Residential PORTFOLIO:

English Jewel Box

Glencoe, Illinois

One major challenge for this 1923 English Revival residence was making the most of the limited grounds. Another was satisfying the owners’ budget and their wishes for symmetry, beautiful shifting seasonal views, and inviting garden rooms.

The front drive court is flanked by brick and limestone piers, lined with brick curbing. Crabapples, massed boxwoods and hydrangeas enclose the drive court corners. Columnar hornbeams on both sides of the entrance provide scale. Unique planters containing topiaries and seasonal displays frame the main entrance.

A wrought iron gate leads to two intimate gardens lined by gravel pathways with brick edging and boxwood hedge borders. An English fountain in the first garden provides the focal point and the second garden offers restful seating. The quiet crunch of gravel and the sound of water create a peaceful atmosphere. Terra cotta planters with topiaries and seasonal colors are located throughout the garden. Standard lilacs anchor the space and ajuga fills the central square.

The gravel path leads to the rear bluestone patio, bordered by a New York fieldstone seat wall. A custom fireplace with a copper chimney is surrounded by a seating area. On the other side of the patio, a casual dining space provides a view of the back garden.

Along the rear lawn border, an 18th Century metal urn sits on a custom limestone plinth as a focal point, which rests before a columnar hornbeam hedge with star magnolia lining. Boxwood hedges and specimen yews define the lawn and the ends of the radial terrace steps. Cast stone planters filled with rotated seasonal displays are placed on the rear terrace to frame the view.

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