbell trees, among others, as well as ground covers including hellebores, sweet white violets, wild ginger and anemones. A climbing rose provides privacy for the seating area in summer, and all the plantings were selected to provide texture and visual interest throughout the changing seasons. The entire garden and studio space also fits within a narrow 50- by 25-foot yard!
In a project statement, Lewis writes: “This project proves that contemporary forms can join lush plantings to create an inviting environment. Bordering a wooded city park, this garden blends modern angles and green and white flora. A wedge-shaped terrace visually widens the site and extends the home’s living area out toward the park. The property’s art studio became a green cube focal point. The aesthetic of the home’s modern interior is reflected in the distinctive lines of this refreshing garden.” Form an orderly queue, garden studio lovers!
Images via Scott Lewis Landscape Architects and Landscape Architecture Magazine