Submitted by Susanna Membrino, Dawn Szelc, and Mary Rollefson
The Landscape Designer Group met in the evening of June 16 at a private garden in Bethesda designed by Paul Davis, of H. Paul Davis Landscape Architects. Paul is a long-time LDG member and has worked for the last 17 years to change American University’s 84 acre campus into an extensive arboretum. In all of his gardens, Paul works in collaboration with nature to structure designs and gardens that create a sense of space and beauty. After refreshments, provided by the Hospitality Committee, Paul led us on a tour of the large garden built over many years in three phases.
Paul began by describing the initial project which was to create an outdoor entertaining space in the front of the house. The entrance to the house is south-facing and the client originally asked for a patio at the entrance that would work as a place for the family to eat outdoors and entertain. Starting with an original cherry tree, Paul built a patio at its base and created a sense of seclusion by trans-planting shrubs and perennials from other parts of the property and building a screen, now covered by honeysuckle creating a clearly defined entrance.
Phase 3 began with acquisition of the house and property on the opposite side of the home. As with phase 2, this home was dismantled by an architectural salvage firm, Second Chance, including removal of a tennis court. Above the garden, the lawn steps up through three tiers to a spacious patio. The garden consists of a large swath of perennials and a potager garden of multiple raised stone beds, concentric, set into a gravel base, and surrounded by fruit trees and berry bushes. The stone work was done by Santos. Additional beds at ground level, contain bamboo frames for climbing vegetables. Raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries grow below the circle. The garden contains the familiar vegetables and lettuces, a cutting garden, and herbs. A small potting shed stands to one side. It takes little imagination to picture the garden in August in full production and we are wondering if there will be any extra tomatoes for the group.
LDG is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the exchange and enhancement of knowledge relevant to the landscape design profession. We are a group of professional designers in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Membership is meant for students studying and professionals employed in landscape design or associated professions (i.e. arborists, installers, contractors, etc.).
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