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Kensington Bird Haven

GreenHeart Garden Designs was hired to help make this newly built home blossom. It had typical builder-grade 'landscaping': a small bed next to the front walk with five teeny shrubs and some ground cover plants. We were able to reuse those, but planted much more densely, with a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials, to create gardens that will look good in all seasons. Many of the plants attract pollinators with a variety of flowers and berries to delight birds and insects.

First, though, a new fence of cedar was installed to keep the beloved family dogs contained. Upsized posts and pyramid post caps look well with the traditionally-styled home. Decrepit Leyland Cypress leaning into the yard were removed to make room for better trees: a large holly, Cryptomeria, and fairly mature dogwoods.

This new build, like many, had workable but unattractive grading to convey rainwater from the roof, yard, and from uphill neighboring properties. Basically, deep swales had been dug and simple covered with turf so that water would flow to the front on either side of the home.

We decided to make those swales into design assets by burying perforated pipe under a dry stream bed of river rock and irregular flagstone steppers.

A nice flagstone patio had been built into the L at the back of the home, and we improved it by extending it just a bit beyond the end to make room for a grill. The grill is just out of sight of the kitchen window. New Hydrangea shrubs will grow to the top of that windowsill to soften the architecture and provide attractive blooms.

The owners love birds and so our palette included many native plants with flowers and berries. A mix of evergreen and deciduous plants ensure that the garden will look great year-round.

Irrigation was installed by Outdoor Irrigation; Lighting (including a light over the grill) by Olson Weaver. MMV Landscaping and Stonework did fantastic work with planting, as usual, but excelled especially with their stonework. It isn't easy working with 2.5" thick broken stone pavers, but during the pandemic, 1.5" thick stone was nowhere to be found!

Newly Built Kensington Home