Montecito Garden Story

Upper Eastside Family Home

This beautiful old shingled home on the upper east side was sitting in a tired garden when the owners Elaine and her husband called Earthworks Garden Design in to rethink the landscaping. With kids, kid’s climbing structures, chickens and a vegetable garden Elaine was not interested in anything too formal, preferring more of a farmhouse feel with lots of flowers and color. 

The old chicken coop was utilitarian but run down. To make the coop an attractive focal point rather than an eye sore, we rebuilt the coop in an octagonal shape with shingle siding to repeat the house siding and added a copper weather vane in the shape of a rooster to the roof. To screen the garden from the neighbors and to add a shot of rich burgundy color we added a red ornamental plum tree to the fence line and repeated this color with two japanese maples elsewhere in the garden. To give order to the informal and unrestrained style of a cottage or farmhouse garden and to live up to the sophistication of the home’s architecture we limited the color palette to orange, blue purple, and white with accents of burgundy foliage which complimented the gray of the house and the red of the door. Replacing a rusting iron fence, with a white picket fence with an arched arbor over the gate suited the style of the house better and extended its bright white trim. Nestled in a planting of orange alstroemerias, variegated agapanthus, ornamental grasses and day lilies with a Cecile Brunner rose rambling over the arch, the fence holds the chickens in while the arched gate entices one to wander into the flowers beyond. A blue stone pathway leads through lush border plantings and opens out into the back lawn.  

The entrance garden needed color and additional screening from the street. More alstroemerias, a red japanese maple, and the glowing purple of a princess flower  (Tibouchina) along with a Liquidambar tree, bright white roses, iris and japanese anemones give the entrance a lush east coast feel in keeping with style of the home

path  flowers  gate  chicken house  chicken  flowers  iris   About this garden