When you think of French gardens, the elements that come to mind are wrought-iron fences, classic fountains, beautiful details and, of course, a place to relax with a glass of wine. Landscape architect Chad Talton of Surrounds Landscape Architecture and Construction immediately noticed the distinct French style of his clients’ house in McLean and decided to incorporate it in his design for the garden.
The existing landscape, put in by the builder, was non-descript and afforded the clients little privacy. The homeowners told Talton they wanted a new deck off the back of the house, an expanded patio area around the existing swimming pool and spa and a welcoming front entry. “The house is really elegant,” says Talton, “so we tried to come up with a design that was really formal and very clean.”
The new deck houses a covered grill area, and is constructed of Procell, a composite material that is maintenance-free. The curvy wrought-iron deck railings are reminiscent of many that you might see in Paris. Surrounds turned to Cardine Studios of Bealeton, Virginia, to design an intricate wrought-iron gate at the top of the spiral stone staircase that leads to the house and the drive.
The garden’s formal limestone fountain was imported from Italy. The copper-roofed outdoor bar designed by Talton houses a sink, a refrigerator and a wine rack for easy poolside entertaining.
Japanese cedars, the main plantings at the far end of the pool, screen the neighboring house, while Japanese maples, a lovely blue Atlas cedar, crape myrtles, boxwoods, flowering shrubs and annuals provide a four-season palette of color, texture and blooms.
AWARD: Grand, Outdoor Living Area. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: Chad Talton, Surrounds Landscape Architecture and Construction, Sterling, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Ron Blunt.