New Patio-Old House

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Old houses are so picturesque and have lots of charm inside, but outside can be a different story. I got a call for a job for an early 1800’s house that had been decorated to the nines inside but lacked the same appeal on the outside.

Stone Work

There were several obstacles-one was the imposing curved brick wall around the sun room with the steep drop down to the lower level (lower blue arrow). The other was the very small exit from the brick surround to the grassy area, only 2 1/2 feet wide (upper blue arrow).

Adding an upper patio and cutting out a new wider entrance

Adding an upper patio and cutting out a new wider entrance

The first order of business was to add a mortared blue stone patio behind the mud room (small off-set room), replacing the old brick pavers next to the house. Adding six or seven large four to five feet wide guillotined steps curving down the slope took care of the steep drop from the patio.

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We filled in the old narrow opening with new brick and removed old brick to create a wider five foot wide opening making for easier access. At the bottom of the steps, large steppers curved around the imposing brick wall.

Large steppers curve around brick wall

Large steppers curve around brick wall

A small water feature was installed on the upper patio.

Placing the base of the water feature

Placing the base of the water feature

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Right outside the mudroom door we built a small entrance patio to the larger patio. A sitting wall encircled the larger patio to give additional seating room. Lighting was installed around the patio and down the steps.

Small entrance patio

Small entrance patio

Sitting wall

Sitting wall

Plantings

The lighting was partial shade and I didn’t have to worry with deer as the house was surrounded by farm fields that interested the deer more. Between the wall and the steps, I planted Serbian Cypress, Microbiota decussata, an evergreen ground cover that stays low to the ground and is quite beautiful. It looks like juniper but has a softer texture and doesn’t have the disease problems that junipers can get.

Serbian Cypress is next to the brick wall

Serbian Cypress is next to the brick wall

 

Serbian Cypress

Serbian Cypress

On the right side of the steps, I planted pink drift roses which bloom all summer long and stay low and mound like. The gold perennial between the steps is ‘Angelina’ Sedum.

Base of the steps plantings

Base of the steps plantings

Around the base of the steps, I planted ‘Guacamole’ Hosta, ‘Patriot’ Hosta, variegated ‘Solomans Seal’, Japanese Painted Fern, and ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea for some height.

Frances Williams Hosta

Frances Williams Hosta

Down on the existing patio there was a foot wide strip of soil that needed plantings and I chose ‘Frances Williams’ Hosta for its spectacular size and leaf markings.

Japanese Painted Fern 'Ghost'

Japanese Painted Fern ‘Ghost’

A tricolor beech brightens up the border next to the house

A tricolor beech brightens up the border next to the house

Additional plantings were added around the house to spruce it up when the rear patio and plantings were completed. A tri-color Beech gives the shady side planting bed a pop of color and and vertical element.

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Kousa Dogwood in full bloom set in the lawn

Kousa Dogwood in full bloom set in the lawn

 

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
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9 Responses to New Patio-Old House

  1. Neta says:

    Wow, gorgeous Claire. And, congratulations on the Houzz award–that’s impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda T says:

    This is so beautiful Claire. Love the plants you used and how the final outcome appears. What a very big job and it looks great!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In the third photo where the gentleman is working on the tile, what is the purpose of that short brick wall right in front of that door? Is it just to match up with the round wall?

    Like

  4. Gillian says:

    Fantastic job. Love the water feature.

    Like

  5. All I can say is WOW!!! That’s an impressive yard and I love all the plants and the flow of it.

    Like

  6. Amy says:

    I love Frances Williams hosta. They always make a statement.

    Like

  7. What a characterful house and gardens, it has so many hidden features to be found.

    Liked by 1 person

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