In Libertyville, amidst an expanse of windblown trees and sprawling grasses, lies an alluring sanctuary protected from the elements by a screen of towering evergreens. The sheltered gardens of green, white and purple tones blend naturally with the facade of the classical home. When the homeowners first approached Mariani, however, the house’s landscape was practically indistinguishable from the barren lands surrounding it.
“Our client wanted the landscape to match the crisper, cleaner design of the house,” recalls landscape architect Sara Furlan, “We were successful because we stayed disciplined with an elegant, sophisticated look, using a limited palette of colors.”
Unique challenges confronted the landscape architects from the onset. The grounds were constantly harried by windstorms, which defied the residents’ desire for a more contemplative, formal environment. The local soil was poor, inhibiting the gardens’ long-term development.
Mariani acted quickly to address these concerns, planting evergreen trees for a windscreen. Truckloads of rich, composted soil were transported to the site to provide nutrients for the new flora. Mariani delivered a green construction plan, using organic materials whenever possible. The grounds are nurtured with Nature Safe® 100 percent organic fertilizer, which is a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to more traditional fertilization. In areas adjacent to the house, Mariani maintained a structured model. However, the surrounding grounds become less formal. Mariani planted native wildflowers on the property’s perimeter to foster a natural atmosphere.
The approach to the house is defined by its symmetry; two hawthorne trees, surrounded by emerald green shrubs sculpted in perfect rectangular plots, stand guard over the main path. The backyard boasts a diverse set of plants and trees. The residence’s tropical garden features palm and dwarf citrus trees, while another section hosts more traditional Midwestern crabapple trees and baby’s breath. The yard’s centerpiece is the simple, elegant pool, whose limestone coping and blue stone deck blend naturally with the colors of the house and vegetation.
The placement of the pool and every other aspect of the garden were carefully considered in relation to the view from the residence’s windows. “This landscape is intentionally visible from the windows,” Furlan says. “When you stand in the house there are a number of great focal points like the new armillary sphere, garden bench and row of crabapple trees.”
This quality reflects the meticulous planning, the creative thinking and the attention to detail that Mariani invests in all its projects.See Slideshow