In Georgetown, Federal style is giving way to the 21st century—at least at an R Street residence that is nearly all glass in front and back. The property now has a contemporary garden to complement its architecture, thanks to landscape designer Brian Hahn of Botanical Decorators.
In a long, narrow space just 36 feet deep and 16 feet wide, Hahn found room for a spa, a dining patio, a walkway from the garage to the house, a tiny lawn and plantings that extend the garden season through the entire year.
Initially, Hahn developed several different designs, honing in on a motif of repeated diamond-shaped forms. “Once we got through a couple of conceptual plans,” he says, “the diamond pattern was really making the space feel large and it worked with the lines of the house.”
Botanical Decorators tucked in a spa at ground level near the basement-level lanai for easy access year-round. A diamond-shaped patio is constructed of thermal Pennsylvania bluestone, flame-torched to give it a smooth finish. A small diamond-shaped lawn repeats the theme, while a water feature is the focal point at the garden’s rear.
A fence in the same Masonite material used on the house creates the feel of a modern courtyard. Trees were planted in neighbors’ yards (with their agreement) to benefit all three properties. A rear grove of cherry trees screens the garage and alley on one side, while birch trees block the view between adjoining properties on the other. Triangular planting beds contain a PeeGee hydrangea, Sky Pencil hollies, cherry laurels and perennials. There’s even a dogwood that’s a harbinger of the Georgetown spring.
AWARD: Grand, Outdoor Living Area. DESIGN: Brian Hahn, Botanical Decorators, Olney, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Botanical Decorators.